Maintaining A Fire Pit
A fire pit creates great backyard ambiance, providing your family and friends with a great gathering place on cool evenings. The following maintenance steps will keep your fire pit safe and in service for years to come.
Keep it Clean
It is extremely important to keep your fire pit clean both to maintain its appearance and to prevent potential fires from forming outside the fire pit. To clean the fire pit, use a broom to sweep the inside of the fire pit area. An angled broom will work best for this purpose but a standard broom can be used as well. Sweep in one direction to prevent the ash from being moved around without getting picked up. Remove any ash or dust and wood remnants which have formed as a result of fires in the fire pit. Clear the area around the fire pit. Remove debris such as leaves, sticks, grass and any other potentially flammable items for a perimeter of at least 10 feet. This will ensure that a floating ember doesn’t start a fire. When removing the ashes you can dispose of them in the garbage or you can place them in grassy areas which do not seem to be growing. Ashes will work as an extremely effective fertilizer.
Seal the Stones
Most fire pits are built using decorative concrete paver stones. While these are relatively durable they can begin to show signs of wear and eventually erode as a result of constant exposure to the elements. To protect these pavers apply a thin coat of concrete or stone sealant. Make sure the sealant is capable of handling high temperatures and that it is designed specifically for outdoor use. When applying the sealant do not put a thick layer on because this can lead to bubbling, which reduces the effectiveness of the sealant.
Cover the Fire Pit
In addition to protect it from the elements, covering your fire pit when it is not in use limits the amount of cleaning you will have to do. Virtually any type of waterproof vinyl tarp will work for this purpose. The tarp can be anchored using posts or heavy rocks.
Put Out the Fire
After enjoying your fire pit, extinguish the fire completely. Never leave a fire unattended. Even if the fire remains safely within the pit the heat causes wear on the surrounding stones, which may eventually need to be replaced. By putting out the fire immediately after using it, you can increase the life span of these stones by a considerable margin.
You also ensure that you won't end up with an accidental brush fire in your back yard.