Outdoor Garden Equipment Maintenance Tips
It’s annoying, isn’t it, having to worry about outdoor garden equipment, when you’ve enough to do indoors, keeping up with all the d.i.y. tasks that come your way. However, by taking a few simple steps you can do yourself a favor in the long run, especially during those winter months when the weather is at its worst.
1. Your Garden Hose
The first thing you’ll need to pay attention to is your garden hose. Before getting into those darkest, coldest winter months you should ensure that the faucet’s shutoff valve is turned off from indoors and that any remaining water has fully drained away. Then, take off the garden hose nozzle from the hose and store it indoors throughout the winter. The hose pipe should then be completely disconnected, drained of all liquid, and coiled into generous loops of roughly 2 feet in diameter. Make sure there is no kinking or pinching, and screw the two ends of the hose together so that no unraveling can occur, or dirt can get in. It should be okay to hang in your garage or garden shed, but make sure you use a suitable hanger; a nail may end up kinking the hose pipe in a particular place.
2. Lawn Mowers
Lawn mowers need to have their batteries removed before keeping them in a dry, cool place during hostile winter months. The battery cable should be disconnected from the battery (start with the negative cable, with the minus sign). The battery terminal can be coated with a battery terminal protector if you want to make doubly sure that it will be safe. Next, ensure that all debris is removed from the mower, after taking off the spark plug lead wire from the plug. It would be prudent to add some form of stabilizing fuel so that your fuel system doesn’t get clogged up; this stops varnish and gum from building up inside your engine’s fuel system. It also stops moisture from forming, which can lead to carburetor-damaging rust. Finally, never store your lawn mower near a water heater or furnace; always store it in a cool, dry place.
The first thing to ensure is that all water is gone from inside the sprinkler; this can be done using a home air compressor. Then, wrap it up in insulation tape, or some similar substance. You will need to make sure the controller is turned off; completely shut down if it is an automatic one. The key is to render it completely dry, inside and out, in order to prevent any valves from getting damaged.
Your garden shed is as valuable as having an extension added to your home; in some ways more so, because you can store all sorts of things in it that you would never store indoors. To protect it is therefore a top priority, and you can start to do that by checking for leaks and termites (assuming your shed is wooden), or for corrosion and rusk (if it’s metallic). Ensure that the roof’s tar paper is intact and that the flooring and window are sealed to prevent condensation. Next, you’ll need to prevent anything from leaning heavily against walls or being slumped on to the floor. The best way to do that is by making maximum use of an array of hooks and nails on your shed’s walls, even hanging things from your shed’s ceiling, through some strategically placed straps. If you have a bike or two, consider storing them vertically, in order to minimize contact with the floor. The golden rule is to avoid any form of dampness from forming on the floorboards.
5. Garden Storage
In terms of your garden furniture and other implements, your best policy is to treat them and, if possible, store them away. A specialist wood cleaner is ideal for wooden chairs and benches. Metal, likewise, can be cleaned with warm soapy water and suspicious spots can be sealed with metal paint; specialist wax can even be applied if you want. Rattan furniture can be vacuumed with a crevice attachment, then wiped down with a microfiber cloth. Plastic furniture can be washed with warm soapy water (add some bleach if it’s white plastic), but ensure you rinse thoroughly.
If your shed isn’t large enough and you don’t have a garage, consider storing some of it indoors, perhaps in a spare room. It’s a worthwhile activity if you consider how much you’d have to spend replacing it, enabling you to fully enjoy those more inviting spring and summer months in comfort and style.
Overall, keeping all of your garden’s equipment, furniture, and items dry is the name of the game. Extremes of temperature are one thing, but damp is another. Damp will lead to mold, corrosion, rust, and all manner of other evils – avoided it like the plague or Covid-19!