What could be better than spending warm summer nights with your family around a fire? Adding a fire feature will take your backyard to the next level. From grand fireplaces to modest firepits, your loved ones will have a blast roasting marshmallows and making memories.
However, fire features do require a certain amount of TLC. Caring for these structures increases their lifespan and helps keep everyone safe. Use these maintenance tips for your outdoor chimney and fire pit to create the perfect backyard.
Keep Everything Clean
First things first—keeping your fire features clean is essential to their overall maintenance. Fireplaces and pits generate ash as they burn materials, and this debris can get everywhere and clog up important ventilation components.
Clear out any ash or remaining firewood. For brick pits, you’ll need to use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub away any tough stains. You can use a soft, damp cloth to wipe away messes on metal pits, but be careful when using water; make sure to dry your metal structure thoroughly to avoid rust.
Avoid Drastic Temperature Changes
Fire features produce a lot of heat, a fact which surprises absolutely no one. However, what does surprise some homeowners is that drastic temperature changes can damage your structures.
Going from hot to cold too quickly can cause your chimney and pit materials to crack—this usually happens when you use cold water to clean a freshly-used fire feature. Cracks are safety hazards, so make sure to give your structure plenty of time to cool off before performing any maintenance.
Choose Fuel Carefully
There are several options when it comes to fuel for your fire feature. However, you need to choose carefully, especially if you have children nearby. Burning trash, fire accelerants, or low-quality lumber can be dangerous and emit potentially harmful fumes.
If you assemble them correctly, gas stoves are safe and easy to use. You can also burn high-quality wood for a clean and warm fire. Additionally, outdoor fireplaces need chimneys to direct smoke away from your yard, so using the right materials will improve your air quality.
Hire a Chimney Sweep
The final maintenance tip for outdoor chimneys and fire pits involves hiring a professional. Chimney sweeps know exactly what to look for and have the best resources to clean your fire feature. Even if you can do most of these things yourself, having an expert inspect for safety hazards doesn’t hurt.
Once you’ve cleaned, checked for cracks, picked the right fuel, and hired a chimney sweep, your fire features will be ready to use! Get your family out for some fun around the fire and have a summer they won’t soon forget.