Suggestions on Maintaining Your Outdoor Fire Pit

Fire pits are now becoming the norm at many homes, businesses and patio areas. With camping and tailgating still on the uprise, portable fire pits are becoming even more popular as well. For home use, fire pits are a great way to add ambiance and improve the value of your home as well as extend the season to entertain your guests.

Here are some ideas to keep your fire pit well maintained and presentable and working at its best.

Routine Maintenance:

Be aware of the hardware parts, check them each time before using your fire pit. Check and tighten any loose hardware and check the seal on your natural gas/(LP) propane connections.

Cleaning:

Follow safety precautions from the manufacturer when cleaning your fire pit and be sure that any cleaning product that you use is safe for the type of material the fire pit is made of. Be sure to wear gloves, eye protection and a dust filter mask when working with ash.

General Metal Surfaces:

Using a dry scrub brush, remove any loose particles and debris from the exterior and interior from the fire pit.

Generally speaking, a universal good cleaning solution can be made using 1/4 cup washing detergent dissolved in 1 (one) gallon of hot water. Remember to not overlook grates and any spark screen as well. When you are finished, rinse the fire pit thoroughly with fresh water.

Masonry and Stone Surfaces:

The easiest cleaning solution to make for masonry and stone is a combination of 1/2 cup grease fighting dish washing liquid mixed in 2 gallons of hot water. This soapy solution can be used with a scrub brush to clean the stone or masonry. Letting the solution sit for a minute or two between scrubbing can help with stubborn stains. Rinse with a water hose leaving no residue.

Extra care should be taken for any wood fire pit:

Never use any type of accelerant. Not only can this be a safety hazard, the extremely hot fire created by these accelerants can seep into the pores of the metal and damage your fire pit.

It is important to remember to regularly remove any build-up of creosote. Creosote is a by-product of burning wood and is highly flammable. You will also find this type of by-product in chimneys. First scrape it off with a dry stiff wire bristled brush, then again dipped in the same washing soda solution used to clean metal surfaces. this will allow the loose material to be brushed away and allow the liquid cleaning agent to soften up the remaining creosote.

Never use water to extinguish a fire in your fire pit! The drastic change in temperature could warp, split or crack it depending on the thickness of your fire pit material. Also, remember ash can smolder for days after a fire dies down., so it is suggested to not to leave it unattended…one big advantage of having a gas fed fire pit. As soon as the cinder and ash has cooled down enough to safely handle, use heavy, heat resistant work gloves and a trowel or shovel to scoop up the debris and place it into a metal can covered with a lid.

Preventative Measures:

Store your fire pit in a dry, covered location after the season is over and/or invest in a fire pit cover to protect it from the inclement weather. Covers can also help reduce the amount of cleaning necessary when the season to start entertaining begins again. For general information on extending the life of your fire pit click here.