Now I just park my lawn mower (gas) outside in the backyard and cover it with heavy duty tarp so it prevents rain reach the unit.

I don't have a garage or a shed, I wonder if there is a better way to (relatively) safely and effectively store my lawn mower outdoor in my backyard in such a way rainy or harsh weather doesn't damage the unit?

  • Is rain getting through the tarp?
    – J. Musser
    Jul 27, 2017 at 10:41
  • It's not the most convenient and asthetically pleasing. And some rain may get through unless I use two tarps, now I am just using one.
    – KubiK888
    Jul 27, 2017 at 13:10
  • Do you mean for long-term (e.g., winter) storage, or just routine storage? And where do you live, or what is your climate?
    – feetwet
    Jul 27, 2017 at 14:21
  • More of a routine storage, as winter I can put it in the basement. Winter can be harsh in where I live (as cold as -20C)
    – KubiK888
    Jul 27, 2017 at 18:18
  • Please can you say what your aesthetic taste is? A good quality tarp is perfectly fine, but if you don't like the look then you should build something which is effectively a shed.
    – Nic
    Jul 27, 2017 at 20:24

2 Answers 2


"Routine" storage, as you clarified, would assume that you're running the machine every few weeks. In that case, the only reason to cover it at all would be because rust-prone metal is exposed on the top exterior.

Modern mowers have powder-coat paint on any exposed steel surfaces except for the blade(s), and all other metal either won't rust (e.g., aluminum or zinc) or is shielded by plastic covers. If you have chipping paint or failed galvanizing you should repaint to protect the steel.

Any covered or steel internals of the engine will be protected by running it every few weeks, which will heat it up, dry them out, and coat them in the engine oil.

So the most rust-prone piece of a lawn mower is usually the blade(s), and it's unclear whether covering it will protect those. Over a period of days large swings in temperature and humidity can produce condensing conditions even in the absence of rain. Covering a machine stored in unconditioned air with a tight tarp is just as likely to exacerbate condensation as to mitigate it. (For example, watch your lawn: You'll notice that the sections that get hit first by the sun dry out the best, while sections left in shade can retain dew much longer.)

Most of us just accept that the blade will rust. So we sharpen and balance it as necessary. If you really want to stave off rust you could spray or wipe the exposed steel of the blade with a rust preventive liquid after each use. But unless you store your mower upside down covering it will not help protect the blade.


What I do with the machines I use for work is during the winter, I run the machines dry, clean everything, change the oil, and get the machine off the ground to allow air to circulate, finally I spray a silicone based spray over the parts that usually rust more and sometimes I spray a quick spurt of wd40 in the carbs to drive out moisture- I usually get a telling off for leaving fuel in the engine over winter because it clogs up the bits inside if left too long. hope it helps.

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