How to Store a Lawn Mower Outside Without a Shed
Storing a lawn mower outside without a shed might seem challenging, but it’s possible with the right precautions and strategies. Proper storage is crucial to maintaining the mower’s functionality and extending its lifespan. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of proper lawn mower storage, provide practical solutions for outdoor storage without a shed, and provide additional tips and tricks to ensure your mower remains in tip-top shape.
Importance of Proper Lawn Mower Storage
Preventing Rust and Corrosion
Exposure to the elements, particularly moisture, can lead to rust and corrosion on your lawn mower’s metal components. Over time, this can weaken parts and lead to costly repairs or even the need for a new mower. Proper storage can help protect your mower from the damaging effects of rust and corrosion, ensuring its longevity and optimal performance.
Protecting the Engine
Storing your lawn mower properly also helps protect its engine. Moisture, dirt, and debris can cause damage to the engine, potentially leading to performance issues and costly repairs. Proper storage techniques help keep the engine clean and dry, reducing the risk of damage.
Avoiding Pest Infestations
Pests, such as rodents and insects, can cause significant damage to your lawn mower if they make their home in the engine or other components. Proper storage helps prevent these unwanted visitors from taking up residence, protecting your mower from damage and costly repairs.
Maintaining Aesthetic Appeal
In addition to the functional benefits, proper lawn mower storage also helps maintain the mower’s aesthetic appeal. A well-maintained, clean mower looks better and can even increase the overall value of your lawn equipment.
Effective Lawn Mower Storage Solutions
Using a Weatherproof Cover
One of the easiest and most effective ways to store a lawn mower outside without a shed is to use a weatherproof cover. These covers are designed to protect your mower from rain, snow, and other harsh weather conditions. Look for a cover that is made from durable, waterproof material and features a snug fit to prevent wind from blowing it off.
When selecting a cover, consider one with ventilation to reduce condensation and mildew. Additionally, look for covers that are UV-resistant to protect against fading and sun damage. It’s important to choose a cover that is designed specifically for lawn mowers to ensure the best fit and protection.
Building a Simple Shelter
Another option for outdoor lawn mower storage is to build a simple shelter. This can be as basic as setting up a tarp or as elaborate as constructing a small wooden structure.
A tarp shelter can be created by attaching a tarp to a frame made of PVC pipes or wood. Secure the tarp to the frame using bungee cords or rope, and anchor the structure to the ground with stakes or weights to prevent it from being blown away during strong winds. Ensure that the tarp is large enough to fully cover your mower and that the frame provides adequate support.
A wooden shelter can be built using plywood and 2x4s. Construct a simple frame with a sloping roof to allow water runoff and attach the plywood to the frame as siding and roofing. Paint or stain the wood to protect it from the elements and prolong its lifespan. Make sure to properly secure the structure to the ground to prevent it from being blown away during strong winds.
Elevating the Lawn Mower
Elevating your lawn mower off the ground is a great way to protect it from moisture and pests. There are several ways to elevate your mower, such as using pallets or cinder blocks.
Place your lawn mower on top of one or more pallets to keep it off the ground. Pallets are easy to find and often available for free from local businesses or warehouses. Ensure that the pallets are level and secure before placing your mower on top. In addition to elevating your mower, pallets also allow for air circulation, which helps prevent rust and moisture buildup.
Using Cinder Blocks
Another option for elevating your lawn mower is to use cinder blocks. Place two cinder blocks on the ground, spaced far enough apart to accommodate the width of your mower. Then, place a piece of plywood on top of the blocks, creating a platform for your mower. Ensure the platform is stable and secure before placing your lawn mower on top. Cinder blocks provide a sturdy, cost-effective solution for elevating your mower and protecting it from moisture and pests.
Additional Tips for Outdoor Lawn Mower Storage
- Clean your mower before storage: Before storing your lawn mower, make sure to clean it thoroughly. Remove grass clippings, dirt, and debris to help prevent rust and corrosion. Use a brush or compressed air to clean hard-to-reach areas, such as the engine compartment and under the cutting deck.
- Empty the fuel tank: It’s a good idea to empty the fuel tank before storing your mower for an extended period. This helps prevent fuel from going stale and causing damage to the engine. Run the mower until it runs out of fuel or use a siphon pump to remove any remaining fuel.
- Stabilize the fuel: If you cannot empty the fuel tank, consider adding a fuel stabilizer to the remaining fuel. This will help prevent the fuel from going stale and keep the carburetor clean during storage.
- Change the oil and filter: Changing the oil and filter before storing your mower is crucial for maintaining engine health. Old oil can contain contaminants that can damage the engine during storage. Refer to your mower’s owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and change intervals.
- Remove the battery: If your lawn mower has a battery, remove it before storage. This will help prevent potential damage from freezing temperatures or leakage. Store the battery in a cool, dry place and maintain its charge throughout the storage period.
- Lubricate moving parts: Lubricate any moving parts, such as the wheels, blades, and cables, to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation when you’re ready to use your mower again. Use a high-quality lubricant or grease as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Sharpen the blades: Sharpening the mower blades before storage ensures they’ll be ready for use in the next mowing season. Dull blades can lead to uneven cuts and put additional strain on the engine.
- Cover the exhaust: To prevent insects or rodents from entering your mower’s engine through the exhaust, consider covering the exhaust pipe with a plastic bag or a piece of aluminum foil. Make sure the engine is cool before covering the exhaust.
- Inspect and replace belts and hoses: Check the belts and hoses on your lawn mower for signs of wear, such as cracks or fraying. Replace any damaged parts before storing the mower to prevent future problems.
Pros and Cons of Storing a Lawn Mower Outside Without a Shed
|Can be a cost-effective solution||Exposure to the elements can lead to rust and corrosion on the mower’s metal components, potentially leading to costly repairs or the need for a new mower|
|Easy accessibility||Moisture, dirt, and debris can cause damage to the engine, potentially leading to performance issues and costly repairs|
|Can maintain the aesthetic appeal of your lawn equipment||Pest infestations, such as rodents and insects, can cause significant damage to your mower if they make their home in the engine or other components|
|Proper storage can help extend the lifespan of your mower and reduce the need for costly repairs||Without proper storage techniques, the mower may not function optimally, leading to a decreased lifespan|
|Weatherproof covers and other storage solutions can provide effective protection||Additional maintenance and precautions are required to protect the mower from potential damage|
Storing your lawn mower outside without a shed may seem challenging, but with the right precautions and storage solutions, it’s entirely possible. By using a weatherproof cover, building a simple shelter, or elevating the mower off the ground, you can protect your investment from the elements, pests, and potential damage. Don’t forget to follow additional storage tips, such as cleaning the mower, emptying the fuel tank, and lubricating moving parts, to keep your mower in top shape for the next mowing season.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I store my lawn mower outside during winter?
Yes, can store your lawn mower outside during winter as long as you take the necessary precautions to protect it from moisture, freezing temperatures, and pests.
Is it okay to leave a lawn mower out in the rain?
Leaving your lawn mower out in the rain without protection can lead to rust, corrosion, and engine damage. Always use a weatherproof cover or shelter to protect your mower from the elements.
How often should I clean my lawn mower?
Ideally, you should clean your lawn mower after each use. However, at a minimum, clean it before storing it for an extended period to prevent rust and corrosion.
Do I need to change the oil before storing my lawn mower?
It’s a good idea to change the oil before storing your mower for an extended period. Fresh oil helps prevent corrosion and engine damage.
Can I use a tarp to cover my lawn mower?
Yes, a tarp can be an effective temporary solution for covering your lawn mower. However, a specially designed weatherproof cover will provide better protection and fit more securely.