A fire pit is a surefire way to add to your backyard’s atmosphere, with it surely becoming part of the festive atmosphere on your property. Not only are they majestic, but they are also conventional and practical, providing warmth during the brutal Minnesota winters.
For some homeowners, a fire pit is the focal point of their landscape, where family and friends can gather. For others, it’s a place to burn excess wood or to get rid of certain garden plants.
Regardless of its usage, there is required maintenance to ensure that the fire pit is working properly. The type of maintenance will depend on the size of the fire pit, building materials, as well as the age of the pit. There are also some problems that can be a reoccurring issue if not taken cared of proactively. Proper oversight will ensure that the fire pit stays blazing and that all people and pets around the pit stay safe.
Caring for Your Fire Pit
Make sure that you clean your fire pits regularly, not just right before the cooler months when homeowners tend to use a fire pit more regularly. The ash that accumulates in a fire pit needs to be cleaned periodically. Not only do ash and soot can be a potential hazard, but they will wreak havoc on the backyard area, with the ash getting onto everything over time.
Ash is extremely fine and can easily become airborne. Every couple of weeks remove excess ash with a broom or a handheld vacuum on a fire pit that is regularly used. Make sure that you only remove the ash after a couple of days. This will make sure that all embers have completely died.
If you are installing a new fire pit in your home, then make sure that there is a clay mortar around its perimeter. A mortar can be done by hand, but it’s preferred that you buy them. They are there as a barrier as well as to provide insulation. You can use a sealant to protect the surfaces of the pit.
It is important that you are aware of what you are burning and putting into the fire pit to fuel it. Dry, split wood is the recommended source for pit fires, making sure that you do not burn green wood. However, you can use twigs or sticks from around the yard to start the fire.
Do not use an accelerant once a kindle has started, as it can potentially damage the structural integrity of the fire pit. Ideally, you want the fire pit to subside naturally as it runs out of fuel. Even though water should be on hand in case of emergencies, water isn’t recommended to put out a large pit fire. The extreme water temperatures can damage the vessel of the fire pit.
Other Common Problems
The fire doesn’t sustain itself. One of the benefits of a fire pit over a conventional fireplace is that there is a larger surface area, allowing for a larger, more intense flame. However, if the fire is starting but quickly dying, what you are feeding it may be too wet. If you are using split wood that was recently exposed to moisture, then you may hear a hissing sound once fed to the fire. This is because the wood is wet. Make sure to feed a growing fire dried pieces of timber to create a pile of hot embers.
The fire is weak. Fire needs oxygen to grow. If you have a deep fire pit embedded into the ground, then there may not be sufficient airflow for the fire. You can lift up the base of the fire pit with river rocks, allowing for better aeration.
With regularly maintenance, you will mitigate any issues with the fire pit. Prevention will reduce hazards or mistakes that can permanently damage it.