Storing Summer Toys
How to Winterize Your Summer Toys
No matter how old you are, it’s hard to put your favorite summer playthings away. Just remember: You’ll get maximum life out of your boats, patio furniture, bikes and more if you keep them in tip-top condition, which includes giving them the proper care, attention and protection before the first snowflake flies. If you love them, treat them right, and they’ll be ready and waiting as soon as spring hits. Here’s how.
Fully inflate the tires, to prevent rubber deterioration. Scrub the frame with a soft-bristle brush, then wipe it, as well as the seat and handlebars, with a soft rag. Wipe any exposed gear or brake cables with a little lubricating oil. Clean and lubricate your chain. Make or schedule any necessary repairs. Store properly.
To winterize gas-powered lawn equipment such as leaf blowers, lawn edgers and weed trimmers, clean the machine, drain the fuel, and then run it until it stops. Remove the spark plug and pour a little two-cycle oil into the port. Pull the starter cord a few times, then replace it. Check the line on your weed whacker, and replace, if need be. Check the air and fuel filters, replacing when necessary. Lubricate any moving parts, then store.
Change the oil. Check the air and fuel filters, and replace if necessary. Remove the spark plug, pour a little oil into its port, then replace it. If the manufacturer recommends you drain the engine, do so. To make sure it’s empty, run it until it stops. Otherwise, add fuel stabilizer to the tank, then run the engine for a few minutes to distribute it to the carburetor. Clean the mower and lubricate any moving parts. Remove and sharpen the blade before storing.
Turn off the propane valve, unhook the tank and store separately. Turn on one of the burners to release any trapped gas. Clean the grill, inside and out, including grates, grease trap and any other components unique to your grill. Make any repairs or part replacements before storing.
Harsh weather can degrade even the most durable outdoor furniture—wood wears, metals rust, plastics turn brittle. Protect your furniture to extend its life. First, clean it. Shake out all cushions well. Make repairs and paint touch-ups and apply sealants before storing.
There’s a lot to winterizing a motorboat, but there’s also a lot at stake. Since damage could run you into the thousands, it’s well worth it to pay someone else a couple hundred dollars to winterize, or to do it yourself. If you go the DIY route, check with the boat’s manufacturer for recommended winterization tasks, and set aside plenty of time to complete them before storing.
Fill the gas tank, drain the carburetors and fuel lines, and add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. Change the oil and filter, oil all your cylinders, and remove the battery and store it separately. Wash and wax your motorcycle, then spray the frame, engine and muffler ends with a little WD-40. Check all fluids. Inflate both tires. Moisture-proof each muffler by plugging it with a plastic bag and covering it with one, too. Store.
A little extra care now, plus protection from winter weather, and all of your outdoor gear will be as ready as you are for the first, long-awaited signs of spring.
Consider a small storage unit to protect your outdoor favorites over the winter! Contact EZ Storage to learn about your options.