Storage space has become a priority with increased home and lawn care materials. Some people are fortunate enough to store a lawn mower in a garage or shed, but some need to store them outside.
You can store a lawn mower outside by covering it with a tarp, keeping it under a deck or porch, hanging it from the rafters or mounting it in the wall, making a shed outside, or keeping it in the basement. Avoid keeping them in open areas, as severe snow can cause trouble.
If you are in a place where you have to store the lawn mower outdoors, you should make a few preparations. This guide will explore the factors to consider before storing and some best ways to store the mower outside without any damage.
Why is storing a lawn mower safely important?
Before storing the lawn mower, you should understand the importance of storing it outside correctly.
Incorrect lawn mower storage will damage and shorten its shelf life.
The harsh outside weather, like heavy rains, snowfall, and wind, will damage the lawn mower without proper protection.
Only a few mower parts are metal, and others are delicate materials.
So, the storage place must not contain moisture, pests, and other elements capable of damage.
Lastly, improper storing can lead to mower theft. If you store it carelessly, stealing would be easier.
Factors to consider while storing a lawn mower outside
Before you store a mower outside, you consider a few factors:
- The type of lawn mower
- The outside weather
- storage time length
Type of lawn mower
Generally, there are 3 types of mowers according to the power source:
In this mower, concentrate on the fuel.
It will break down after 30 days of buying if kept unused.
Some mowers use propane gas tanks.
If you store mowers outside, do not expose them to temperatures above 120°F.
The fuel can leak and undergo combustion.
If you expose them outside, remove the tank and keep it away from heat sources.
For these mowers, the power cable connection is the crucial area.
The part should stay dry.
Protect them from rain and other moisture sources.
If you store these mowers outside, do not leave the battery out.
Please remove the battery from the mower and store it in a safe and dry place indoors.
The best place for these mowers would be a dry environment, away from heat sources.
The outside temperature
Outdoor storage is unsuitable for all weather conditions.
Climatic conditions with extremely hot temperatures, rains, and snowfall are not ideal for mowers.
For example, the midwest USA experiences 4 seasons at the extreme levels – triple-digit summers, subzero winters with snow, heavy rains, and occasional tornadoes.
So, protect the mower well or reconsider outdoor storage.
Time length of storage
The location is a very important factor to consider.
It is determined by how long you plan to store it.
If you want to store the mower for a short term, like for a week, you can store the mower outside safely.
For short-term storage, you can use the following options for storage:
- Tarp or waterproof cover
- Plastic storage box
- Commercial mower storage box
- Popup ten
For long-term or seasonal storage, safely store the mower for the next season, especially during winter, with the following steps.
- Drain the unused gas.
- Remove and clean the spark plugs.
- Remove the blades and store them in a dry place.
- Empty the oil tank.
- Remove the dirt and grass from the undercarriage with a pressure washer.
If you want to leave the gas in the mower, use a stabilizer and keep the mower upright to avoid spilling.
Run the mower for 5-10 minutes after using the stabilizer, and then shut it down.
After cleanup, use fresh gas and oil in the fuel and oil tanks.
Once you have done all these, store your mower using short-term storage methods.
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How to store the lawn mower outside?
Many people struggle to find an ideal place to store the lawn mower outside the house.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to store a mower outside safely. Here are some of them:
1. Garage or garden shed
It is one of the easiest and best options to store a lawn mower.
A garage or shed will provide a perfect and secure atmosphere for the mower.
No outdoor elements will reach your mower.
The garage or garden shed will keep your mower dry and snow or moisture at bay year-round.
A garage or garden shed will give your mower an indoor environment and protect it from extreme temperatures and strong winds.
The only problem is that the mower can take up maximum space in your garage or shed.
In that case, be creative in arranging the things or make the place bigger.
Some people will keep the mower vertically to manage space.
But I would not recommend such a thing unless your mower is vertically designed.
If you do not have a garage or shed facility, try the other options below.
2. Cover or tarp
One of the easiest ways to store a lawn mower outside is by covering it with a mower cover.
The cover will protect the mower from outside elements and prevent them from degrading the oil or fuel.
You do not have to worry about rust, tree sap, rain, or pests.
Buying a cover to store the mower outside is a low-cost investment that gives you a full guarantee of the machine’s safety.
You can do the same thing using a tarp or canvas.
If you have an old tarp or canvas, repurpose it by making a cover for your mower.
A tarp with the mower’s size will fully cover your lawn mower and keep it safe.
You can also attach some DIY bottle top grommets on the tarp to protect the mower during harsh circumstances.
3. Shed or storage unit
Make a shed or storage unit yourself if you do not have one.
You can make one within 1-2 days with a minimal budget.
- 12 old wood pallets
- Steel fence posts or T-bar, rebar, or angle iron
- 2×4 roofing timber
- Corrugated roof sheets
- Screws, nails, and wires
- Burlap, tarp, or PVC sheets
To make the shed:
- Measure the shed floor plan on the soil’s patch level, hammer the fence posts in the ground, and slide the pallets over the post. Tie and secure them with a wire.
- Cut the roof trusses properly and screw them on the pallets’ tops. Screw the corrugated roof sheets.
- Staple the burlap, tarp, or PVC sheeting on the interior walls to prevent dust and protect the mower from rain and outside elements.
- Stretch the tarp across the doorway.
- Splash gravel on the shed floor to keep the mower’s tired dry.
Another kind of shed is a three-walled wooden shed on castor wheels with a roof.
Generally, this type of shed is used for motorcycle storage, but you can use it as a storage unit for lawn mowers.
- Make a frame and a wall with pallet wood and 2×2 lumber.
- Use weatherproof wood pieces, polycarbonate sheets, or plastic for the roof.
- The castor wheels at the base will allow you to move the shed away from the wall.
You can use plastic resin sheds to increase the shed’s durability and aesthetic look.
Instead of putting in so much effort, you can buy a storage shed if you have the budget and do not have the time and skill to make one.
Storage sheds have different shapes and sizes.
Some mowers are designed horizontally, and some vertically.
Before you buy one, check the design of the storage container and then buy them.
The options below include both designs:
- KINYING Outdoor Storage Shed – Horizontal Storage Box Waterproof for Garden, Patios, and Backyards, Multi-Opening Door for Easy Storage of Bike, Garbage Cans, Tools, Lawn Mower, Off-White, 26 Cubic Feet
- Rubbermaid Vertical Resin Weather Resistant Outdoor Storage Shed, 2×2.5 ft., Olive and Sandstone, for Garden/Backyard/Home/Pool
- Rubbermaid Large Plastic Vertical Resin Weather Resistant Storage Shed, 5 x 6 Ft., Sandstone, for Garden/Backyard/Home/Pool/Bikes/Lawn Mowers
- Lifetime 60326 Vertical Storage Shed, Pack of 1, Desert Sand
4. Under the deck or porch
Storing a mower under a deck or porch with enough space is a good way to protect it from outside elements outside.
It will also simplify access to the mower whenever you need it.
While storing the mower under the deck or porch, make sure that there is enough space and secure the mower to something to prevent it from moving.
Keep the area clean to avoid debris from getting stuck into it.
It would be better if the deck or porch had side walls.
They will prevent rain and wind from reaching the mower.
Additionally, it can keep your mower out of sight and make your house look clean.
5. Carport or awning
Use an exterior garage wall to make a lean-to-carport for your mower.
You need timber, roof sheeting, a tarp, and hardware tools.
- Make a 4×4 frame with beams for the upright to make a straight fence post.
- Anchor the post beams well on the ground with no-dig steel post anchors to accommodate the timer beams.
- Support the 2×4 roof trusses with a corrugated steel roof, and use a tarp to make a door.
If you already have a carport, awning, or gazebo, keep the mower underneath them.
Use a tarp to cover the mower, even if your carport or awning contains a roof.
Make sure to give the mower enough airflow while covering.
6. Outdoor cabinet or locker
An outdoor locker or cabinet is a perfect option for mower storage.
The locker will be compact and easy to make without any complicated steps.
You can use the same steps used in making the shed.
The best thing about this locker is its spaciousness despite being low in height.
You can keep the mower inside and lock the cabinet. It will prevent theft.
A locker or cabinet gives you a quick-access equipment opportunity for daily gardening tasks.
7. Hanging from the rafters or wall mounted
The hanging option is good for small, lightweight electric mowers.
If you have a separate location outside, like a garage or shed, install rafters and hang the mower from it.
You may also install wall-mounted hangers to hang the mower.
Use the electric mower’s handle to hang it once you have mounted the 2 powder-coated steel hooks on the shed or garage wall.
Release the machine’s handle from the position of the operation and lie it 180 degrees flat, in line with its wheels.
Lift the handle onto the hooks.
8. Rolling cart or wheeled base
You can use a rolling cart or wheeled base to keep your mower outside.
Using these materials will give the mower a place to stay and help you move the mower from one place to another without effort.
Rolling carts or wheeled base tables are good for lightweight mowers.
You can pick the mower, keep it on the cart, and take it to a safe position.
However, only a rolling cart or a wheeled base will not help.
Cover your mower to prevent damage from the outdoor elements.
If you do not have a garage or shed, the basement is a good option if you have enough space.
The basement will allow your mower to have enough space and protect it from moisture and pests.
Keep the lawn mower at a location where the chances of flooding are less.
Additionally, the basement should be well-ventilated to avoid humid conditions.
Keep your basement free from clutter to easily access the mower when necessary.
Though the basement is a good option, there is a demerit.
It is good for basic push models or smaller electric mowers.
If you have a large gas or battery mower, taking it down to the basement is challenging.
If you have a gas mower, drain the excess gas to avoid leakage before taking it to the basement.
10. Yard tent
Any yard tent will help in storing the lawn mower safely outside.
It would make a good home for your mower.
A tent will protect a mower during harsh or extreme weather conditions. You can set it up without any tools.
A good option is YardStash Bike Storage Tent, a Lightweight, Outdoor, Portable Shed Cover for Bikes, Lawn Mower, Garden Tools for Waterproof, Durable Tarp to Protect from Rain & Wind, and Spring Cleaning Essentials.
The tent is 74″ long, 32″ wide, and 68″ high.
It is strong due to an industrial-grade vinyl roof, good stitches, and a zipper.
The groundsheet will prevent condensation and insects from entering the ten.
If you have large mowers or trackers, large tent sheds are preferable.
ShelterLogic 10′ x 20′ x 8′ All-Steel Metal Frame Peak Style Roof Instant Garage and AutoShelter with Waterproof and UV-Treated Ripstop Cover will work as a garage and protect your mower from the UV rays of the sun.
Its tough polyethylene material, ratchet tarp securing system, door system, and patented stabilization system ensures full protection of your lawn mower outside.
11. Horizontal storage platform or dolly
The horizontal platform or dolly protects the mower deck when not in use.
You can detach the mower deck from the main machine and store it with the help of a dolly.
To detach the mower:
- Stop the mower engine and lower the cut lever.
- Remove the cotter pin from the front rod and deck bracket.
- Lower the deck’s front to the ground, lift the deck and hanger brackets, and lower the deck rear to the ground.
- Slide the deck carefully at the machine’s back to remove the belt.
- Slide the deck out.
Clean the deck and the cutting blades.
Position the deck over the dolly, attach some screws to hold it, and store it somewhere safe.
The method will keep your deck in good shape and long-lasting so you can use it in the next season.
It would be better for the dolly to have wheels to move it easily instead of lifting it.
Other tips to keep the lawn mower safe outside
This section will explore a few tips to keep the lawn mower safe while storing outside:
- Keep your mower out of direct sunlight. It can damage the plastic parts of the machine, make the surface brittle, and fade the color.
- Keep your mower in an elevated area to ensure it does not immerse in water during heavy rains. Do not allow moisture to enter the mower during storage.
- Paint and plastic covers provide the mower with a protective layer. So, repair them the moment you find them to be chipped off.
- Even if you protect the mower from moisture, it will enter your machine and rust the metal parts. So, use rust preventive liquid in the blades after every mowing session.
- Clean your air filters regularly for adequate ventilation.
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- Should You Use Premium Gas In Your Lawn Mower?
The type of mower will highly affect the storage location. Besides this, other factors include the weather conditions and how long you plan to store it. A common option for storing the mower is a garage or garden shed.
But if you do not have one, other options include covering with a tarp, a shed or storage unit, under a deck or porch, a carport, a gazebo, an awning, a basement, a yard tent, and a cabinet locker.
If your mower is lightweight, you can hang them by installing a rafter or wall-mounted hooks. Whichever option you choose to store the lawn mower, you should follow the tips to keep the mower in good shape for years.
Should I winterize my lawn mower for storage?
If you belong to areas where the grass becomes dormant in the winter, you should store the mower. You can winterize the mower before putting it away to lengthen its lifespan.
How do I winterize lawn mowers?
In gas mowers, use a fuel stabilizer, run it for some minute, empty the tanks, remove the spark plugs, change the filters, and keep it away. In electric mowers, remove the cord and store it in a dry place. For battery mowers, remove the battery, clean it with a dry cloth, charge it for the next usage, and keep it in a safe and dry place.
How can I protect the lawn mower outside from pests and rodents?
Since you will store it outside, pests and rodents will be a problem even if you cover it well. Use deterrents regularly and keep traps to keep them away.