There is always that time of every year when you must store away your snowblower. When winter finally ends, when the snow has finally melted away, and when the leaves start to turn green, it means your snowblower is not needed and should be stored for the next winter. You must apply the proper storage technique to keep your snowblower working efficiently for the next snow season. If your equipment is not properly stored, the internal components of your blower may fail which could result in poor engine performance. It can cause the snowblower to stop working entirely. To many people, storing a snowblower might seem easy and straightforward, but when you are faced with the type of gas engine it has, then questions like “can snowblowers be stored outside?” come into the equation. The simple answer to this is yes. You can store your snowblower outdoors by making sure it is well elevated and has no contact with the ground, and blocking the snow thrower as well as the entire unit with a heavy tarpaulin.
Can Snowblowers Be Stored Outside?
Yes, you can store a snowblower outside, but you need to protect it the right way. Keeping your snowblower properly stored throughout the year will not only extend its lifespan but will also keep up its performance. Important for outside storage is the spot you use, and the way you cover the snowblower.
Effective storage usually depends on the kind of weather you have at the time, and whether or not you have a proper cover for your snowblower equipment itself. Do not forget that your snowblower is just like every other piece of equipment that you would use to take care of your surrounding. Just like any other equipment, they require a proper amount of care and maintenance to function at their peak. In the rest of this article, you will get to know how to properly prepare your snowblower for storage and how it can be stored outside.
How to Prepare Your Snowblower for Storage
After enjoying a great performance from your snowblower all through the winter, it is time to reciprocate- this can only be done by properly storing away your snowblower for the summer. It is safe to assume that you are pretty excited about the warm weather that summer brings, the somber vacations, the beach, thin dresses, and more. However, amid all of the excitement, do not just throw your snowblower outside and forget totally about it. Also, do not make that error of just shoving the snmowblower in one corner of your house and forgetting it there. You must make sure your machine is properly prepared for off-season storage. The following are some things that you should do before storing your snowblower away for the season:
- Maintenance check: Carry out one final overall maintenance check, replacing damaged or faulty parts where necessary.
- Hand-wash, clean, and dry off the exterior of the equipment as well as the engine to prevent corrosion and damage.
- Touch up rust: Make sure you touch up all the rusted or chipped paint surfaces, after lightly sanding them.
- Rust prevention: Make use of a rust preventive to cover bare metal parts such as the auger housing and the impeller. If you will be storing the tool in an unventilated area, use light oil or silicone.
- Secure handles: For those models with folding handles, make sure you loosen the knobs that secure the upper handle and rotate it.
For gasoline-powered snowblowers, the following should be done before storing the in summer storage:
- Fuel: Make sure you prepare the fuel system for storage by emptying or draining out the fuel or oil. This will prevent gum deposits from forming in the tank, air filter, hose, and/or carburetor during storage. The storage care for every snowblower model can vary, depending on the manufacturers, so you should follow the instructions for your specific model. Some may recommend running the equipment until the fuel tank, fuel lines, and the carburetor is empty, while others will tell you to run the unit using fuel mixed with fuel stabilizer. Either way, the same result will most likely be achieved.
- Fuel stabilizer: When storing a snowblower that has a fuel-stabilizer mix in the fuel tank, make sure you keep it in an area where fumes will not come into contact with flame to prevent any accident.
- Remove the Spark Plug. This is often a matter of preference or choice. If you would not want to replace or clean off your spark plug when winter comes, then you can take it out and store it in a sealed bag so that it stays clean through the summer.
- Wrap it: You can decide to wrap it back up. Normally, when you purchase a new snowblower, it often comes with a canvas bag or casing which is supposed to be used to wrap it during non-use periods. By wrapping your snowblower up, you will keep it clean and safe from dust and other foreign objects that can cause damage.
How to Store a Snowblower Outside
1. Clean Off Salt and Debris
It is very important to clean and dry off your snowblower before storing it away. To do this, hand wash the exterior of the machine with a mild soap, focusing more on areas where salt and debris collect. Then spray down the machine using a low-pressure hose to clean off all the dirt. Allow the equipment to dry in the sun, making sure all the accessible parts are also dried, then you can proceed to store it. However, do not keep the snowblower in the sun for too long (nothing more than 2 to 3 hours). Once you have cleaned and dried the snowblower, you may decide to touch up areas with chipped paint or rust. Lightly sand the surface and apply a thin coat of automotive paint.
2. Protect the Metal with a Rust Preventative or Lubricant
As you know, snowblowers are not water-resistant, so it is critical to protect all the visible components of this unit by lubricating them from time to time. A lubricant or rust preventative will prevent moisture from directly coming into contact with the metal, making sure all the moving parts remain functional. To achieve even better results, remove the bottom cover and focus your lubrication on the following critical areas, using a thin layer of lubricant.
- The gears
- Hex shaft
- Auger shaft
- Axle shaft
- Pinion shaft
3. Protect the Machine by Using a Snowblower Cover
Instead of using the cover that comes with the machine, we recommend that you purchase a snowblower cover specific to that particular model. Another material you can use to cover the machine is a tarp; it is also quite effective since you want to protect your equipment from moisture, debris and pest. Before finally putting on the cover, you should fold the handles back- that is if your model allows you to do so.
4. Find an Appropriate Storage Spot Outdoor
The best place to store your snowblower is indoors, away from dust and particles. However, if you do not have enough space inside or you need to store the equipment outside, then it must be lifted off the ground and completely covered. Also, make sure you never store your snowblower close to an open flame or pilot light, like those on a gas dryer.
5. Consider a Storage Unit
It is always a wise option to store your snowblower in a clean, dry, and flame-free area, so you might want to consider keeping it in a storage unit, especially if you don’t have a garage. There are different snowblower outdoor storage ideas, using a self-storage unit should be also be considered. You will be surprised at how affordable, accessible, and safe self-storage units are. These units come in different designs and sizes, so you can easily select a unit based on your preference and best suits your purposes without having to pay for unused space. When you have a garage, chances are, you will always have to deal with keeping the garage clean and clear. However, with a self-storage unit, you can easily choose a space outside your home that is safe and easy to access to keep your snowblower. One of the important steps to take when searching for a storage unit to store your snowblower is to consider the size. Snowblowers come in different sizes, so you have to choose a unit that can fit your equipment without any issues
6. Consider a Mini Shed/Container
If you want to store your snowblower somewhere other than a garage or storage unit, you may be lucky enough to get away with a container or mini shed big enough to house your snowblower. You may need to spend some hundred of dollars to achieve this though.
The bottom line of this article is that keeping your snowblower properly stored away throughout the year will not only extend its lifespan, it will also keep up its performance. So you can do yourself a huge favor by lobbing into some outdoor snowblower storage ideas that you can utilize efficiently for a long time. As always, we hope that this article has been enlightening and helpful in helping you take good care of your equipment. Good luck!