Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Baldwin M 1977 - overheated


I picked up bedbugs in my travels and the exterminating company said the most effective treatment to get rid of them was to heat the house because they die at 113 degrees.  Suffice to say the thermostat stuck on their heating device and the house reached a sustained temperature of 197 degrees. Vinyl melted on the windows in the area of the piano and the windows will have to be replaced. My Baldwin which was in showroom condition has had the entire surface ruined and will have to be refinished. Nearly all the furniture in my house will have to be refinished as well.  I am worried about all the mechanical workings of the piano. The ribs, the pin block etc.  Isn't that ruined too?  Please help.  Thank you, Joyce

Hi Joyce:

And I'm so sorry.

Ok...by the numbers:

1. You need a full evaluation by someone who knows pianos inside and out.

2. This evaluation is paid for by the insurance carrier of the exterminating company. Do NOT let them get out of this. It is their obligation.

3. You have the right to pick the person who will exam the piano. It MUST be a registered member of the piano technicians guild. http://www.ptg.org in the upper right hand corner you will see a place that allows you to search for a technician. Only REGISTERED members will pop up when you put in your zip code.

4. Interview several. You want someone with at LEAST 10 years experience in evaluations and rebuildings.

5. You want this documented on paper as well as in pictures. Make that very clear.

Here is the problem. At the temperature you stated, the soundboard will go through the roof. I'm worried about separation of the rib and soundboard assembly, the inner rim in general, the top laminations of veneer under the lacquer or polyester, and the action parts will NOT be happy.

And, the results of all of this won't be completely evident for several weeks after the piano gets to a normal environment.

Show all of the above to the piano tech if you like. However, if they have the experience I think they will, they will handle it.

We don't want to be timid here.

If you need more in depth help, you can find my web site in my profile.

Right off the bat, I would push for a replacement!!!!


Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Ralph Onesti


I am a Registered/tested member of the Piano Technicians Guild (RPT) with 49 years of experience in all phases and levels of the acoustic piano. I will answer any questions regarding acoustic pianos only. All questions and answers are to remain public. Please to not include sensitive material! If they are marked private, I will change them to public. My answers may be of assistance to others. If privacy is an issue, please contact me through my web site: http://www.onestipiano.com Electronic keyboards, organs, and player/reproducing piano mechanisms are outside of my expertise. Anything to do with: Construction, Service, Tuning, Climate Control Systems, Piano Disc, Purchasing, Selling, Insurance Appraisal, Rebuilding, Repairs, Legal issues, Maintenance, Environmental issues, Finish issues with acoustic pianos. My full resume can be found at: http://onestipiano.com/pages/history.html You can like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/onestipianoservice


In business since 1964, Extensive Rebuilding/Repair/Service facility. A certified, tested, member of the Piano Technicians Guild, Member of the Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. Have performed piano service on Concert Stage, Recording Studios, and in the home. Http://www.onestipiano.com. The shop's work comes from all over the world from private clients or other techncians.

The Piano Technicians Guild, Master Piano Technicians of America, Technical Advisory Service to Attorneys. (TASA), IAPBT. The Piano Technicians Guild is the only organization in the US that offers a certification test to become Registered. There are no "factory authorized techncians".

The Piano Technicians Journal

Attented Temple University, Drexel University, Philadelphia Community college all in the areas of engineering and Music. I taught a two semester course in Piano Technology and the related acoustical physics at Temple University. I have taught extensively for the Piano Technicians Guild and the Master Piano Technicians of America.

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Service Award for the Rose Tree Media School District in Pennsylvania. Chapter Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Piano Technicians Guild.

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The list is rather extensive. I would suggest you go http://onestipiano.com/pages/testimonials.html where there is a comprehensive list of clients past and present.

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