Extend the life of a mower deck through cleaning and restoring

by Cheryl Dunn

Buying a riding mower is an investment that you want to last for many years. To extend the life of the mower deck, it is important that you take special care of it. Here, you will learn how to prevent corrosion and extend the life of the mower deck.

Clean the Deck

After each mowing, you must spend some time cleaning the underside of the mower deck. To do this you must:

  • Drive your mower up a set of ramps so that the front end is raised.
  • Disconnect the spark plug.
  • Use your garden hose or pressure washer to spray the underside of the deck.
  • Let the deck dry before reconnecting the spark plug and storing it away in a cool, dark space.

Restore the Deck

If you have noticed that there are areas under the mower deck that have exposed metal – the paint has peeled off – it is time to paint the deck. To do this you will need:

  • Light and heavy grit sandpaper
  • Wrench
  • Spray primer
  • Oil-based spray paint
  • Hose or pressure washer
  • Tarp or drop cloth

Step 1: Follow the manufacturer's instructions on removing the mower deck.

Step 2: Use the hose or pressure washer to clean both sides of the mower deck. You need to remove as much loose debris as possible to prevent paint contamination. Allow the deck to fully dry.

Step 3: Use the heavy-grit sandpaper to begin sanding the underside of the mower deck. Be sure that you remove any rust that may be forming. Flip the deck over and do the same to the top-side of the mower deck. The top-side of the mower deck must also be sanded with the fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface to finish.

Step 4: Spray the deck with your hose once more to remove the particles and dust from the sanding. Allow it to completely dry.

Note: If you have a place where you can safely hang your deck with chains, you can expedite the remaining steps of the process. Just be sure that it is in a location that paint over-spray will not damage anything.

Step 5: Apply a thin coat of primer to the top-side of the mower deck. Pay special attention to any areas of bare metal. Allow the primer to dry, and then apply a thin coat of spray paint to the deck. Allow to dry and apply one final coat.

Step 6: Complete the same procedure as Step 5 to do the underside of the mower deck. You may want to apply three or more thin coats of primer and paint to the underside to better protect the metal.

Taking the time to clean and restore your deck regularly will extend the life of the deck by many years. Preventing and eliminating corrosion is a crucial step in getting the most for your money.

For more tips, contact a company like Kenmore Mower & Power Equipment.