Buying a zero turn mower is a big investment that can really pay off for several years after the purchase. If you want to get the most use and as many years possible out of your zero turn mower, you will have to maintain the deck. Proper cleaning and restoration measures can extend the life of the mower deck by several years. Here, you will learn how to clean away any rust and restore your mower deck so that you can preserve it for many, many years.
How to Clean the Deck
Each time you mow, you must dedicate yourself to properly cleaning the mower deck. This is a fairly easy process that will only take several minutes to complete.
- Raise the front end of your mower. This can be done by using a floor jack or ramps.
- Disconnect the spark plug to avoid damaging the mechanics.
- Spray the top and underside of the deck with your garden hose on its highest pressure setting or use a pressure washer. Remove as much dirt and trimmings as possible.
- Wait until the deck is dry before reconnecting the spark plug storing it in your garage or shed.
How to Restore the Finish of the Deck
If the paint has chipped away on the mower deck, it is important that you act immediately to restore the finish. If you allow metal to remain exposed, rust will quickly begin to form.
Remove the mower deck as instructed by the manufacturer.
- Pressure wash both the underside and top of the mower deck. You want to remove any dirt, trimmings and debris that could stick in the paint. Wait until the deck has dried completely before you proceed to the next step.
- Sand the surface of the mower deck using heavy-grit sandpaper. If any rust has begun to form, be sure to sand it away completely. Applying paint over existing rust will not prevent it from corroding further.
- Sand the surface of the topside of the mower deck with fine-grit sandpaper to achieve the smoothest surface possible. Any imperfections will be seen when you apply the coat of paint.
- Spray the deck to remove dust and debris caused by sanding. Allow it to dry completely.
- Starting with the underside of the mower deck, apply a coat of primer paying special attention to areas with exposed metal. Allow the primer to dry.
- Apply a thin, even coat of rust-inhibiting, oil-based spray paint. Allow it to dry and then apply a second coat. Allow the second coat to dry and then flip the mower deck over to prime and paint the topside of the deck.
Note: If you have a workspace where you can hang the mower deck, you can reduce the time it takes you to complete this process. You can prime and paint the topside and underside of the mower deck at once rather than waiting to be able to flip the deck.
Take the time to clean, inspect and restore your mower deck and you will get many years out of the machine. The time you invest in this process will save you the cost of replacing the mower deck when it corrodes. For more maintenance tips, talk to your mower specialist, such as North Pine Motors.