Now that the winter season is upon us, we all have lots of work ahead of us to prepare. This is especially true for your garden maintenance equipment.
One of the most important aspects of winter prep rests in servicing and storing your lawn mower, chainsaw and other equipment to withstand the rain and elements. If you’re not properly servicing and storing your equipment, you’re literally throwing money away in repair or replacement costs.
Follow these tips to make sure your equipment survives the winter – and comes out functioning at 100% after the temperatures warm back up.
Tip: Perform an End-of-Season Clean of Your Equipment
This should go without saying, but clean your equipment before you store it away for the season! Getting your mower or chainsaw clean will prevent several problems from occurring during the cold months.
For example, lawn mowers are often prone to damage or wear and tear from cutting the grass itself. The liquid from grass trimmings tends to be highly corrosive. If left on your lawn mower blades through the winter, it can lead to much faster degradation of the blades.
Cleaning includes all the following steps:
- Remove grass or debris from the chains, blades, etc.
- Clean dirty oil or lubricant from chains
- Wipe down dirt and dust from all areas
Tip: Remove Potentially Corrosive Fluids from Lawn Mowers
Lawn mowers and other petrol-operated equipment should not have the petrol left inside over the winter. This can lead to undue wear and tear on the engine. Even with the milder Perth winters, leaving petrol in your equipment can make it especially difficult to get started and up and running again in the spring.
Prior to colder temperatures, drain all the petrol from your engines and gas tanks. Additionally, make sure lines are flushed so no petrol remains inside.
Tip: Give Your Batteries a Full Charge Prior to the Winter Cold
Many devices with batteries should be fully charged prior to the cold. The good news is that most equipment-grade batteries are strong enough to withstand cooler temperatures. Charging them prior to storage helps prevent a full discharge – and a potentially dead and non-charging battery come spring time.
Tip: Get Your Equipment into Storage – and Out of the Elements!
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that outside storage is acceptable for equipment like lawn mowers. Some people mistakenly think their equipment is hearty enough to withstand the wet, rainy winter season. What they quickly learn is that they’re drastically shortening the lifespan of mowers, chainsaw and other backyard equipment.
Covering the mower with a tarp will not give it the same protection as placing it in a garage or shed. You really need to get your equipment stored in a protected area for best results.
Follow this storage checklist for best storage results:
✓ Make sure the storage area is dry and protected from the elements
✓ Ensure that wind cannot penetrate and bring in wet, humid air
✓ Cover equipment in storage to add an even greater layer of protection
Get Servicing Help Whenever You Need It
As you probably already know, you can complete all of these tips yourself to successfully prepare your lawn mower and other equipment. But sometimes those wet and rainy conditions creep up a little faster than any of are prepared for. In cases like this, you may find yourself overwhelmed with too much to do.
If this is the case for you, consider dropping your equipment in for a Service or Repair this winter with a qualified Beacon professional so your backyard equipment is ready come summer 2015.