You’re likely getting ready to put your riding or push mower away for winter. There’s only one or two more times you’ll need it, just to keep the lawn nice and neat over the winter. We’ve discussed preparing your mower for winter storage before, however, are you storing your mower correctly? Let’s look at some problems that can arise during winter storage.
Keep Your Mower away from the Elements
You can go through the whole process of cleaning and oiling your mower up for the winter, but not properly isolating it from the elements can be a serious mistake. The cold can make the steel and rubber brittle, and invites damage. Moisture can work its way in and lead to rust, electric issues, or water can work its way into hydraulic and fuel lines. Make sure your mower is in a moderate, dry climate through the winter. A garage that is heated, or connected directly to the house, is ideal.
Storing Your Mower on Concrete Surfaces
This is particularly a problem when it comes to mowers with inflatable tires. The cold concrete, in contact with the tires for prolonged periods, can damage them. There are a number of ways to avoid this:
- Heated concrete floors – an expensive method, but if you have a separate garage or shop, this can be convenient for the winter months if you plan on working out there for a prolonged period.
- Lay down tarp or cardboard – any material that keeps the tires from being in contact with the cement floor for a prolonged period of time will work, as long as it does not react with the floor or tires.
- Move your mower around – breaking contact between the tires and the floor on a regular basis can be effective. Move your mower around, and make sure not to keep the same patch of tire in contact for too long.
If you have hard rubber tires, or a floor made of any other material, you won’t have to worry quite as much. It is simply cold concrete and inflated rubber tires that have this issue.
Creature-Proofing the Storage Area
Even if you do everything right so far as removing the battery and replacing spark plugs, you still might have issues getting your mower to start come spring. Pesky rodents will chew on wires throughout the winter, so make sure your storage area is protected. Put down glue traps or snap traps, and check the area for droppings on a regular basis. Check around you shop or garage for any warrens or holes. Most of all, when you decide to break your mower out of storage, check all the wires for bite marks and open areas where rodents may have chewed through.
So make sure that where and how you are storing your mower is covered – the last thing you want to do is fully prep your mower for storage, then have your hard work undone by mother nature. Setting up a storage space for your equipment is something that will pay itself off year after year.
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