Outdoor spaces

It’s the season for outdoor fun in your yard. It’s also the season for lawn mower maintenance.

Paying attention to lawn mower maintenance -- particularly for riding mowers -- can pay off in many ways. It increases your mower’s performance, reliability and even durability.

Take care of scheduled maintenance before something becomes an issue and costs you big bucks. Here a few tips from the experts at Exmark Manufacturing, a leading manufacturer of commercial zero-turn mowers:

• Cleaning: Clean often but minimize use of water. Water can lead to corrosion, among other problems. Use compressed air or blowers as much as possible. If you do use water, make sure you grease and lubricate afterwards.

• Adjust New Belts: Check the belt three times in the first 24 hours of use, and adjust if necessary. During this time, the belt is fitting into the pulleys. If it is allowed to loosen as it fits in, you may spin or burn it, drastically reducing its life.

• Sharpen and Balance Mower Blades: Every eight to 10 hours of use, sharpen blades and replace damaged ones. Blade-balancing tools are inexpensive and readily available. Consider keeping an extra set of sharp, balanced blades.

More lawn mower maintenance tips are available at www.exmark.com/ServiceTips.aspx.

Proper mower maintenance can go a long way to making yard work easier.

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