Proactive Fire Pit Maintenance Tips

Posted by Michael Dougherty on Jun 22, 2017 5:59:53 AM

Cope fire pit for outdoor kitchen San Jose, CANow that you have a beautiful new fire pit, you can look forward to many happy evenings relaxing with friends and family. And with a little proactive care, you can extend the life and looks of your fire pit for many years.

Here are a few easy maintenance tips that will keep your fire pit in top shape:

Clean up ash regularly

Clearing away old ashes is important for two reasons:

  1. First, charred wood is acidic and can discolor metal and stone.
  2. Secondly, accumulated ash can restrict the oxygen flow needed for a decent fire.

It’s very important to make sure ash and coals have cooled completely before disposing of them (no one wants to have to deal with a trash fire!). Either scoop ashes into a metal bucket for safe storage a few hours after the fire has gone out, or wait until the next day. Ash can then safely be thrown away or repurposed as garden fertilizer.

Afterward, use a small broom to sweep out any remaining ash.

Burn the right materials

Dry, locally sourced firewood is the best fuel for a wood-burning fire pit. Avoid damp or green wood, which creates a lot of messy smoke and can drip sap. And of course, don’t burn dangerous materials such as old lumber or trash.

Don’t spray or jump-start your fire with accelerants—not only is this extremely dangerous (!!), but it can also stain the surface of your fire pit.

Scrub away gunk

Pollen, tree sap, bugs: whatever that dust or film is, you don’t want to let it sit in your pit! Wipe it down whenever you see dirt or debris and you’ll save yourself trouble down the road. Portable metal fire pits can be rinsed with soap and water; just be sure to let it dry.

If you have fire glass, it can be wiped down with a simple cleaner—just be careful of sharp surfaces!

If you use your fire pit for cooking, clean up food particles the same way you would clean your grill grates.

Avoid rust and mold

If you spot rust on your metal fire pit, nip it in the bud! Use a wire brush or sandpaper to scrape it away before it gets out of hand. The same goes for mold.

Of course, the building materials you use makes a big difference in preventing mold and rust damage. That’s why our builders use mold-resistant PermaBase cement board and rust-resistant Red Oxide to make our fire pits more durable. 

Use a cover if applicable

If you’re retiring your fire pit for the season, consider covering it up to protect it from the elements. Waterproof tarp is effective, though a custom cover will look much nicer.

A cover is also useful for short periods between uses. Even a simple mesh cover can help keep out leaves and some pollen.

Avoid cracking

While metal and stone aren’t as delicate as glass, they are still prone to cracking due to extreme temperature shifts. This is why you should extinguish the fire with a solid cover to cut off the oxygen supply instead of pouring cold water onto a hot fire. And don’t leave hot embers unattended or you could end up with a house or brush fire!

Check gas lines regularly

For safety’s sake, be sure to check your gas lines on a regular basis, and make sure no debris or food drips are blocking any of the valve openings. This not only keeps it clean—it keeps you safe!

Ready for a clean start?

If your current fire pit is overdue for an upgrade, why not go for a customized option this time around? Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen can build sturdy, weather-resistant fire pits that will keep their beauty for many years. If you’d like to find out what the possibilities are, check out our recent work or contact us for a free consultation!

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Topics: Fire Pits, Fire Tables, & Fireplaces