Behind every neat and well-cut lawn, there is a functional lawnmower. Any functional lawn mower cuts grass efficiently and evenly. For a lawnmower to function adequately, it has to be in good condition, and one of the issues that prevent that is the buildup of grass under the deck of the lawnmower.
The buildup of grass under a lawnmower deck is annoying. It leaves residues of grass clumps out on the lawn, makes the deck rusty, and because of reduced airflow, lawn mowing becomes a slow and untidy activity.
To stop this from occurring, users have to know how this buildup happens. A lubricant coating will reduce the grass buildup, but that does not eliminate the need for regular cleaning. If you have ever wondered how to stop grass buildup under any lawn mower deck, keep reading.
How the buildup occurs under the deck?
The buildup of grass under the deck is not because your lawn has been hexed or because your grass is rebelling. This buildup occurs as a result of a couple of reasons like:
Wet grass is much heavier than dry grass. When cutting it, the lawnmower engine cannot throw the clippings from the grass as far back into the bag as possible. Due to this, some of these cuttings stick to the underside of the lawn mower’s deck.
This causes clogging and prevents the grass bag from getting filled. If you are experiencing this problem frequently in your rainy area/terrain, this post can help you.
Another cause of grass buildup under decks is the cutting height of the lawnmower. The right height of grass to cut off is a third (⅓) of the grass height. If the cutting height is set too low, more grass is cut, and this leads to an accumulation of more cuttings. You can solve it by raising the deck higher.
Cleaning out your deck underside
Now, this accumulation has occurred already. Before preventing a recurrence of this buildup, a cleanup has to be done. The underside of your lawnmower needs to be cleared of all grass clippings, clumps, and residue. Outlined below is a guide to help you.
Gain access to the underside of the deck
Before you begin, empty the gas/fuel tank of your lawnmower. Then tilt the mower, ensure that the fuel tank and engine oil fill opening are topsides, to avoid spills. Make sure the mower is securely propped up, to reduce the risk of falling over.
Disconnect the spark plug and detach the blade
The lawnmower engine can be turned on by rotating the cutting blades, and that is a severe hazard. It is best to disconnect the spark plug before handling the mower’s underside to avoid any accidents. Also, for extra safety, the blades should be detached.
Scrape off and blow off clogged-up grass
While wearing industrial type hand gloves, large clumps of grass should be removed by hand or with a wide, flat pry bar. The remaining grass should be scraped off with a blunt metal knife or wire brush.
If the grass on the underside of the lawnmower deck is difficult to scrape off, water should be used to make it wet and pliant. An air hose with a nozzle should be used after the scraping to blow out the remnant loose grass.
Spray off with a pressure washer
If scraping does not get the job done, a pressure washer should be used to spray the lawnmower’s underside. This high powered spray will push out even very difficult dried clumps. After spraying, the mower should stay propped up till it dries completely.
Inspect the air filter
The air filter should be removed and inspected to find out if it needs repair or replacement. If its condition is good and can be washed, use an air hose to blow out accumulated grass clippings. You should do it carefully to avoid tearing the filter. Using a small amount of dish soap, water, and a soft cloth, or the air filter should be washed thoroughly and blown dry with an air hose. After it dries completely, you can reinstall it.
Ways to prevent a buildup from occurring
The buildup of grass clippings and debris clogged underneath the deck of a lawnmower is a domestic menace. This menace can be avoided if you do the following:
Apply a Spray Lubricant
Many people agree with this solution because it doesn’t only prevent those pesky clippings from sticking; it will also make it easier to clean the deck and prevent rusting. The deck should be dry before this lubricant is sprayed on.
Apply a Graphite Coating
This is another popular prevention method. This solution involves applying a coating of graphite to the underside of the deck. This application is just like painting the graphite liquid on. When you apply the graphite on the deck, the cleaning is easier and faster to do. It also requires a clean and dry deck before application. This article will show you how to apply the coating properly.
Only mow when the grass is dry
Grass, apart from being heavy, is sticky when cut. When wet, freshly cut grass turns into a thick paste that clumps and clogs easily, and this makes it easier for it to accumulate under the mower deck. In some cases and climes, this cannot be avoided. Thankfully the above measures exist and would help reduce the buildup.
Ensure that the clippings are short
The longer the grass clippings, the harder it is to blow them into the grass bag or away from the mower. The ideal length of grass to be cut is ⅓ of the height of the grass. Any more than this increases the number of clippings being accumulated under the deck and reduces the health of your grass.
In conclusion, this issue can be taken care of by cutting the grass regularly and keeping the lawnmower clean and dry. While under the deck needs to be cleaned periodically, not all models are built that way. So, ensure to check the user manual, remember to keep your mower parts dry and well-lubricated and stop thinking that this buildup is because you have the wrong type of grass.