Winter is coming and that means that you are about to put away your leaf blowers and string trimmers but also prepare your winter gear like snowblowers, chainsaws, and generators. When I was younger I thought it was simply enough to empty the gas from these machines and store them away where it was dry. While that's is still important, over the years I've learned that the harsh winter conditions need more preparation than this to ensure that my machines are ready to fire up again in the spring.
Prepare Your Garage Space For Storing Your Gear
Without properly preparing your garage space, nothing else really matters. While some of you might already have climate-controlled spaces that are part of your home. Many of you will not. This ultimately is the first task to look at.
Seal windows, doors, and cracks in walls - You don't want cold weather and especially any extra moisture entering your garage. This can cause rust and corrosion to tools as well as power equipment. Additionally, by sealing any gaps in your garage it will ultimately allow you to prevent serious temperature fluctuations and maintain a steady environment.
Portable heaters and dehumidifiers - If your garage is already attached to the house, chances are you are all set. However, even in that case, adding a small portable heater can help reduce energy costs when you are working in the garage. Additionally, using a dehumidifier can help by reducing moisture and that will help reduce mold and bacteria from growing as well as reducing other damage to metal and electronics.
Storage racks and cabinets - If you are wanting to make your garage space more productive, nothing helps more than investing in some good racks, shelves, cabinets, and other storage systems to help you organize your space.
Tips to Ensure Your Power Equipment is Fall Ready:
Use a Fuel Stabilizer To Keep Your Equipment In Shape Over the Winter
With TruFuel you don't need to worry about draining the gas and you will ensure that they stay in good shape over the winter. Plus it will be easier to start them in the spring. This is much easier than mixing everything separately and their blend ensures that fuel will stay fresh for more than 2 years.
Clean Your Equipment Before Putting it Away
This might be obvious, but you want to ensure that your equipment is thoroughly cleaned before storing it for the fall.
Chainsaws: remove the sprocket cover and ensure that all wood chips and sawdust are removed. This is especially important for sawdust to be removed as over the winter it make cake should there be any moisture or oil that gets in there and that will make it much more difficult to remove in the spring.
Trimmers and Edgers: On your trimmer, make sure to remove any built-up grass that may have built-up over the summer. You should also remove the cutting line head and clean out any debris there as well.
Hedge Trimmers: Again, make sure to clean any debris from the blades and spray them with a lubricant to ensure that they don't rust over the winter.
Inspect the Equipment For Any Maintenance Issues
Before putting your equipment away, make sure to check for anything that might be loose or worn. This includes doing an inspection of the teeth in your chainsaw, blades on your trimmers, as well as hoses that might have become cracked or stiff due to age. You have all winter to make repairs so it's always best to plan for these things rather than rushing to do it in the spring. Even items like electric chainsaws should be inspected. Don't leave anything out.
Review the User Manual for Any Special Instructions
Each piece of equipment may have item-specific maintenance tips to follow before storing it for the fall. Don't assume that every item is the same. For instance, while portable generators might not have specified a need to be prepped for winter / cold weather use, a new one might. To eliminate accidental damage and ensure long life of your expensive gear, make sure to consult the manual to ensure you are able to keep it in tip-top condition!