Prepping Your Mower for Winter: Smart Tips for Off-Season Storage

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As the end of mowing season approaches, it's important to start thinking about properly storing your lawn mower for the winter months ahead.

 

As the end of mowing season approaches, it's important to start thinking about properly storing your lawn mower storage ideas for the winter months ahead. Taking steps to correctly store and maintain your mower through the off-season will ensure it stays in tip-top shape and is ready to work when needed again next year. In this blog, we'll explore secure storage setups and provide maintenance tips to keep your mower running smoothly. Follow these best practices so your investment thrives in its winter retreat!

Picking the Optimal Storage Spot

When deciding where to store your mower, consider these safe haven options:

  • The Garage – Convenient but watch for fumes building up and allow ventilation.
  • A Storage Shed – More secure and space to add shelving. Harder access for thieves.
  • The Basement – Temperature controlled but exhaust fumes need proper venting.
  • An Outbuilding – Detached structure keeps mower separate from main home.
  • The Carport – Covered outdoor parking but less secure.
  • The Patio – Good for short term storage with a protective cover.
  • The Driveway – Parked against the house is handy but lacks weather protection.
  • The Side Yard – Tucked away out of sight if no shed or garage available.
  • The Backyard – An out of the way spot against a fence or wall. Use a cover.

Ideally, choose an indoor area like a shed or garage if space allows. This provides all-season protection. Storing outside can work too with a heavy duty mower cover.

Preparing Your Mower for Hibernation

Before storage, be sure to properly prep your mower:

  • Drain gasoline if storing over 1 month to prevent gummed carburetor issues. Use fuel stabilizer if under 1 month.
  • Change oil and filter if storing for winter. This removes contaminants from old oil sitting inactive.
  • For electric mowers, remove the battery and maintain its charge using a trickle charger.
  • Thoroughly hose off the mowing deck and undercarriage to remove accumulated debris and dirt.
  • Allow the mower to dry fully before covering or bringing into the storage area.
  • Apply a corrosion prevention spray to all metal surfaces.
  • Ensure maintenance is up to date before storage – sharpen blades, replace worn parts, fix leaks.
  • Review owner’s manual for model-specific fuel and storage instructions.

Taking time to correctly prep your mower prior to storage keeps all systems in peak shape for smooth operation when needed again.

Getting Creative with Storage Solutions

Once prepped, next is figuring out how to stow your mower. Here are some unique ideas:

  • Vertical storage like wall hooks or a standing rack takes up minimal floor space.
  • Protective mats or pads keep the mower elevated off bare floors and prevent moisture damage.
  • A customized mobility cart makes storage and transporting easy.
  • Repurposed old furniture, like a cabinet or dresser, can neatly store the mower when space is limited.
  • An overhead pulley system in the rafters lifts the mower up and out of the way.
  • Make use of corners by placing diagonally – surround with shelves or pegboard for accessories.
  • Get creative with the storage space and options you have available!

Keeping Your Mower Protected

Your mower represents a significant investment worth safeguarding. Use these tips:

  • Keep it locked up in a garage or shed whenever possible.
  • Use a hitch lock device or wheel boot to immobilize the mower when unattended.
  • Install motion sensor lights and security cameras covering the storage area.
  • Disable the mower by removing the key, battery or spark plug when not in use.
  • Discreetly etch an ID number onto the body for identification if stolen.
  • Consider hiding a GPS tracker on the mower to aid in recovery if taken.
  • Lock up any removable attachments or accessories separately.

Take precautions to properly secure your mower from theft or unauthorized use.

Maintaining Your Mower During Storage

Storing your mower properly is only half of it – you also need to maintain it during the storage period:

  • Check over the mower every 1-2 months during the off-season.
  • Ensure tires remain fully inflated to prevent cracks or dry rot issues.
  • Recharge electric mower batteries monthly to maintain optimal charge.
  • Periodically start gas mowers and run for 5-10 minutes to circulate oil.
  • Inspect for any leaks, damage or presence of nesting creatures.
  • Confirm the storage cover is still properly secured with no gaps or tears.
  • Check fluid levels and top off as needed to prevent corrosion.
  • Wipe off any collected dust, debris or dirt.

Don’t neglect periodic maintenance checks to keep your resting mower in great health!

Waking Your Mower Up from Storage

When it's finally time to use your mower again, properly remove it from storage:

  • Take off any cover and thoroughly clean the mower.
  • Inspect and replace the air filter if needed.
  • Reinstall a fully charged battery in electric mowers.
  • Add fresh gas and fuel stabilizer to the fuel system.
  • Check oil level and change oil if stored for an extended duration.
  • Inflate tires to proper PSI.
  • Clear off any debris from under the mowing deck.
  • Perform any maintenance needed based on the mower's condition.
  • Start it up and test all functions to ensure proper operation.

This startup checklist gets your mower ready for action after its winter break!

Caring for your mower properly throughout the seasons ensures years of peak performance. Apply these smart storage techniques and your investment will continue running smoothly even after periods of inactivity. Keep your mower protected and maintained until the next growing season calls it back to duty!

Answers to Common Mower Storage FAQs

Storing a mower properly requires considering many key factors. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What’s the ideal temperature range to store my mower at?

Between 40°-90°F to prevent condensation from temperature fluctuations.

Can I leave gas in the mower tank during storage?

Only if storing for less than 1 month – use fuel stabilizer. Over 1 month – drain completely.

Should I disconnect the battery on an electric mower?

Yes, remove it and maintain the charge using a trickle charger if storing over 1-2 months.

Do I need to change the oil before off-season storage?

Yes, old oil allows contaminant buildup when inactive for months. Always change it before storing.

Is it okay to cover my mower right after using it?

No, you should always allow it to fully dry first to prevent moisture being trapped under the cover.

How often should I start my stored mower during winter?

At least every 4-6 weeks, run for a few minutes to circulate oil and lubricate parts.

Can I hang my push mower vertically to conserve space?

Yes, if you securely anchor heavy duty brackets into wall studs to support the weight.

What’s the most effective way to prevent theft of my stored mower?

Lock it up and out of sight when possible. Use a hidden GPS tracker. Immobilize the wheels and remove any keys.

Where’s the ideal place to store my lawn mower?

In a temperature controlled, secure location like a locked garage or shed, if available on your property.

Taking steps to properly store your mower leads to seasons of trouble-free performance. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s specific maintenance guidelines as well. With proper care during downtime, your mower will continue operating optimally when needed again!

Storing your mower correctly throughout the off-season ensures it stays in pristine shape for years of reliable service ahead. Assess your storage options and take preventative steps to keep your mower protected and maintained during downtime. Implement these smart storage techniques and your investment will keep performing smoothly when called upon again. Give your hardworking mower the care it deserves!

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