Winterize your lawn equipment following these 6 essential tips

(BPT) – You enjoyed a beautiful green, lush lawn all summer thanks to your favorite yard tools. Show your gratitude now by properly storing all yard equipment before winter. When the freezing temperatures hit and the snow starts to fall, you can rest assured your lawn mower, trimmer and other accessories will be safely tucked away and remain in perfect condition when spring rolls back around.

Here are six tips for winterizing your lawn equipment.

1. Protect equipment by storing indoors

Lawn equipment should always be stored in dry spaces to prevent rust. Place equipment like your lawn mower in a shed or garage if able. If you don’t have an indoor area to store bigger equipment, you’ll want to be sure to fully cover machines with a waterproof tarp or other protective material.

2. Prevent buildup by draining oil and fuel from equipment

Gasoline and oil left in lawn equipment can cause buildup and in oil’s case, create sludge. This buildup will likely plug up your machine’s fuel system and can ruin your engine. Drain your fuel or use a stabilizer to keep the gas in the machine fresh until spring. Be sure to run the mower for a few minutes if you use a stabilizer so that it has time to circulate throughout the fuel system before shutting it down for the winter season. When removing oil, drain the liquid into a glass jar and dispose at a recycling center or other appropriate waste facility.

3. Lubricate to keep parts moving

Lubricant prevents hinges from drying out, helping machines to start more easily in the winter. Be sure to lubricate all moving parts of the equipment before putting your equipment into storage, and repeat this step when taking them out in the spring.

4. Give equipment and tools a good cleaning

It’s always a good idea to clean all tools, accessories and machines before storing them to prevent buildup from dirt and grease. Use a damp scrub brush or a microfiber cloth to clean without causing any damage.

5. Change out old parts

With every new season, it’s always a good idea to change out spark plugs. Before winter, disconnect the spark plugs you currently have to prevent an accident. Then inspect air filters and either clean or replace depending on their condition.

6. Remove and sharpen blades

While you’re cleaning and inspecting parts, use this time to also remove and sharpen blades (this will also make it easier to clean the machine and drain your oil). Be careful when removing the blade and wear thick gloves for protection.

Now that you’ve stowed everything away, most of the work is done to keep equipment damage-free. As an extra precaution, check on your stored items a few times throughout the winter to ensure mice or other creatures haven’t crawled underneath machines where they can chew on wires. If you have smaller equipment that requires repairs, take advantage of the longer season to fine tune your parts. Your lawn equipment will look like it’s brand new when the snow melts and it’s time to rev up that mower again.

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