With winter just around the corner, it’s time to prepare your lawn tools and equipment for winter storage.
After a long summer and autumn season, one of the last tasks on most homeowners’ to-do lists is preparing their tools for winter storage. Adequately preparing them before putting them away is crucial, especially for your power tools. Furthermore, this usually involves cleaning your tools thoroughly, examining them for any damages, sharpening the blades and storing them in a dry place.
Leaving grass on your robot lawn mower blades, fuel in the tank or even debris over your lawn edger through the winter period can be a very costly mistake. Corrosion and fuel stagnation are two of the major outcomes of your tools’ insufficient preparation and storage. When electric and petrol-powered lawn tools are maintained, they will last you for many years.
If you are guilty of throwing your tools straight into the shed, take advantage of these easy tips for storing your tools during the winter.
Why do I need to store my tools over winter?
If you have ever owned a bicycle and have taken it for a ride in the spring, you may have gone out to find that the chains and spokes have rusted up or the brakes have seized in position. Winter weather can be very corrosive, even to your lawn tools.
Winter can cause significant damage to metal and plastic if not stored properly. The early morning mist, less sunlight and excessive rainfall all work against lawn tools being left out and not stored away.
Even by placing a plastic sheet over your tools to cover and protect them from the rain, plastic is no barrier to moisture. Arguably, plastic sheeting can trap moisture inside your tools, producing stress-induced electrical and mechanical malfunctions. So here are five tips to prepare your garden tools for winter storage.
Sharpen or replace blades
By maintaining your tools before you store them away, you will have peace of mind knowing that everything has been attended to when the new season begins.
Establishing if any of your lawn tools requires repairing, sharpening or replacing can ensure that you get the most out of every task and guarantees that you spend less time and effort on those pruning and cutting jobs. This would undoubtedly be the case for mower blades at the end of any season. You can easily sharpen hand tools yourself by using a sharpening stone or file. However, if you do not feel you are suitable enough to do it yourself, you can leave the sharpening to a professional.
Upgrade to new tools
Garden tools can get exhausted over time. If any of your tools are beyond repair, the best thing for you to do is update them with new ones. There is nothing more exciting than learning a new technology that can make your maintenance schedules so much more efficient, like a robot lawn mower.
Taking care of your power equipment can help ensure that they will still be able to run next spring successfully.
For any petrol-powered tools such as your lawn edger, empty any remaining fuel and store it in a fuel can. Fuel and oil that has been left in your lawn tools over winter can convert into a contaminated substance due to sediment and rust appearing on your tools over the season. In addition, it can result in poor performance and can produce a heightened risk of engine damage.
If you own battery-powered tools, ensure that before storing them away, you remove the batteries. Store these batteries at room temperature and leave them charged at about 80% as a simple precaution to help extend the life of the batteries.
Clean your tools
Sustaining a good habit of cleaning your tools after each use can mean that cleaning at the end of each season will not need much extra effort. Although, you will have to do a bit more of a thorough job.
First, you can start by removing any dirt with a damp cloth or a stiff brush. If the residue is difficult to remove, a solution of warm water and a neutral detergent should do the trick. Then, to safely wash away the dirt with minimal effort, you can use a pressure washer.
The worst enemy of your lawn tools during winter storage is rust. Lubricating your tools with oil is an efficient way to protect the metal parts of your tools against corrosion. There are specific oil tools that you can utilise. However, a household oil or petroleum jelly will work just as well.
For the winter break, wooden handles of tools can be greased with linseed oil to protect the wood from rotting and drying out. To get rid of any rust spots, they can be sanded away with steel wool or fine sandpaper.
Where to store lawn tools over winter
The best spot to store your leaf blowers and the rest of your lawn tools over the winter will depend significantly on your available space. A garage is usually the best place as it presents a very safe place to keep your tools. Preferably, you want to store your tools away in an area with reasonable insulation to protect them from moisture and frigid weather.
A shed is also a good option if you do not have a garage. Moisture may be a common problem in sheds, so investing in a dehumidifier can help preserve your tools.
If you do not have an enclosed space to store your tools, a good alternative is to use a water-impermeable and breathable material such as canvas or water-proofed cotton to cover them. Placing your lawnmower on a few house bricks that you may have lying around can keep it from sitting in puddles.
Now it’s Your Turn to Get Winter Ready!
Prepare early and get a head start as the winter season approaches, don’t let the gloomy winter weather damage your lawn equipment! From leaf blowers lawn edgers to robot lawn mowers, keep your equipment maintained and away in a safe spot so that you can easily get back to garden work when spring comes.