The back-to-school season is upon us. Amidst the flurry of school supplies, packed lunches, and buses, you might start to think of a different type of flurry — snow flurries, that is. Yes, winter may seem like it’s a long ways off. But, I assure you, it will sneak up before you even know it! Soon you’ll be storing the weed trimmer and lawn mower in favor of your shovels and snowblower.
But, before packing away all of your summer lawn equipment, you want to make sure you’re taking care of it and getting it properly prepared to be stored all winter. Not sure what you need to do to make that happen? I’ve got all of the information you need right here!
Why do you need to “winterize” your lawn equipment?
Sure, you were probably pretty hard on your lawn equipment throughout the spring and summer months. After all, all of that trimming and mowing is tough for both you and your tools! But, sitting idle for months on end is even tougher on your equipment.
When spring rolls around again, you’ll be pretty frustrated to find out that your equipment is rusted, broken, won’t start, or simply doesn’t work as well as you remember. Properly servicing and tuning up all of your lawn care tools before packing them away can save you from this frustration!
What steps should you take to “winterize” your equipment?
The process of getting your lawn equipment prepared for winter storage will vary, depending on the particular tool you’re working with. But, here are a few general steps you should follow.
1. Remove Oil or Gasoline
Obviously, leaving oil and gas in the tanks of your motorized lawn equipment isn’t a good idea. It can get sludgy or degrade over time. So, you definitely want to drain both of those tanks before storing your tools. Drain the oil and replace any fuel filters. Empty the gas tank and then run the engine in order to force any other leftover fuel out of the carburetor or fuel lines.
Reuse the leftover gas if you can, and talk with a local recycling authority to see if they have any programs or methods for disposing of motor oil.
2. Give a Good Cleaning
Since you’re working with all of your lawn equipment anyway, now’s a good time to give them a good scrubbing to prevent any rust or built up grime! Scrub away dirt with a stiff-bristled brush, and use a wire brush to slough away any existing rust. You can also use a degreaser for any stuck-on dirt.
While cleaning, it’s also a great time to replace any missing or broken parts — like random nuts and bolts. It seems like a pain, but you’ll be happy you did it!
3. Store Your Equipment
Packing away your lawn equipment indoors, such as your garage or a shed, is preferable. But, if your tools do need to stay outside, take some precautions to protect them. Store them on pallets or higher ground so they don’t end up sitting idle in a puddle of water. Cover everything with tarps in order to protect them from the elements!
You may think of “winterizing” your lawn equipment as a giant hassle. But, dealing with broken equipment in the spring is an even bigger nuisance. So, be proactive and take proper care of all of your tools now! You may not be prepped for winter — but at least your lawn equipment is!
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