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Fall Checklist: Tune-ups, Clean-ups, and Storage

Fall Checklist

Does the Weatherman have total control over you?

If there's a 10% chance of rain, do you throw in the towel and stay indoors?

Whether you listen to him or not, you can't deny that colder weather is creeping in, allowing the first cool winds of Fall to send shivers up your spine.

After you're done taking bets on when you'll mow your lawn for the last time, use our Fall Checklist to make sure you don't win, "Most Likely to have a mess on their hands when Spring hits."

✔ Keep the Lawn Mower Tuned Up

Grass begins to slow its growth as the temperatures drop. It's preparing to enter a dormant state over Winter. If you used to mow your lawn once per week, now you may only have to mow it every other week, until you need to put it away for good.

Even though the lawn mower won't be used as often during these months, you should still make sure it's tuned up to get you through the rest of the season. Check the blades, oil, filters, and spark plug to see if they need to be replaced or serviced. Here's a more comprehensive guide on Lawn Mower Tune-Ups.

The cold temperatures can also be a strain on your lawn mower engine. The oil becomes thicker, the fuel is harder to burn, and the batteries are sometimes troublesome. Doing some preventative maintenance like changing the oil, could keep your mower running. View how to change the oil on your lawn mower below:

Your lawn mower blades can take a beating during the Fall, especially if you've been running over sticks or mulching leaves that have dropped on the grass. This might be a good time to put on some sharp mulching blades. If you replace certain parts now, you won't have to do as much maintenance in the beginning of Spring.

✔ Clear Leaves and Debris

Clear Leaves and Debris Clear leaves and debris from your yard

When you have a bunch of leaves spread across your lawn, you can either get out the rake or you can use a leaf's worst nightmare, the leaf blower. As the first leaf falls, give your leaf blower a tune-up to ensure you're getting the most power out of every blow. Check out some common leaf blower maintenance routines.

Whether you're a new homeowner or a commercial user, leaf blowers are an outstanding tool to speed up the process of collecting and disposing of leaves. With some air speeds of over 200 mph, you'll have no problem pushing the leaves, grass, and other debris around. There are three types of leaf blowers:

Hand Held Leaf Blowers - These leaf blowers produce high air speeds to clear debris, and are lightweight for convenient portability. They're great for residential homeowners who need to quickly remove leaves from their sidewalks, walkways, or driveways. Some also come with a vacuum kit for collecting leaves.

Backback Leaf Blowers - Use these leaf blowers if you will be operating for an extended time. They come with the comforts of an adjustable harness and ergonomic handle, ideal for commercial applications.

Walk Behind Leaf Blowers – The walk behind leaf blowers are high-powered blowing machines that can clear leaves, debris, and even standing water. Mainly for commercial users, these blowers can take the place of multiple hand held or backpack blowers.

Sometimes, blowing leaves may not be necessary. If there are only a few trees that drop a small amount of leaves, you could always use your lawn mower to mulch them as you cut the grass. Find out why you should bag or mulch your leaves.

✔ Trim Overgrown Trees

Trim overgrown tree limbs and branches Trim overgrown tree limbs and branches

Another important task to prepare for is removing overgrown tree limbs on your property. When neighbors complain multiple times about branches that overhang their fence, be a good neighbor and trim them up. If the weight of snow breaks the branch, it could come crashing down on their new fence. Then you'd be stuck with either a bill or some additional repairs.

For your tree trimming jobs, your chainsaw or pole saw is a handy tool. Pole saws are a convenient option that give you an extended reach, so you won't have to climb a ladder to make a few trims.

If you don't feel you're experienced enough to attempt trimming on your own, hire a tree service company to remove those dangerous branches.

✔ Is Your Chainsaw Ready to Cut?

Bigger tree limbs may need the help of your chainsaw. Although, they're always good for stocking up on firewood too. If your chainsaw has been taking a Summer break, you should also give it a tune-up.


✔ Stock Up on Storage Supplies

Equipment Storage and Winter Supplies Winter Storage Supplies

As we go deeper into Fall, some machines go into hibernation as others awake. When the mowing season comes to a close, there are a few supplies you should consider getting to protect your power equipment over the long Winter.

Fuel stabilizer is the most important supply to get for your small engines. Nowadays, you should use it year-round, especially during the Fall and Winter if your equipment will sit for more than 30 days. The ethanol in gasoline is corrosive to your engine’s carburetor and fuel system parts. A product like STA-BIL will stabilize your fuel and clean your equipment’s fuel system, making it safe for storage.

Recommended Storage Method:
Run a fuel stabilizer with cleaner through the fuel system, then drain. Draining all of the fuel from your equipment before storage will ensure that no ethanol will be left in your engine to cause damage.

Get a more in-depth look on how to properly store small engine equipment.

Something as simple as a cover can help guard against dust, dirt, and even rodents that like to make a nest inside your equipment. Keep your equipment safe and save yourself from making unnecessary repairs like replacing a chewed up fuel line in the Spring.

Start Crossing Off your Checklist

Hurry up, before it's too late! The leaves won't be on the trees for long. Get out the Fall Checklist.

Fall can come and go faster than you think, especially if you're not doing as much yard work as you did over the Spring and Summer. However, any work that is done needs well-maintained equipment to finish the job.

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