As a lawn care expert, I understand the importance of protecting your mower deck to ensure your lawn mowing equipment’s longevity and optimal performance. In this guide, I will explain the effects of mowing on the deck, why protection is essential, and outline various methods to maintain your mower deck in excellent condition.
We’ll also discuss some tips for mowing different types of grass and how to adjust the deck height accordingly. Lastly, I’ll share troubleshooting tips for common mower deck protection issues such as rust and corrosion.
Effects of Mowing on the Mower Deck and the Importance of Protection
While mowing your lawn, the mower deck continually faces exposure to grass clippings, dirt, and debris. Over time, the build-up of these materials can lead to rust, corrosion, and reduced efficiency of the cutting blades. This accumulation also adds unnecessary weight to the mower, causing it to work harder and wear down faster.
Poorly maintained mower decks can cause uneven cutting patterns and pose safety hazards. Therefore, proper protection and regular maintenance of your mower deck are essential to ensure the longevity and performance of your lawn mowing equipment.
Ways to Protect and Maintain Your Mower Deck
1. Clean the Mower Deck Regularly
After each mowing session, make sure to clean your mower deck thoroughly. This can be as simple as using a hose to wash off grass clippings and debris or opting for a pressure washer for more stubborn build-up. Removing this debris will help prevent rust and corrosion and keep your mower deck in shape.
2. Inspect and Tighten All Bolts and Fasteners
Loose bolts and fasteners can cause your mower deck to become misaligned, leading to inefficiencies and uneven grass cutting. Regularly inspect your mower and tighten any loose bolts to ensure that the deck remains in its proper position.
3. Keep the Deck Free of Debris
Before every mowing session, check for debris lodged in the mower deck or cutting blades. Large sticks, rocks, or other obstructions can cause damage to the deck or mower blades and lead to inefficient mowing.
4. Use Deck Sprays
Deck sprays are designed to create a non-stick surface on your mower deck, preventing the build-up of grass clippings and debris. Applying a deck spray before each mowing session can help extend the life of your mower deck.
Tips for Mowing Different Types of Grass and Adjusting Deck Height
Different grass types require different mowing heights for optimal health and appearance. Here are some general guidelines:
- Cool-season grasses (such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass) should generally be mowed at 3-4 inches.
- Warm-season grasses (such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia) should generally be mowed at heights between 1-3 inches.
Adjust your mower deck height to ensure proper cutting elevation for your grass type.
Troubleshooting Common Mower Deck Protection Problems
Rust and Corrosion
Rust and corrosion can occur due to prolonged exposure to moisture and debris build-up. To combat these issues, ensure your mower deck is cleaned regularly and stored in a dry environment. If rust is already present, use a commercial rust remover to remove excessive corrosion.
The Best Undercoating for Mowers
The bottom of a lawn mower can accumulate grass clumps and leaves, which are hazardous for fires. Applying graphite undercoating is your best option to extend the life of the mower deck and protect it from corrosion and rust. Graphite forms a rigid, slippery coating that prevents deterioration on metal surfaces. Graphite undercoating for the mower deck will help keep your lawn mower in excellent condition.
First, read and follow the instructions for removing the mower deck from your particular model according to the manufacturer’s manual.
If you have a push lawn mower or a self-propelled one, tilt it on its side so that the gas tank points upwards. Secure it with bricks before and behind each wheel; turn off your mower, remove the spark plug boot for gas models, or unplug electric ones.
Clean and Smooth
Afterward, rinse the deck’s underside with plenty of water from a garden hose. Scrape any stuck-on grass or debris with a plastic scraper, put on safety glasses, and use a wire brush for rust or loose particles. Allow the deck to dry completely before proceeding with the undercoating.
Applying the Graphite
If you apply aerosol graphite, shake the can vigorously for several minutes and spray it in even, long, overlapping strokes on the bottom of the deck and blades. Don’t forget to place newspaper or a similar material underneath so you don’t paint other surfaces unintentionally.
For paint-on graphite coating, remove the lid from its container and stir it with a paint stick, then use a paintbrush to apply it in thin coats over all the metal areas. Leave it to dry for 24 hours, then add another layer if necessary.
Best Lawn Mower Deck Spray
When looking for the best mower deck spray, there are several factors to consider. A good quality product should protect against rust and corrosion, contain additives that help reduce friction and wear, and be designed explicitly for mower use. Additionally, it should also be easy to apply and long-lasting. The best mower deck sprays on the market are below:
- Mo Deck Mower Spray
- GUNK Tite-Seal Mower Deck Spray
- Nonstick Cooking Spray (Vegetable Oil ONLY)
To finish your lawn mower’s upkeep routine, hose down any grass clippings or debris after each use. The graphite coating will make removing dirt and grass clippings easier.
It’s essential to take proper care of your lawn mower so that it lasts a long time, and applying graphite undercoating is the best way to protect it. With these steps, you can keep your lawn mower in excellent condition for much longer.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.