How to winterize your walk-behind lawn mower

“You want to make sure that neither the underside of your deck nor your blade stays exposed to moisture all winter,” says Misha Kollontai, who leads lawn mower testing for Consumer Reports. “This can lead to corrosion and degrade future performance. “

Because you will be working around the mower blade, as a safety measure, disconnect the spark plug wire on gasoline models and remove the battery on battery powered models. Then turn the mower on its side; with gas models, make sure the air filter is facing up.

A blow under the bridge with the garden hose or pressure washer may be enough to remove the cuts, especially if they are fresh. For dried cuts, try a plastic paint scraper or an old bristle scrubber; wear heavy work gloves to protect your hands from the blade. If you have a silicone spray handy, spray it below the deck to prevent future build-up.

Store the mower in a dry place. When storing your mower, try placing a container of mothballs near the deck to prevent mice and other rodents from nesting in the dormant machine. (Mice are known to chew on spark plug wires, fuel hoses, and even pull cords.) Better yet, make your garage or storage area inhospitable to rodents, advises Kollontai.

“Keep spaces tidy, reduce clutter, make sure all food is tightly sealed and inaccessible, and make sure leaves and other organic debris don’t build up around structure walls,” he says. he. This build-up, he explains, can become a transition point: a covered area where pests can stay near walls and find or create an entrance.

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