Lawnmowers have a tough life! They have to tackle rough terrains and patches of grass and cope with too much abuse, and sometimes it is intentional—like being stored outside without a shed.
Finding a safe and cool resting place for your mower is essential. That is why learning how to store a lawn mower outside without a shed is important.
So, does your lawnmower spend its off-days outdoors or in your cluttered garage where you keep tripping over it?
Well, there are better storage solutions, and whether you need a prefabricated or bespoke DIY space, this article will shed some light.
How to Store a Lawn Mower Outside
Keeping your lawnmower outside without a shed is risky business. However, if this is your only storage option, you should consider keeping your mower under a tarp, waterproof cover, pop-up tents, or storage boxes in your doghouse. Each storage option is discussed in detail later in this article.
Can You Store a Lawn Mower Outside? Risks & Dangers
Yes. In fact, lawnmowers are designed for outdoor purposes; however, just like other equipment, storing them outside without a shed for an extended period can have several negative effects, including:
- Rusting of the metal parts due to exposure to air and water
- Damage to the components by the sun, snow, and rain
- Dysfunctional engine caused by water
- Dull and cracked blades
- Degradation of the plastic parts
- The spark plug can also get wet and lose the ability to power the battery and engine.
Lawn Mower Outside Storage Considerations
When storing a lawn mower outside in winter or leaving a lawn mower outside, consider the potential risks and take necessary precautions.
Type of Mower
Push lawn mower storage
The best place to store your push lawn mower is in a dry place such as a shed or garage to shield it from unfavorable weather.
If storing your mower outside is your only option, elevate the machine above the ground and cover it with a waterproof tarp.
Riding lawn mower storage ideas
You can use any ideal storage option to safely store your riding lawn mower and protect it from dust, UV rays, rain, snow and other weather elements.
Proper care ensures longevity and excellent performance when the mowing season sets in.
Zero turn mower storage ideas
Heavy-duty, top-tier lawnmowers like the zero-turn mower deserve an equally robust shed to protect them against the elements.
These days, zero-turn mowers are the professional go-to mowing option for most homeowners.
The perfect storage option for your zero-turn lawn mower will offer years of weatherproof protection and accommodate its dimensions. Ideally, a watertight shed will do you good.
Another important factor to consider when storing your mower outside without a shed.
Ideally, if you’re looking to store your lawn mower for a week or two before your lawn gets a cut, expect the storage process to be different from a mower owner looking to keep the equipment for extended periods.
Your location, weather conditions, and the effects of your weather elements
Lawnmowers are designed for the outdoors, particularly in the hot sun. But, unfortunately, over time, the sun does more harm than good and the plastic parts of the machine become brittle and lose color.
Rain is also bad news for your lawn mower. Even though the mower’s toughness helps it to endure moisture, consider giving it a break during the wet season because moisture can damage the mower.
During winter, it can prove difficult to mow your lawn because all the dirt and debris will likely find their way into your hose, clogging the machine.
Additionally, keeping your mower outside without a shed during winter can freeze the engine and other parts.
Ways to Safely Store Your Lawn Mower
If you’re looking to store your lawn mower outside, there are a few questions to ask before you get there:
- Do you want to store the mower for a short or long time?
- What type of lawn mower is it? Electric-powered, gas-powered, or battery-powered?
Let’s handle the first question in detail here.
Routine or short-term storage
When you store your lawn mower for a week or two before your lawn demands a cut, it means the storage is short-term or routine.
With such frequency, we expect your mower to be in good shape and fewer precautions are required since the engine is lubricated, the fuel is not degraded, and the internal components are completely dry.
As such, there are some lawnmower short-term storage options you can consider such as:
- Covering with a popup tent, tarp, or waterproof cover
- Placing under an eave or overhang
- Using a garden plastic storage box or commercial lawn mower storage box
- Placing it under a tree
- Anything you can use to store your lawn mower temporarily
Seasonal or long-term storage
Lawn mower long-term or seasonal storage means preparing for a winter break, and you’ll need to take proper maintenance precautions.
Here’s what to do:
- Drain the tank of unused gas if the mower is gas-powered. Leaving fuel in the tank for a long time can harm the machine. It’s a good idea to empty the oil too.
- Detach and clean the spark plug and keep your mower safe in a dry place. This step is important and prevents the unit from starting accidentally.
- Remove the blade (s) and store it in a dry, clean place. Wear protective gloves when handling this process.
- Clean the mower to eliminate grass, dirt, or debris clippings in the undercarriage. A pressure washer will come in handy for this. Remember that leftover grass or dirt can accelerate rusting during storage.
- If you want to leave oil or fuel in the lawn mower, ensure it stays upright to avoid spillage. Then, after the cleanup, fill the tanks with fresh oil or gas.
- Let the mower run for around 5-10 minutes after adding the gas stabilizer, after which you can shut it down.
- If you observe this, your lawn mowing unit will be intact and effective by the next mowing season.
Read also: How much gas does a lawn mower hold?
Storing a Lawn Mower Outside in Winter
Yes, lawnmowers are designed for outdoor purposes, but leaving them outside in winter is a NO! That’s why most lawn mower owners winterize their machines throughout the winter season.
Here are some winter storage options for mowers:
If your home has a basement where the furnace or heating appliances are kept, storing your mower here during winter would be cool. Your basement is a good storage location because it’s typically warmer than outdoors.
Remember to place the lawn mower on bricks or other surfaces off the ground if you use your basement. Use a tarp to cover it to prevent dust.
Lease a storage unit
As an owner, you know by now that leaving your lawn mower outside unprotected during the off-season for mowers can cause freezing of the parts. If you already have storage, that’s fantastic.
However, if you don’t have one, it would be a good idea to lease one and safely store your gardening and household equipment during winter.
Store your mower with a service center
You may not have considered this before, but it’s worth considering. First, find out if there’s a lawn mower service center in your locality that provides winter storage services.
Their services will ensure your mower is shielded all through the wintry season.
Keep your lawn mower at a friend’s home
Your mower is more prone to irreplaceable damage during winter seasons. Hence, properly storing your mower in a friend’s garden shed or spacious garage is always the right choice.
If they will keep your mower during winter, seize the opportunity.
If you stow your mower anyhow, you would be lucky to get it to crank up after winter, especially when stored outside for a long time.
Best Way to Store a Lawn Mower During Summer
By default, your lawn mower should endure the hot sun. However, the machine has limits; if left out in the heat for longer periods, it wears out faster, turns brittle, and gets discolored.
To protect the mower from the ills of the hot summer, here are a few options to consider.
Store the lawnmower under your deck
Most decks are raised to ensure easy access when doing repairs. However, if water doesn’t get under it when it’s raining, it can make a haven for your lawnmower.
If the deck is not waterproof, use a tarp or cover to protect the unit before storing it under the deck.
Make a doghouse for your mower
How about building a DIY doghouse-type shed for your lawnmower? It’s one of those inexpensive and easy ways to protect your mower outside.
For this project, scrap wood, like pallet wood, will do. Use paving stones to raise the mower off the ground, and you’ll be ready to go. Use a tarp to cover the machine if the doghouse isn’t waterproof.
Use a tarp or lawnmower protective cover to shield your mower
If every other option doesn’t excite you, this should. It’s one of the easiest ways to protect your mower.
Ideally, putting your lawn mower under cover will protect it against the harsh summer conditions that could ruin it while stored outside.
Whether a custom cover or a waterproof tarp, the choice is yours. Place the mower in a dry area away from water, cover it with a tarp and use bungee cords to fasten the tarp.
This makes the tarp secure enough to withstand storms. Lawn mower covers come in different colors, sizes, and materials. We sifted through the web and got you the most suitable covers for your mower.
We recommend the Tough Cover lawnmower Cover, a heavy-duty cover designed to offer your mower absolute protection against UV, water, dirt, dust, and wind when it’s outside.
The tough cover is a universal fit and compatible with any lawn mower unit. Plus, it really won’t break the bank.
How to Store The Different Types of Mowers
So far, we’ve highlighted key details of how weather conditions can affect your lawnmower outside and ways to protect it.
Now, let’s check out some more caveats for storing the three main types of lawnmowers:
When handling lawnmowers, pay close attention to the mower’s fuel tank.
It’s the most sensitive part of a gas-powered lawnmower and should be treated as such. Your fuel is set to degrade 2-3 weeks after its purchase.
This can cause clogging of the unit’s fuel lines resulting in malfunction. You could add a fuel stabilizer to put this in check.
If your gas-powered mowers have propane gas tanks, avoid exposing them to temperatures above 120 ⁰F. Also, remember to remove the fuel tank immediately after use.
This is because the fuel may leak and trigger fires. What’s more, never store propane gas cans outdoors. They are flammable.
Electric lawn mowers
If you have an electric lawnmower, this will apply to you. When it comes to electric lawnmowers, your main concern should be to protect the vulnerable power cable.
Given that this part connects directly to electricity, it’s best that it remains dry and away from water.
Even though it has a rubber coating, exposing naked wires to water could cause electrocution or, even worse, a bridge that would destroy the mower’s engine.
Your battery-powered lawn mower should only hold its battery for a short time, which can swell the battery.
Hence, store it separately in a dry place with ambient temperatures away from heat sources.
Recommended Lawn Mower Storage Products
Your lawnmower deserves a proper resting place. We will recommend two:
Shelterlogic Shed in a box
Of course, this article is about how to store a lawnmower outside without a shed, and this name alone gives it a real push.
However, the storage box is durable at 70 cubic feet with lockable doors, making it ideal for safely storing lawnmowers and any other gardening tool outdoors.
A storage box like the Suncast Stow-Away Horizontal Storage Shed can be your solution. This lawn mower box is pricey but can withstand any punishment from the rain or wind.
Your mower will survive in a tent if you live in a moderately intense climate. However, the tent must be made of high-quality fabric that withstands harsh weather.
Also, ensure it’s well condensed and no water is left under your mower during a severe storm. Finally, fasten the tent so it isn’t ripped by strong winds.
We recommend this premium ShelterLogic Water-resistant storage tent that offers a versatile, durable, and weatherproof solution for your lawnmower and other gardening tools.
Best Vertical Storage Lawn Mower
It is possible to store your lawn mower vertically. However, unless your lawnmower is the type that is designed for vertical storage, we do not recommend it.
This is because vertical storage often causes oil and fuel to drip right into the mower’s engine, the worst place it should end up.
So be sure to check manufacturer-recommended storage options and only use vertical storage if that’s what it was built for or after draining the gas and oil tanks of the mower.
If you must store your lawnmower upright, choose a winterized mower since it will not have any liquids.
You can also store electric lawnmowers vertically, one of the reasons why they’re becoming popular.
With advanced technology, you can also find gas-powered lawnmowers with special features that prevent oil or petrol from dripping when stored vertically.
DIY lawn mower cover
Making a DIY lawn mower cover is a straightforward process. Here’s a simple method you can follow:
Materials you will need:
- Durable, waterproof fabric (such as heavy-duty nylon or polyester)
- Measuring tape
- Scissors or a rotary cutter
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Elastic cord or bungee cord
- Grommets (optional)
- Measure your lawn mower’s length, width, and height, allowing some extra space for a proper fit.
- Using the measurements, cut two rectangular pieces of fabric for the top and bottom of the cover. Cut two additional long, narrow strips for the sides.
- Place one of the side strips along the edge of the top piece, with the right sides together. Sew them together, leaving a small seam allowance. Repeat this step with the other side strip and the bottom piece.
- With the right sides, sew the remaining edges of the top and bottom pieces together, attaching the side strips to form a box-like shape.
- Fold and sew a small hem along the bottom edge of the cover to create a clean finish.
- If desired, you can reinforce the corners of the cover by adding grommets. Follow the instructions on the grommet packaging to install them.
- To secure the cover on the lawn mower, create a casing by folding over the fabric along the bottom edge, leaving enough space to insert an elastic or bungee cord. Sew along the folded edge, leaving openings at each end to insert the cord.
- Insert the elastic or bungee cord through the casings, gathering the fabric snugly around the lawn mower. Tie the ends of the cord securely.
Where to store lawn mowers
|Type of Mower||Best Storage Ideas|
|Push Mower||– Store in a shed or garage|
|– Use a mower cover to protect from dust and moisture|
|– Keep in an upright position to save space|
|– Securely store fuel in a separate, ventilated area|
|– Remove spark plug for added safety|
|Riding Mower||– Store in a large, secure shed or garage|
|– Use a fitted riding mower cover for protection|
|– Keep tires properly inflated and on a level surface|
|– Disconnect or maintain the battery charge|
|– Follow manufacturer’s instructions for winterizing|
|Robotic Mower||– Store in a dry area, away from extreme temperatures|
|– Clean and remove grass clippings before storage|
|– Remove and store the battery separately|
|– Keep charging station in a safe, accessible place|
|– Check manufacturer’s guidelines for long-term storage|
|Electric Mower||– Store in a dry location, away from moisture|
|– Clean the mower and remove any debris|
|– Remove and store the battery separately|
|– Keep charging station in a safe, accessible place|
|– Check manufacturer’s guidelines for storage|
|Reel Mower||– Store in a clean, dry area|
|– Remove grass clippings and debris before storage|
|– Lubricate moving parts for smooth operation|
|– Keep the blades sharp and well-maintained|
|– Store in an upright position to save space|
Can you leave a lawn mower outside in the rain?
Leaving a lawn mower outside in the rain is not recommended. Exposure to rain can lead to moisture damage, rust formation, and electrical issues.
It’s best to store the mower in a covered area or use a waterproof cover to protect it from the rain. Proper storage helps maintain the mower’s performance and extend its lifespan.
Is it ok to leave a riding mower outside in the hot sunshine?
No. When you leave your lawnmower outside in the hot sun, the plastic parts will change color, wear out and become brittle. Again, leaving your mower in the sun with gasoline in its engine is disastrous.
Where to store a lawnmower?
Store your lawnmower in a dry, safe place like a basement, garage, or garden shed. Also, never keep your mower near any heat source, including a furnace, appliances with pilot lights, or a water heater.
Can you store a lawnmower in a storage unit?
Yes, and it is a great way to protect your mower from harsh weather elements until you need to use the machine.
If you don’t have a storage unit, consider renting one and following our tips on storing a lawn mower to maximize this option.
Is it safe to store a lawnmower in the garage?
Yes, though, when you turn your garage into a storage unit, the lawnmower can become a tripping hazard.
Pinholes within the fuel tank can release fumes into the air, and any slight opening in the fuel system can cause a leakage of combustible liquid in your garage. So storing a lawnmower in your garage compromises the safety of your space.
Can you hang a lawn mower on the wall?
Yes. And there are lots of DIY lawnmower storage options for hanging your mower on a shed or garage side walls.
Small electric mowers are lightweight, so you can hang them on a wall using heavy-duty garage storage hooks.
After mounting some powder-layered steel hooks on your barn, shed or garage wall, hang your lawnmower using its handle as a hanger.
Can you leave a riding lawn mower outside in the winter?
Leaving a riding lawn mower outside in winter is generally not recommended. Cold temperatures and moisture can damage the mower’s engine, fuel system, and other components.
Rust formation and battery drainage are common issues. It’s best to store the mower indoors or in a sheltered area to maintain its performance and prolong its lifespan.
How to store riding lawn mower outside
To store a riding lawn mower outside, find a sheltered spot and cover it with a waterproof mower cover.
Clean the mower, add a fuel stabilizer, and elevate it using a wooden block. Disconnect or use a battery tender for the battery. Although not ideal, these steps can help protect the mower from damage while stored outdoors.
See Also: What to do with an old lawn mower
Final thoughts on outside storage for lawn mower
For those daring enough to store their lawn mower outside, beware! Mother Nature can be a mischievous companion.
Leaving your mower at her mercy is like rolling the dice with rust, damage, and frustration.
Rain showers, icy winters, and scorching heat can wreak havoc on your trusty machine. But fear not, intrepid mower owner. Embrace the power of shelter and protection.
Find a cozy nook or wrap it up snugly with a waterproof cover. By showing your mower some TLC, you’ll ensure a long-lasting partnership and a well-groomed yard that will make your neighbours green with envy.
Stay savvy, my outdoor storage warriors.