Friday, October 24, 2014

Is Your Firepit Ready for the Cold Season?

Cold season is fast approaching. And as early as today, some of us are already feeling the chilly weather. Perhaps, this is the perfect time to do some maintenance checkup and break-in your outdoor fireplace/fire pit for the coming days ahead.

So before getting all too excited about spending the nightfall in your patio, burning wood while downing a six-pack, here are some things you might want to consider doing to make sure your fire pit and/or outdoor fireplace is ready to be of service for the cold season.
‘tis the time of the year to ready your patio fire pit for the coming cold days
1. Clean off burnt residue from the fire pit – It is a given that fire pits (virtually all fire places) are prone to being dirty and/or blackened due to burnt materials and residue. That’s why it is important to clean it first before setting up your fuel and tinder. Make sure to scrape off creosote –a burnt wood byproduct that can produce burst of flame when re-ignited by fire – and other byproduct build-up that may cause potential fire risks. If you happen to use the pit for outdoor cooking as well, then it is advisable to include the cooking peripherals as well in your pit-cleaning checklist.

2. Check the fire pit for damages – A poorly-maintained fire place or a fire pit imposes potential dangers that could result to serious damages and accidents. Ergo, it is a-must to inspect the entire pit for damages such as cracked mortar and loose or gapped brick/stone for repair. Cement, lime putty or grout can be used to fix these imperfections.

This also goes with portable fire pits; metal-made pits are prone to rusting and corrosion, so it should be checked for deterioration. To repair this, you may use steel brush to remove the flakey stain patch. If some of the parts have been significantly disintegrated, you can patch this with a thin metal sheet and weld it to cover the rusting part.

3. Move your patio furniture – Just to be sure, move some of your patio furniture that may deemed prone to burnt damages in case a sudden spark of tinder lands on it. Instead, use wood chairs and tables to further avoid such accidents. To make it even safer for your precious outdoor furnishings, it is better to shield them from ashes and fumes using a trusty patio furniture cover.

4. Stockpile some fuel – And by fuel, we’re not just talking about gas or kerosene. It is basically the materials that you’ll be using to create and maintain fire. And that includes wood, coal, newspapers, briquette and of course, lighter and/or matches to start one. For those who are using wood, it is important that you should “season” the wood (dried out for 6 days). Go for hardwood like maple, hickory, oak and cherry instead of softwood, as the latter doesn’t last long.

5. Set up a safe spot for children and pets – Because your kids and beloved furry pets want to enjoy the outdoor warmth as well. That being said, you may set up a safe area –ideally a significant feet away from the fireplace – for them to stay. Place a nice, comfy outdoor mattress and a pet throw will do the job in keeping them warm and cozy.

6. Lastly, don’t forget the s’mores essentials – You’re sitting in front of the fireplace, right? So, what are you waiting for? Prepare the s’mores table and start the fire… because an outdoor fireplace wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a stick of roasted marshmallows and a piece of chocolate sandwiched between a pair of biscuits. Heck, might as well get the hotdogs too!

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