The cooler temperatures have arrived and that means that if you haven't already done so, it may be time to start winterizing your spray equipment to prevent unnecessary damage from the cold. It's a relatively simple task but one that could save you potentially hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in costly repairs and downtime if your equipment is impacted by freeze damage.
How Does Freeze Damage Occur?
Most pest control operators and others who use high pressure equipment are aware of freeze damage. As a reminder, here is a rundown that can really help to visualize the potential risks. Almost all sprayers and many of the spray equipment components use some kind of pressure system to operate and also are exposed to water based solutions or fluids. When temperatures outside get significantly cold enough, the water that remains in equipment is likely to freeze and of course, expand. This expansion of frozen fluids is extremely forceful and will place great pressure on its container (picture a freezing bottle of soda) that can eventually burst or at the minimum, place undue pressure on spray parts. This would likely result in moderate to serious damage to your sprayer or its parts. The weakest parts of your equipment such as the underside of sprayer wands are particularly prone to damage since they are subject to regular friction. Even if you are lucky enough to not have damage, you may still have some downtime while waiting for the components to properly thaw.
What Types of Equipment Are at Risk?
As mentioned, any component (both major and minor) that comes in contact with water based fluids, is at risk of freeze damage and parts that are weak or have any signs of wear are at the most risk. Specifically, here are some of the most susceptible pieces of equipment that you should winterize if the weather in your area is projected to get cold enough:
- Spray guns
- Spray wands
- Spray pumps
- Plumbing fittings
- All backpack or compressed air sprayers
How Can I Prevent Freeze Damage?
Before you start feeling the winter blues, keep in mind that freeze damage is preventable! It takes just a few short steps to winterize your equipment and parts before any kind of damage occurs.
Firstly, keep large pieces of equipment or agricultural vehicles stored in a warm place, covered and not exposed to the elements. This way, there is less likelihood that any water residue will freeze.
Secondly, pay extra attention to the most expensive parts and components of your machinery and equipment. Detach these parts if possible and store separately in a warm location or keep covered with blankets or other insulating material.
Thirdly, make sure you have added antifreeze to your systems before storing by simply running the engine for long enough for the antifreeze to circulate throughout the components.
Finally, make sure to completely drain equipment and if feasible, allow the components to completely dry before storing. Make sure none of your parts are under pressure while stored and keep out of open air spaces.
By making winterization a top priority now, you can safely avoid the perils of freeze damage. For any questions or help with preparing for the proper storage of your equipment this winter, contact our expert Customer Service Technicians who are always available to help.