Old man winter is right around the corner, and the kids will be playing in the snow before you know it. Now is the perfect time to winterize your lawn equipment. This includes your lawnmower, weed whacker, leaf blowers, edgers, shears, and any other tools you have used over the spring and summer. At Custom Personalized Lawn Care, we know that end of season maintenance helps to extend the life of your equipment and tools. Here are a few rules that will make your life easier and your tools last longer.
Let’s face it, there is probably no other lawn equipment used more than the lawnmower. A properly maintained and well-kept lawn mower will last between eight and ten years, maybe even more. The perfect time to inspect, clean, maintain, and winterize your lawnmower is after the first frost or during late fall. In other words, the perfect time is right now. So, how exactly do you winterize your lawnmower? We’ve outlined the steps for you below.
After your final cut of the year, run your mower until the tank is dry. Leftover fuel can cause clogs, corrosion, frozen lines, and various other problems. If you just filled your tank recently and don’t want to waste the gas, you can use a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers will keep the gas fresh until the spring. They can be found at most hardware and home stores. After adding the stabilizer, run the engine for at least five minutes to be sure it gets into the carburetor.
First, be sure to disconnect your spark plug wire, then carefully remove the blade. Second, check the blade for any cracks. To diffuse a dangerous situation next spring, replace any damaged blades. Lastly, sharpen the blade by removing equal amounts of metal from each side.
Keeping the deck clean helps to ensure maximum performance throughout the season. Before winter, it’s even more important because it prevents trapped moisture from causing rust or erosion. To clean the deck, scrape with a brush and putty knife. This will ensure all grass clippings are removed. Once clean, rinse with water.
You do not want to allow the oil to sit in your lawnmower over winter. It contains moisture and acids that could harm your engine parts. Therefore, before storing your lawnmower for winter, you want to drain and replace the oil for use in the spring.
You will want to clean and inspect the air filter. If your engine uses a paper filter, replace it with a new one. Foam filters can be cleaned with soap and water. Damaged and extremely dirty filters should be replaced.
This includes checking to ensure your spark plugs and belts are working properly. Tighten any belts that need tightened and replace any that look worn or cracked.
Because lawn and tree disease spread through the use of contaminated equipment, it’s important to clean and disinfect all your tools regularly. The best way to do this is to make it part of your winterizing routine. Cleaning off the soil, sap, and grass clippings will also help keep your tools functioning properly and efficiently.
First, use a scrubbing brush and a mixture of one tbsp dish detergent in a gallon bucket of warm water to clean blades. When sufficiently cleaned, rinse them off. Next, you will need to disinfect to ensure all remnants of insects and diseases are thoroughly eliminated. For this, household disinfectants such as isopropyl alcohol and chlorine bleach can be used.
Once your tools are clean, help prevent them from rusting by drying them thoroughly. Use steel wool or emery cloth to rub off any newly formed rust spots.
Finally, it’s time to get out your winter lawn equipment. Prepare for our cold Michigan winter by breaking out the snowblower, shovels, and salt before it happens. Make sure your snowblower is ready and give it a test run to ensure it’s working properly. Put everything in an easy to access spot in your yard or shed.
For all your lawn care needs, why not give the professionals at Custom Personalized Lawn Care a call. We offer everything from lawn care packages that include fertilization and weed control to aeration. We also can help eliminate pests such as mosquitoes, spiders, fleas and ticks, and grubs. Give us a call at 1-800-570-3313 or contact us here. For more tips and ideas, including the creepiest spiders living in Michigan, check out our blog.
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