As much as you’d like to play drums all day, every day, sometimes they need to be stored for a longer period. Or perhaps you keep them set up in your garage, ready to play. Either way, you’re probably wondering if you can store drums in your garage.
Drums can be stored in the garage, although it is not recommended. Garages typically lack the insulation necessary to create a safe environment for drums; extreme temperatures and humidity can significantly damage them. Additionally, they are usually not sealed well enough to block out pests.
Below, we’ll go over the best ways to store drums, along with how you can prepare your drums if you have no other choice but to store them in a garage.
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Can Drums Be Stored in a Garage?
Drums can be stored in a garage; however, the storage area must meet certain conditions. Namely, drums should be stored in a way that will avoid extreme temperatures, humidity, and pests.
Some parts of the drums, most notably the drum heads, are affected by temperatures that are too hot or too cold. Higher temperatures will stretch the drumheads, while lower temperatures will make them tighten and become brittle.
Cymbals, stands, and other metal elements can withstand extreme temperatures a bit better, but extreme temperatures can impact even these metal parts of the drum set. Cymbals stand to break if they’re too cold, and then you suddenly start playing them. Always let your cymbals and hats adjust to a warm room temperature before playing them if they have been stored in a cold area.
Humidity is another factor to consider. It impacts the wooden parts of your drums, along with the glue involved in keeping the drum together. High humidity will cause the wooden shells to warp, while low humidity can cause the wood to shrink. Cymbals will oxidize and thus wear out faster when stored in high humidity, although they are not affected by low humidity.
For those who have electronic drums, your main concern is humidity. Electronic drums are not as sensitive to temperature changes, but high humidity can affect them. Keep them stored in a dry room.
Most garages are not sealed, which means your drum set has minimal protection from the outside elements. Garages are also prone to fluctuations in humidity due to what’s going on outside, or even inside, your home.
Another danger of garage storage is the presence of pests. Rodents, moths, and other insects that find a way in can all destroy your drum set entirely. The garage can be home to various pests since they can easily find a way in and build nests. These pests might not seem like a big deal, but they can build a home in your drum set, including chewing holes, which can completely destroy the entire kit.
Additionally, small pests can also be a problem for electronic drums since they can chew on the wires. As such, you should store drums in a room that’s clean and protected against rodents and pests.
Should You Store Drums in a Garage?
Garages are notoriously unprotected from the extreme temperatures and humidity of the outside. While some garages will have great insulation and might even be temperature controlled, others can greatly damage your drums. You’ll need to assess your garage to determine if it provides adequate protection against the elements.
Ultimately, storing drums in your garage should be your absolute last option. It’d be better to rent a temperature-controlled storage unit and store them there or use a spare room in your house.
However, if you must store them in a garage, you can prepare your drums to help limit the damage done by temperatures.
How Can I Prepare My Drums for Garage Storage?
Are you stuck with the garage or shed as the only option for drum storage? Follow the below tips to prevent them from being damaged as much as possible:
- Create a place for the drums that is not up against any walls so that they have plenty of ventilation.
- For concrete floors, put a plastic sheet under the entire kit, which will help decrease the amount of absorbed water vapor.
- Clean off every element and make sure that there is no moisture on them.
- Place the drums in covers if you have them.
- Place a silica gel pack into the covers if moisture is a concern in your region.
- Cover the entire kit with a blanket or bedsheets; avoid using anything plastic.
- Depending on the humidity of the space you’re using, consider plugging in a dehumidifier or humidifier.
Once you’ve stored your drums, you should make time every day to ventilate the area they’re being stored in. Simply open the door and set up a fan to get some airflow going. Regular ventilation in the garage will help maintain both the temperature and the humidity and prevent either from reaching a point where it can cause damage to your drums.
What’s the Ideal Environment for Storing Drums?
According to Small Recording Studio, the following figures are the best temperatures and humidity levels for drum storage:
- Ideal Temperature: 77 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 degrees Celsius
- Ideal Relative Humidity: 45%
- Maximum Temperature: 140 degrees Fahrenheit, 60 degrees Celsius
- Maximum Relative Humidity: 80% or above
- Minimum Temperature: 23 degrees Fahrenheit, -5 degrees Celsius
- Minimum Relative Humidity: 20% or below
Monitor the temperature and humidity in your garage or storage area to ensure you’re staying in the safe range. It’s worth purchasing the right temperature and humidity measuring tools and keeping them in the room, so you always know that you’re in the right range.
What’s the Best Method of Long-Term Drum Storage?
Storing your drums in your garage will not destroy your drums, but it’s far from an ideal place to store them. If you’re looking to give your drums a long life, they must be stored properly.
Humidity will do the most damage to your drum set, as it can cause the wooden components to either expand or contract. Either way, humidity is your biggest threat and must be dealt with adequately.
Your drum heads should be left on while you’re storing your drums to help protect the drum's overall shape. However, the best long-term drum storage method is to store them as described in the previous section in a room that can easily be ventilated, and the humidity can be controlled. Some options include:
- A spare room, which will likely have great airflow and a controlled temperature
- A storage room that’s inside the house, such as the small areas under some staircases or other room specifically for storage
- Any other temperature-controlled room
- An indoor rental storage unit
Keep in mind that the conditions in some rooms might change seasonally. This is why some garages are a poor choice for drum storage; they can range from being too hot to too cold within a few months. However, if you can control the temperature and humidity, any room you choose will be a good option.
Can Drums Be Stored in a Garage? Final Thoughts
Drums are built to last and take a literal beating, but extreme temperatures and humidity can wreak havoc on them.
Since they are susceptible to extreme temperatures, humidity, and pests, garages are often considered one of the worst drum storage options. Avoid storing your drums in a garage unless it is sealed and temperature controlled. Explore other rooms in your house that might serve as a great storage location. Always measure the temperature and humidity before deciding to store your drums in a given area.