When it comes to the tools and equipment you use to clear ice and snow in the winter, maintenance and upkeep can make a world of difference. To see the greatest results, it's important that you take steps to maintain your snow removal equipment both during their heaviest periods of use and during the warmer months too. By taking a year round approach, you'll find that your winter gear lasts longer and performs more consistently when you need it most.
Preventing Winter Wear and Tear
Between the melting ice and snow, the abrasive sand and gravel, and the corrosive salt, it's a wonder anything made of metal survives more than one or two winter's use. To protect your tools during these periods of extremes, you can take precautions and protect them from damage. The most active force in all this is corrosion, in the form of salt and moisture, so make sure you're thoroughly cleaning and drying your tools before storing them between uses.
In addition to minimizing the time that corrosive agents linger on your tools, you can also look into spray on coatings. Rust resistant paints, polyurethane sprays, and a host of other products are available which are intended to keep metal from rusting. You can also go a step further and coat any metal surface with mineral or cooking oil to keep ice from sticking, and prevent corrosive agents from coming in contact with shovel or snow blower blades.
Off Season Maintenance
If you use a snow shovel in the winter, make sure it's stored in a dry place once the snow melts. You'll also want to inspect it thoroughly for signs of corrosion, and clean off any rust spots that might have developed. If you chose to use a protective coating, check it for compromise and reapply it if necessary. Check with the product manufacturer to see if you need to remove the existing coat first though, to avoid trapping anything between layers.
Take your snow blower in to a small engine mechanic annually, if only so it can have general maintenance performed. Just like changing the oil on your car, it can be detrimental to use your snow blower without having it serviced regularly. The same mechanic can also clean out internal components and apply corrosion protection to parts that are likely to be exposed to moisture.
Without good maintenance practices, the tools you rely on to clear your walks and driveway just won't be up to the task. As an added benefit, you won't have to pay for the replacement of your equipment every few years either.
For information about maintaining bigger snow removal equipment like tractors, visit someone like Potestio Brothers Equipment, Inc.