This is my first post, I've been lurking for a while sponging up plenty of lawn care and lawn mower goodness, thanks to everyone who posts here. I think I've learned a lot.
I purchased a new Snapper Hi-Vac with the Kawasaki FJ180V engine in September, choosing it over the Toro SR because I wanted the engine with the oil filter. I have a lot of oak trees of various types that pollute my yard periodically, and the Hi-Vac does really well with that. Very happy with the new mower.
My first 3 mowings were low and I bagged, to clean up the yard and get it ready to core aerate and overseed. Once that was done, I stopped mowing for a couple of weeks and concentrated on watering. Eventually I needed to mow again, and I installed the mulch cover ( not the plug ) and a mulching blade and started mulching. I also changed the oil, the filter and set the engine RPM to 3300.
I had bagged the first few times and when inspecting the deck afterwards not much had accumulated under there, and I could use a broom to dislodge what few clippings there were. Because of this, I got lazy and didn't inspect the deck after I started mulching, and didn't bother to look until I had mowed four times.
Last weekend I finally noticed the dark green, fine cement-like buildup under the deck, hard as a rock. Fine, I thought, I disconnected the spark and tilted the mower up on its side, and got out the garden hose. I used my sprayer handle, set the pattern to "stream" and started going after the build up, soaking it well, knocking as much out with the water and using a wooden stick to loosen the crud that resisted the water.
"Hmmm, is it supposed to be shiny like that", I thought? I've knocked quite a bit of the paint off the bottom of the deck, using only a small wooden stick and a garden hose!
My question is, is this normal? I guess mulching chops the clippings up more finely and releases a lot more moisture, so it's more prone to build-up, but is it normal for deck paint to flake off under only the pressure of a garden hose and some scraping with a stick? The mower has less than 10 hours of use.
What can I do? Should I worry? Won't the steel deck rust if I don't seal it somehow? Is that normal for the paint on a new mower?
Your advice is appreciated, I'm just sick that I did this to my new mower :(