Winter Equipment Storage Tips
Spring has sprung! With warmer weather starting to emerge, your outdoor thoughts transition from snow blowing and shoveling to cookouts and mowing the lawn. Before you fire up the BBQ, you’ll need to put away your winter equipment properly, so you’ll be ready when cold weather returns next year. Here are some tips to put away your snow gear the right away and avoid problems next year.
Snowblower and Snowmobile Storage
First up are your motorized toys. Be it the snowblower, snowmobile or anything else with an engine, proper post-season preparation is the key to keeping your gear in top shape for years to come.
Since most winter equipment won’t be used again until next season, remove the gas from the tank using a siphon pump and return it to your gas can to be used for your mower and other summer yard equipment. If you’re not planning on using it for anything, add gasoline stabilizer to keep it fresh until next year. Either way, storing it in the can is the best choice.
Remove the spark plug, wrap it in a clean shop towel and keep it in a safe place like a plastic bag, so it won’t rust. While you have the plug out, pour a small amount of oil into the piston to help protect parts from corroding over the summer. Finally, plug the hole with a twisted up paper towel to keep debris out.
The final step when storing your motorized winter toys is to cover them. Doing so will keep them protected and clean while in storage. Many manufacturers make form-fitting covers, but even if they aren’t available, a simple tarp and some bungee cords can keep things protected until you’re ready to use them next year.
Shovels, Boots and Salt…Oh My!
With your big toys put away, there are still a lot of small things that you use each winter that should get their fair share of care. Things like snow shovels, your gloves, boots and even driveway salt should all be put away properly.
Shovels are simple to store. Just inspect them for damage and hang them up in the garage. If the bolts are rusted, replace them, or if the shovel itself it damaged, consider throwing it out and getting a new one. The end of the season is the best time to buy new gear, as it usually goes on sale.
Boots, gloves and hats can be stored away easily but will need a little more care than your shovel did. If you’re boots are leather, now is a great time to clean, waterproof and treat them to maintain their condition before you pack them away. If you’re storing your hats and gloves in the attic or garage, consider putting them in zipped plastic bags to keep them together and out of reach of mice.
Driveway salt and sand can be stored in a sealable five-gallon bucket. Remember to remove any spades or items you’ve used to dispense it, as they will corrode if left in the salt all summer. Keeping the bucket sealed up will keep out moisture that would otherwise turn it all into a solid block.
Warmer weather is a welcome relief from winter, but it’s also an important time to put away your winter equipment properly, so that it’s protected and ready for next year.
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Image courtesy of Flickr.