(NC) As the weather cools and homeowners begin to begrudgingly pack away their tools and equipment from the summer, it's common for tools to get piled haphazardly and forgotten. The result of this approach is often a garage or shed that looks like an abandoned storage locker.
If stored this way, when it's time to start the engines the following season homeowners may find their tools in permanent hibernation. The best tool maintenance requires a little servicing before storage, not after.
“It is not uncommon for people to forget to service their tools,” says Michelle Sordi, director of marketing at Husqvarna Canada, a leader in outdoor power products. “Spending some time preparing your tools for storage is an important step towards ensuring power tools will operate effectively the following season.”
These tips from the pros will ensure a hassle-free start next year:
• Fresh and clean: The moisture left by cut grass is very corrosive, so it is important to clean gardening tools and mowers, especially before storage. Look for mowers with a water hose connector, allowing for easy cleaning of the cutting deck.
• Drain the fuel: Gasoline left in fuel tanks over the winter will break down; leaving deposits and build-up that will plug the fuel system. Before you pack power equipment away, make sure you drain any leftover fuel.
• In tune: For the best performance results and a longer life for your tools, give them the deluxe service treatment by taking them to a skilled dealer (like Husqvarna) for an annual tune up.
• Oil it up: Use an oiled cloth to wipe down metal areas and add a couple of drops of machine oil to moving parts.
• Cover up: Store your lawn equipment indoors, if possible. If it is left outside, protect your equipment in a tool shed or cover it with a tarp.
• Recharge the battery: Remember to fully recharge the machine's battery during the winter months.
• Soak the trimmer line: A professional trick is to remove your trimmer line and let it soak in fresh water to maintain its flexibility and ability to handle more strain