Not everyone has the luxury of a shed or garage where they can store their tools and equipment.
Or maybe you do, but you have to be selective about what you put in there.
Obviously something like the car might take priority, but what about other tools that might not be as expensive as your car, but would still cost a fair bit to replace?
If lack of space is a problem you might have to prioritize what gets a prime position in your garage or storage area.
Which sometimes leads to the question of whether snow blowers can be left outside.
And if they can, what is the best way to store a snow blower?
Let’s take a closer look…
Can Snow Blowers Be Left Outside?
Snow blowers can be left outside, just be aware it increases the risk of rust and corrosion and other damage to the machine. If you are storing it outside you will want a high-quality breathable cover that allows air to circulate, to clean it properly after use, to secure it and to treat it regularly with Fluid Film to reduce rust damage.
The Dangers of Storing a Snow Blower Outside
Before we go into the details of how to store your snow blower outside, it is important to know some of the risks of leaving it out in the elements.
They can include:
- Animals nesting in the transmission or gnawing on wires, plugs, belts, etc.
- Sun damaging the paint.
- Rainy and snow conditions causing rust and corrosion.
- A colder engine making it harder to start.
- Water and slush freezing parts together and jamming the auger/impeller as the temperature drops.
- It betting buried in snow.
- It getting stolen.
Sometimes though you might not have any feasible other option.
So let’s look at some general housekeeping if you are storing your snow blower out in the elements. You can also use many of these tips if you are storing your snow blower in a garage as well.
How To Store Your Snow Blower Outside
#1: Keep It Covered
It might seem common sense, but if you are storing your snow blower outside, then you want to make sure you keep it covered.
A simple tarp will give it protection from the elements and out of the view of prying eyes.
#2: Make Sure You Allow the Air to Circulate
Tarps are great for keeping rain and snow off of your snow blower, but if they are fitted too tightly then they bring their own problems.
Notably, that is the fact that they can trap moisture and humidity, and air might not be able to sufficiently circulate.
This can lead to parts rusting more quickly than they otherwise would
You want to make sure the tarp is keeping rain and snow out, but also letting the air in.
It might be a good idea to invest in a high-quality breathable cover.
RELATED ===> Buyers Guide: The Best Snow Blowers on the Market
#3: Try Putting Something Underneath It
A simple way of alleviating the problem above and allowing air to circulate if your snow blower is outside under a tarp is simply to store it on top of an old pallet or some blocks.
This will keep it off of the ground and stop the tarp from trapping moisture and heat.
If you can’t do that, then put another tarp underneath it, which should go some way to reducing the likelihood of rusting.
Both of these suggestions should prevent another potential issue, and that is the tires freezing to the ground.
#4: Prevent Rust With Fluid Film
You might have gathered by now, that one of the main dangers of storing your snow blower outside is rust.
Rust spreads more quickly as temperature rises, which is why under the protection of a tarpaulin that traps heat your snow blower might be more susceptible to it.
There is one quick way to prevent this, buy some Fluid Film Rust and Corrosion Preventer.
I just want to flag up that the above link is an affiliate link, so if you click on it it will take you to the Fluid Film product page on Amazon.
Then if you buy it I receive a small commission (it doesn’t affect the price you pay at the till).
But regardless of whether you use my link or not, I would urge you to buy Fluid FIlm as it is an awesome product that I swear by.
It is a rust inhibitor. Spray it where rust appears every couple of months, and spray it down the auger and chute to stop rust from sticking.
It is fantastic and worth its weight in gold.
#5: Help Your Snow Blower Keep Itself Clean
The other major contributor to a rusting snow blower is the salt used on roads and sidewalks to melt ice and snow.
It can be especially damaging to the underside of a snow blower.
That means that ideally, you want to thoroughly clean your snow blower before parking it up (whether being stored inside or outside).
A way of making the job quicker and easier for you is to clear any salted areas first. Then clear the areas that don’t have any salt.
The clean snow will help remove any salt that might have found its way onto your machine when you were snow-blowing the salted spots.
#6: Keep It Secure
Snow blowers are expensive and sought-after items.
If you are storing it outside, and if it is an area where it is in public view you want to secure it in some way in case anyone does attempt to steal it.
#7: Build a Makeshift Structure
If you don’t have a garage or shed, or don’t have space to store a snow blower in a garage or a shed, can you make a temporary structure to protect it?
Even if you make a very crude lean-to against a wall out of pallets or firewood poles, combined with tarps that will offer better storage conditions for your snow blower.
You don’t have to break the bank, and it doesn’t have to look pretty, it just has to offer protection from the elements and air circulation.
RELATED ===> How Long Do Snow Blowers Last?
Preparing to Store Your Snow Blower For the Summer
If winter has finally beaten a hasty retreat and spring is on the way, then along with the above tips, there are a couple of other things you want to do if you are storing your snow blower away for the season outside.
- Thoroughly clean and dry it.
- Protect the metal with Fluid Film Rust and Corrosion Preventer.
- Inspect and replace worn parts.
- Change the oil.
- Prepare the fuel system for the off-season.
Regarding the last point, if you have read my post on draining gas from your snow blower, you will see there are two ways to do this.
I like to drain the fuel and leave the snow blower running until it stalls. That way there is no risk of gas clogging up the carburetor.
Other people like to leave the fuel system full with stabilized fuel to keep all the fuel lines and carburetor fully saturated with gas.
As long as you do one of the above you should be ok.
What you don’t want to do is to leave it half full with gas, which, come the following winter, will most likely have gone stale and clogged up the carburetor and make it difficult or impossible to get your snow blower running.
Yes, snow blowers can be left outside provided you take care to give them the best protection from the elements and you are aware of the risks.
Ideally, you will want to find a good quality breathable cover that allows the air to circulate and, to be extra safe, store it raised off of the ground slightly.
Spray it with Fluid Film to lessen the increased risk of rust and clean it thoroughly after use.
If you can put your snow blower up against a wall and create a basic structure to cover it, even better.
Finally don’t forget to secure it, just in case someone decides they want it more than you!
Happy snow blowing!