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How Long do Fire Pits Last? Plus 5 Maintenance Tricks to Help Them Last Longer

Camping is one of the most iconic summertime activities. Getting a fire pit started and keeping it going strong can be tough, but with these five hacks you’ll have your own roaring fire pit for years to come!

A campfire is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family, but sometimes it can be hard to know how long a fire will last. The “how long does a campfire last” is an answer that gives you all of the information you need about how long your fire will last.

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Fire pits have seen some of the most memorable moments in our lives, but how long do they last? Fire pits may endure anywhere from a year to an eternity, depending on who you ask. So, what’s the key to particular fire pits lasting a long time?

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Some fire pit users say that the sort of fire pit utilized makes a difference in how long it lasts. Others argue that the lifespan of a fire pit is determined by how often it is utilized. However, it seems that the one aspect of fire pit care on which most owners can agree is that it extends the life of the fire pit.

Even those fire pits that are supposed to be of greater quality will not survive as long as a well-maintained fire pit.

 

There are various methods to prolong the life of your fire pit, but we’ve limited it down to five maintenance tips that will help your fire pit last longer.

Contents Table of Contents

  • First and foremost, keep an eye on what you burn.
  • Tip #2: Use Caution When Extinguishing Fires
  • Keep Your Fire Pit Clean (Tip #3)
  • Keep Your Fire Pit Out of the Weather (Tip #4)
  • Cleaning Your Grate Before and After Cooking is Tip #5.
  • To sum it up…

First and foremost, keep an eye on what you burn.

Keeping an eye on what you burn in your fire pit is one of the simplest methods to prolong its life. Some materials thrown into flames to burn emit toxic fumes and pollutants into the hair, and some accelerants used to start the fire might cause damage to the fire pit.

What should you burn in your fire pits, then? Simply said, in your fire pit, you should utilize dry, split wood. 

To go a step further, there are certain sorts of wood that work well in fire pits, and these include:

 

  • Oak wood
  • Wood from maple
  • Cherry wood is a popular choice.

Birch wood is a fast-burning wood that is recommended for beginning fires.

Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Burn in My Fire Pit?

Many typical objects that people toss in their fire pits are not suitable for burning for a variety of reasons. The website of the Family Handyman provides a fantastic list of things not to burn, with simple, easy-to-understand explanations.

To summarize everything in a concise and exact list, here are the objects you should not burn in your fire pit and why:

  • Anything made of plastic – Plastic emits poisonous gases that are hazardous to both you and the environment.
  • When your fire is reluctant to start, it’s tempting to add accelerants like gas or lighter fluid, but these may produce explosions and terrible mishaps. 
  • Magazines – Burning paper, such as magazines and junk mail, may be hazardous because the ink on the paper emits poisonous vapors into the atmosphere.
  • Wooden pallets – Some wooden pallets have been coated with methyl bromide, which is toxic when ignited. Wooden pallets are a popular option for fire pits, and it’s OK to use them provided you know they weren’t treated with methyl bromide.
  • Particleboard — While it may be tempting to burn old furniture that has been lying around for a while, particleboard, which is used in most furniture, contains adhesives that may release harmful fumes when burnt.
  • Painted wood – Because of the fumes released by the paint when it is burnt, it is never a good idea to burn painted wood. Furthermore, if the painted wood is old, it may contain lead-based paint, which is much more hazardous.
  • Cardboard – While cardboard seems to be a safe material to burn, the ink on it may emit harmful vapors. Also, cardboard burns fast and may cause injuries, particularly if someone is sitting near to it when it takes fire.
  • Poison ivy, oak, or sumac — You may want to burn these plants to get rid of them, but doing so emits a toxic smoke that may irritate the lungs and cause respiratory problems.
  • Green or soft wood – When burnt, green and soft woods produce a lot of smoke, making it difficult to sit around a fire.
  • Rubbish – Burning trash not only produces a lot of smoke and hazardous gases, but it’s also forbidden in many regions.

Tip #2: Use Caution When Extinguishing Fires

To put out a fire in your fire pit, use the following steps:

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  • Allow the fire to totally burn out. Keep in mind that even the ash from the fire will be very hot. If there are any huge pieces that are taking a long time to burn off, you may gently split them in two with a shovel to speed up the process.
  • Pour water carefully into the fire pit once the fire has died out and the ashes have cooled. Make sure that you wet all of the ashes, not just the ones that are blazing red. 
  • With a shovel, stir the damp ashes. Make sure that all of the ashes are mixed up with the water. This step ensures that the ashes are no longer producing heat.
  • Examine the area surrounding the fire pit. Check your fire pit for any ashes or burning wood that may have fallen. 
  • Check the temperature. Check to see whether your fire pit is still producing heat.
  • After the ashes have dried, carefully dispose of them.

When it comes to extinguishing a fire in a fire pit, the most common error is throwing water on it while it is still blazing or the fire pit is still highly hot. The fire pit may break as a result of the sudden temperature fluctuation.

When putting out a fire, take extra caution not to throw water on it until it has cooled sufficiently. It takes a long time to put out a fire in a fire pit properly.

Remember that ashes are acidic, so keeping them in your fire pit for an extended amount of time might cause damage. Remove the ashes from the fire pit after they have dried.

Keep Your Fire Pit Clean (Tip #3)

Maintaining the cleanliness of your fire pit can help it last longer. Because there are many various types of fire pits, you must understand how to care for the one you possess. 

Regardless of the style of fire pit, there are a few tools that every fire pit owner should have. They are as follows:

  • An ash scoop to aid in the removal of ashes from your fire pit. Don’t forget that wood ash has a variety of applications.
  • To carry logs and timber around, use a long poker or tongs.
  • A spark screen, for safety and to keep your pit from charring.
  • When your fire pit isn’t in use, cover it with a vinyl or protective fire pit cover.

While the instruments for keeping fire pits are typically the same regardless of the style of fire pit, the maintenance and cleaning of the many types of fire pits might differ. The following are the methods of cleaning different types of fire pits:

For a stone or masonry fire pit, follow these steps:

  1. Clean out the bowl of ash and particles.
  2. Scrub the inside with a 1-part muriatic acid to 9-parts water solution.
  3. Allow the pit to dry for 2 to 3 days after rinsing it with water.

For a steel or metal fire pit, follow these steps:

  1. Clean out the bowl of ash and particles.
  2. Using a soap and water solution, wet the bowl and wash it.
  3. Allow the bowl to air dry by turning it upside down.

For a cast iron fire pit, follow these steps:

  1. Clean out the bowl of ash and particles.
  2. Steel wool should be used to gently scrub the bowl.
  3. Rinse well with water and blot dry with a cloth.

For a copper fire pit, follow these steps:

  1. Clean out the bowl of ash and particles.
  2. Clean the pit with soap and water after spraying it with a hose.

Over time, soot may accumulate in copper fire pits, causing them to discolor. To remove the buildup and tarnish, you may buy cleansers or create your own by using 1 cup of salt with 1 gallon of vinegar.

For a gas fire pit, follow these steps:

Although gas fire pits are low-maintenance, they still need regular maintenance of their gas pipes and burners. To begin, keep the burners clean so that the gas may flow freely through them. Second, make sure the gas lines are working correctly and safely on a regular basis. Also, if your propane fire pit becomes wet, here are some things to do.

Keep Your Fire Pit Out of the Weather (Tip #4)

Fire pits may be used all year and for a variety of events, but they must be carefully preserved while not in use. One of the quickest ways to destroy your fire pit is to leave it out in the weather while it isn’t in use.

There are a few options for protecting your fire pit from the weather.

Invest in a Fire Pit Cover.

When most people think of fire pit covers, they think of the “mesh” coverings that come with certain fire pits. But they aren’t the right coverings for a fire pit. The (typically) stainless steel mesh are simply safety screens that may be put over a fire to prevent ash and debris from flying about.

Covers for Snuffers and fabric or vinyl covers are the two types of protective coverings for fire pits.

Covers for Snuffers

Covers for Snuffers are made of heavy duty metal – like copper – and fit securely on the top of a fire pit. They have two purposes:

  • To aid in the extinguishment of the fire by cutting off air supply to the fading flames and ensuring that no sparks fly out during the process.
  • To prevent rain from dripping into the fire pit.

There are two styles of Covers for Snuffers, normally. It is best to always get a solid cover with a cone- or dome-shaped lid that has sturdy handles. Make sure there are no holes in your snuffer cover for best quality.

There are Covers for Snuffers that are flat with “cut-outs” instead of handles. Do not bother with these.

If your fire pit does not come with a snuffer cover, it is well worth your time (and money) to get one. They may be obtained at home and garden shops as well as on the internet.

Covers made of fabric or vinyl

The only aim of these coverings is to protect the fire pit from the weather. They are available in a variety of materials, including weather-resistant canvas, nylon, plastic, and vinyl. These protective coverings, similar to grill covers, assist safeguard your fire pit from damage caused by rain and debris during rainy weather.

A unique PVC-lined fabric in good protective coverings will keep moisture out even when it’s really chilly. They’ll also feature built-in vents to keep moisture out of the protective cover.

Protective coverings will keep your fire pit looking and performing like new by preventing corrosion and tarnish.

When the Fire Pit Isn’t in Use, Store It

Unless your fire pit is built into your yard or patio, you may simply store it while it is not in use in an enclosed place.

Your fire pit might be kept in a garage or a shed at home. During the months when they are not using it, some people keep it in a storage shed distant from their house. 

When storing your fire pit in an enclosed place, make sure it has totally cooled down and is not in any way, shape, or form in risk of rekindling a fire.

Be Aware of Your Environment

If you live on a beach – or anyplace near saltwater – you’ll need to take extra precautions with your fire pit. Metals breakdown at a significantly higher pace in salty sea air than in ordinary air. 

It’s essential to take additional precautions to safeguard your fire pit from the salty sea air. Make sure you have a sturdy protective cover on hand. It’s also a good idea to cover your fire pit with a protective cover and keep it in an enclosed space as much as possible to reduce the amount of salty air it’s exposed to.

Cleaning Your Grate Before and After Cooking is Tip #5.

Although not everyone cooks in their fire pit, it is critical that those who do do so clean it immediately afterward.

If you use your fire pit to cook, you’ll need to keep the grate clean. To clean the grate before and after cooking, use a wire brush similar to the one you’d use on a normal grill.

Applying vegetable oil to the fire pit grate before adding your meal might make it simpler to clean and increase its life. The oil will “season” the grate, reducing the likelihood of rust and corrosion.

To sum it up…

Fire pits are wonderful additions to any home. The mood and ambiance surrounding a fire is always calming, whether you use them for bonfires with the kids to create s’mores or you gather around a fire with adult friends to sip hot chocolate with Bailey’s when it’s chilly.

 

The “how to keep fire pit from rusting” is a question that has been asked many times before. The answer is not so simple, but there are 5 maintenance tricks you can use to help your fire pit last longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I extend the life of my fire pit?

A: The most reliable way of extending the life of a fire pit is by ensuring that it has good airflow around it. This can be achieved by adding another vent to your gas or propane grill in order to create an updraft and ensure proper combustion.

How long will a fire pit last?

A: Not long at all, as they typically only last a few hours before the thermal mass of the bricks start to cool down.

How do you take care of a fire pit?

A: Please see the article here for more detailed information on how to take care of a fire pit.

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