The wintertime can be a harsh and unforgiving season for your lawn and gardening equipment, even when not in use. Temperature variations above and below freezing and increased moisture can spell big trouble for your equipment if they’re not prepared for winter or stored well. Before we get the first real snow of this winter be sure to protect your equipment with the following steps!
Rust will eat away at any of your metal equipment. Your wheelbarrow, wagon, trailer, mower, and other tools and equipment are all susceptible to rust! When your equipment sits over it will be subjected to freeze/thaw cycles. These cycles mean condensation can build and moisture can accumulate in the oddest places. This will lead to your equipment possibly decaying too quickly. What we need to do is arrest the chemical process of rust and protect the metal for the future. I’ve been doing this for years with my wheelbarrow and snow blower and it’s worked great. Fortunately there are some simple steps you can take to protect your equipment.
Here are a few simple steps to protect your equipment investment!
- Remove the rust. You can see the tell-tale bubbles in the paint on my trailer below. Those bubbles mean one thing: rust. Under those bubbles the metal is being eaten away by rust which will destroy the metal if not dealt with. So use a hand wire brush, scraper, or even a drill mounted wire brush to get rid of the coating and get to bare metal. This step takes the most work but the extra effort is worth it.
- Use a rust conditioner. We recommend Krud Kutter’s “Must for Rust” not only because it works awesome but because you can paint afterward without having to neutralize the conditioner as is the case with other products. Just make sure to use this outdoors as it causes a chemical reaction that create a pretty unique odor.
- Prime the metal with Rustoleum Stops Rust primer. Many products claim to prime and paint in one, but you’re always safest going over raw metal with a primer first.
- Paint with a glossy metal paint. The high gloss will add to the resiliency of the finish.
Scroll through the photos below (hover over photo and click right/left) to see the steps on the wheelbarrow and the green trailer. Years ago I secured a ½” piece of plywood in the bottom of the trailer bed to protect it – which has worked awesome. Make sure you remove the wood annually and check for rust underneath the wood. I’ve had this setup for several years and only a experienced a small amount of rust built up.
Make sure you check your equipment now before winter sets in. Do you have bubbled paint with rust brewing underneath? Do you have rust spots showing? It doesn’t have to be a huge project to make a huge difference. A quick spray of Krud Kutter’s “Must For Rust” and a coat of Rustoleum “Stops Rust” paint will add significant time to the life of your equipment. Protect it now and come spring you’ll be glad you did.
Save Your Fuel
Make sure any small engines have their gas treated with Startron enzyme fuel treatment. From Starton themselves the benefits of using a fuel treatment include:
- Protect Engines Against Ethanol Triple Antioxidant.
- Dual corrosion inhibitors guard metal engine parts against corrosion.
- Metal De-Activator stops chemical reactions caused by dissolved metals in fuel.
- Detergent ingredients prevent gum and varnish build-up on engine parts.
- Water Protection inhibitors protect against the harmful effects of water in fuel due to ethanol.
Stop the Critters
Mice have this nasty habit of setting up shop under the hood of vehicles, but that’s not the only place they like to set up! Mice love warm little compartments with wires to chew on and insulation near by to rip apart and stuff into small crevices. These rodents can be particularly harmful if they chew through any major wiring. They also make it messy inside the chassis of your machine. By chewing the wrong wire of clogging up major vents they could damage your machine, cause it to set on fire, or just plain kill it.
To keep rodents from nesting in engines, add a couple packets of Mouse Magic repellant each month through the winter. These are non-lethal packets designed to discourage rodents from entering a particular area. Use a couple on each machine and if you can remember to take it out in the spring go ahead and place one on the engine itself. Of course, feel free to employ all the standard methods of rodent controls like cats and traps!
There are a lot of things the winter can do to damage your equipment, but Koopman Lumber makes it easy to get everything you need to prepare for the winter. If you have any questions or need to get your last minute winter prep together reach out to us online at http://koopmanlumber.com or head over to your local Koopman location and talk to any one of our highly knowledgable employees. Here’s to a great winter!