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#1983961 - 11/08/12 12:27 AM Termites and pianos
electone2007 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 281
Loc: Philippines
I live in an area where termite infestation is a common occurrence. Some years ago, I had an upright which had its back against the wall. One day, I moved it away from the wall. On visual inspection, the piano's soundboard, ribs, and frame seemed all right. But then I poked the soundboard with my forefinger and to may dismay found out that there was only a thin outer layer. It was hollow underneath -- the work of termites.

I don't have that upright anymore and have since just very recently upgraded to a grand. I am afraid termites will leave their signature on my new grand.

Does anyone here have the same problem? Any advice on what to do to prevent termites attacking the piano?

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#1984045 - 11/08/12 08:18 AM Re: Termites and pianos [Re: electone2007]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9404
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: electone2007
I live in an area where termite infestation is a common occurrence. Some years ago, I had an upright which had its back against the wall. One day, I moved it away from the wall. On visual inspection, the piano's soundboard, ribs, and frame seemed all right. But then I poked the soundboard with my forefinger and to may dismay found out that there was only a thin outer layer. It was hollow underneath -- the work of termites.

I don't have that upright anymore and have since just very recently upgraded to a grand. I am afraid termites will leave their signature on my new grand.

Does anyone here have the same problem? Any advice on what to do to prevent termites attacking the piano?


We rarely have this problem in the United States. We have termites, they are just not as aggressive and I had never heard of a piano damaged by termites.

A few years ago, however, a Bechstein was shipped to us from South America to be rebuilt here. Everything looked fine until we removed the soundboard. It was then that we saw that the posting and the rim had seen some termite damage.

Fortunately, it was nothing like what you are describing and we were able to repair the damage and return the piano to its family.

I have no suggestions, although you might try Lyric Piano in Manila. We have done work for them in the past and if there is a preventative treatment available, the would know about it.

Good Luck!
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#1984102 - 11/08/12 10:26 AM Re: Termites and pianos [Re: electone2007]
M.O.P. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Ocala, Florida
Termites can be a real problem here in the South. They are agressive and cause many $$$$$$ in damage every year. The best thing one can do is make sure their home is termite protected by their pest control company, thus termites won't get to the piano.

Just last year we had a request to move a Baldwin grand and store it while the homeowners had their wood floors replaced. When we broke the piano down for moving, it was a real nightmare. Parts of it just started crumbling away. It had extensive termite damage, and the owner also found several areas of the original flooring that had damage. Unfortunately, the piano was so far gone, it wasn't stable nor structurally safe. It had to be destroyed and disposed of. We didn't even bring it into our building. Right into the dumpster. Then our trailer was fumigated.

In our 40 years, we've seen termite damage many times. If the piano owner has their piano maintenanced on a regular basis, infestation is discovered before it's too late to save the instrument. Some can be repaired, some are too far gone.

Electone2007 - your best preventative is to contact a reputable pest control company and have your home protected from termite infestation. They are nasty little buggers.
_________________________
Nancy Fanzlaw
Seamstress for the Band

www.FortePianoGallery.com
Forte' Blog - Technical Tuesdays
Forte' on Facebook

"The piano was God's gift to music." Lou Mason


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#1984112 - 11/08/12 10:54 AM Re: Termites and pianos [Re: electone2007]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8585
Loc: Georgia, USA
Great advice from two fine industry pros.

Don't know that I've ever seen termite damage on a piano, but I was given an old upright for free that I found to have live moth larvae living in the felt punchings under the keys. It was a little gross to see the little maggot looking worms wiggling around. It didn’t take me long to figure out the piano was beyond restoring, although I did save some of the ornate wood panels before discarding the piano.

Probably a good idea to treat older pianos for moth infestation too.

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1984166 - 11/08/12 01:09 PM Re: Termites and pianos [Re: electone2007]
Guapo Gabacho Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/11
Posts: 445
Loc: Rio Grande Valley of Texas
There are 2,800 species of termites. The experiences expressed here are most likely for subterranean termites. The problem I would worry about in the OP's country are the airborne kind that would nest in the piano.

Ever get a wood piece of carved art and wonder why there is sawdust under it every time you pick it up to dust?
_________________________
'86 Baldwin SF-10

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#1984275 - 11/08/12 05:30 PM Re: Termites and pianos [Re: electone2007]
electone2007 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 281
Loc: Philippines
Thanks to everyone for your responses/ advice. I guess it all boils down to vigilance and early detection.

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#1986367 - 11/13/12 09:52 PM Re: Termites and pianos [Re: electone2007]
BKr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 8
Aren't you more worried about the condition of the walls/floors in your house? The termites I'm sure had to travel thru these areas before they found your piano.

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#1986434 - 11/14/12 01:22 AM Re: Termites and pianos [Re: BKr]
electone2007 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 281
Loc: Philippines
Originally Posted By: BKr
Aren't you more worried about the condition of the walls/floors in your house? The termites I'm sure had to travel thru these areas before they found your piano.


That's right. Walls do undergo spot repairs in round-robin fashion. It's easily done. But repairing a piano with termite infestation is a very expensive proposition. wink

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#1986584 - 11/14/12 10:24 AM Re: Termites and pianos [Re: electone2007]
Wound up Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/04/12
Posts: 66
Great topic, I am remodeling my So Cal house, I wanna treat it before it is done based on this information__ We have Termite damage.. Thanks j

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