This is my first post on this forum, thank you all very much for having me here.
This is a stock image with the loose braces marked in red.
I assume your home is not air conditioned? Storing it in the case is the right thing to do. I would suggest getting a small hydrometer that will fit in the case to get a better idea on how wet or dry the environment of the guitar is. From the images, I don’t see anything that isn’t readily repairable.
My home is air conditioned but not with a central unit. We have air conditioning units in each room and I am wondering now if that may have been the problem - the humidity/temperature fluctuation that comes with the sometimes-off-sometimes-on manner in which these units run - rather than consistent high temperature/humidity. In any case, I do need to get a hygrometer as you have suggested. Would you have any recommendations? And thank you, your words are very reassuring.
If you have a/c and the guitar was kept in it's case, fluctuating humidity shouldn't be a problem. I live in Texas, where the humidity goes all over the place, mostly high, never dry. I have never had a problem with any of my guitars, stored in their cases. I have the digital hydrometers, which most people consider inaccurate, but at least they give me an idea of where the humidity is. I really can't recommend one as more accurate than the other, maybe someone else on the forum can give you a recommendation.
You are right in saying that low humidity is usually a lot more damaging for a guitar than high RH. It is certainly wise to be careful about the conditions in which you store your instrument - but I would not immediately assume that humidity issues are the cause of the loose baces. Another common cause is a direct blow or other trauma to the guitar. It can easily happen even if it is in a hardshell case, and airplane travel is one of the most notorious situations for this to happen. Maybe on the trip to India from the US?
Whatever the cause, you are doing the right thing to remove string tension, store it carefully and get expert repairs. The prognosis for recovery is good if it gets the right care.
Thank you Mark. I am planning to do just that.