Can Lawn Mowers Be Left Outside?

Upkeep and maintaining a lush green lawn involve more than just regular mowing; it requires proper care of the equipment used, especially the lawn mower. One common dilemma many homeowners face is whether it’s acceptable to leave a lawn mower outside.

No, leaving lawnmowers outside risks corrosion, rust, and damage, impacting performance. Optimal longevity requires covered storage to shield from weather elements, ensuring continued efficiency and minimizing potential repairs.

In this article, we’ll explore several viewpoints on this subject, addressing questions like, “Is it bad to leave a lawn mower outside overnight?” and “Can you leave a lawn mower outside permanently?”

Effects of Leaving a Lawn Mower Outside

Leaving a lawnmower outside exposes it to adverse weather conditions, including rain, sun, and temperature fluctuations, leading to corrosion, rust, and damage to essential engine components.

Rainwater seeping into the mower can result in corrosion on metal parts, while sun exposure may cause material deterioration and fading. Extreme temperatures affect the engine’s performance, causing inefficiencies and increased fuel consumption.

The sensitive engine is prone to rust formation, further hindering its smooth operation.

The increasing effect of these issues can lead to frequent repairs, part replacements, and inefficiencies in the mower’s overall performance, outweighing the initial convenience of outdoor storage.

Considering protective storage options is essential for maintaining the mower’s longevity and avoiding unnecessary financial burdens.

Is It Bad To Leave A Lawn Mower Outside?

Leaving a lawn mower outside exposes it to a myriad of weather-related challenges, each taking a toll on specific components. The engine, often considered the heart of the mower, is particularly vulnerable.

Exposure to rain can result in water seeping into the engine, fostering corrosion on critical metal parts. This corrosion weakens the engine’s structural integrity over time, resulting in frequent breakdowns and reduced operational efficiency.

The blades, another essential element, face similar threats, with rust formation compromising their sharpness and cutting ability. This degradation not only affects the quality of the lawn, it speeds up the wear and tear of the entire cutting system.

The external aesthetics of the mower are not exempt from the impact of outdoor exposure. The body and paint are susceptible to sun damage, with prolonged UV exposure causing fading and deterioration.

Plastic components, including covers and housing, can become brittle and prone to breakage, further diminishing the mower’s overall robustness.

Beyond the visible effects, the internal mechanisms of the mower, such as the spark plugs and fuel systems, may experience complications because of temperature fluctuations.

The long-term effects of leaving a lawn mower outside encompass a compromised engine, dulled blades, and a weakened overall structure, potentially leading to a higher frequency of repairs and reduced efficiency.

While the convenience of outdoor storage may seem appealing, homeowners must weigh these consequences against the short-term ease and consider alternative protective measures for sustained mower performance.

Can you leave a lawn mower outside overnight?

Leaving a lawn mower outside overnight subjects it to heightened risks, with dew, moisture, and nocturnal temperature fluctuations accelerating wear and tear.

While occasional overnight exposure may not yield immediate harm, repeated instances contribute to premature aging. The cumulative effects become more pronounced over time, affecting critical components like the engine and cutting system.

Comparatively, leaving the mower consistently outside for an extended period intensifies the risks. Prolonged exposure to dew and moisture, coupled with prolonged temperature fluctuations, significantly expedites the aging process. 

Continuous stress subjects materials to more severe corrosion, rust, and wear.

The consequences of leaving a mower outside overnight pale in comparison to the sustained damage incurred through prolonged exposure, emphasizing the importance of considering protective storage alternatives to maintain the mower’s long-term functionality and durability.

What Should I Do If My Lawn Mower Gets Wet?

If your lawn mower gets wet, prompt action is crucial. Begin by thoroughly drying the mower, and paying close attention to the engine and components. Use absorbent materials to remove any moisture.

Focus on the air filter, spark plug, and fuel tank areas. Allow adequate time for drying to prevent potential damage.

Next, inspect the engine for any water ingress and address it promptly. Remove the spark plug and pull the starter cord to expel excess water from the combustion chamber.

Check the air filter; if it’s wet, replace it. Examine the fuel tank for water contamination; if present, drain and replace the fuel.

Store the mower in a dry place to prevent further moisture-related issues. Consider using a dehumidifier or moisture-absorbing products in the storage area.

Regularly check and maintain the mower to ensure optimal performance and avoid long-term consequences of water exposure.

How To Store A Lawnmower Without a Propper Covered Area?

When faced with the challenge of storing a lawnmower without a properly covered area, several creative solutions can offer temporary protection and safeguard the equipment from the elements. These solutions include:

  • Tarps: Covering the lawnmower with a sturdy tarp is a straightforward and effective solution. Ensure the tarp is securely fastened to prevent it from being blown away by the wind. This makeshift cover provides a barrier against rain, sun, and other weather elements.
  • Makeshift Covers: Creating a makeshift cover using materials readily available at home can be a cost-effective option. Consider using old bed sheets, large pieces of cardboard, or even discarded carpets. These materials can be strategically placed over the lawnmower to offer a protective barrier.
  • Unused Furniture: Repurposing unused furniture, such as tables or large outdoor storage bins, can provide an improvised shelter for the lawnmower. Placing the equipment under a sturdy piece of furniture shields it from direct exposure, offering a quick and practical solution.

DIY solutions add a layer of resourcefulness to the protective measures. Homeowners can explore further innovations based on the materials available, ensuring that the lawnmower remains shielded from adverse weather conditions despite the absence of a dedicated storage area.

Until a more permanent and purpose-built storage solution can be arranged, these solutions serve as effective stopgaps.

  • Wooden Pallet Shelter: Repurpose wooden pallets to create a simple shelter. Arrange the pallets to form a basic structure, leaving enough space for the lawnmower to fit underneath. Secure a tarp or weather-resistant material over the pallets to provide protection.
  • Barrel Cover: Utilize an old barrel by cutting it in half horizontally. Place the lawnmower inside the bottom half of the barrel, using the top half as a protective cover. Ensure the barrel is securely anchored to the ground to prevent it from tipping over in windy conditions.
  • Garbage Can Enclosure: Turn a large, unused garbage can into a makeshift storage enclosure. Cut one side of the can to create a hinged lid. Place the lawnmower inside and secure the lid when not in use. This provides a compact and weather-resistant solution.
  • A-Frame Shelter: Construct a simple A-frame structure using wooden beams. Position the lawnmower underneath the A-frame, and cover it with a durable tarp. This DIY shelter is easy to assemble and provides adequate protection from rain and sun.
  • Reclaimed Materials Shed: Gather reclaimed materials such as old doors, windows, or wooden panels. Assemble them to form a small shed or lean-to structure. This DIY shed can serve as a more permanent solution for storing the lawnmower and other garden tools.


Leaving a lawnmower outside jeopardizes its performance and lifespan because of exposure to adverse weather conditions, leading to corrosion and damage. Despite the convenience, the long-term consequences, including frequent repairs and reduced efficiency, outweigh the initial ease.

Leaving a lawnmower outside overnight heightens risks with dew, moisture, and temperature fluctuations accelerating wear and tear.

Occasional exposure may not cause immediate harm, but repeated instances contribute to premature aging. Prolonged exposure intensifies risks, emphasizing the importance of protective storage alternatives.

For those lacking covered storage, DIY solutions like tarps, makeshift covers, or repurposing unused furniture provide temporary protection. Until you arrange a more permanent solution, these resourceful measures offer effective stopgaps. 

Responsible lawnmower ownership involves considering long-term consequences, opting for protective storage, and utilizing creative solutions when necessary. 

Regular maintenance and prompt action when the lawnmower gets wet play pivotal roles in preserving optimal performance.

Manny Moore

Getting my hands dirty and building a place that me and my small family love is a driving factor for what I do and how I do it. I want to share what I have learned and practiced so that it is just that much easier for everyone to have another tool in their tool belt. Your home should be a place that you love and feel comfortable in and your backyard should be no different.

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