Having an outdoor fireplace is one of life’s greatest luxuries. Whether you use yours to roast marshmallows in the summer or stay warm in the winter while you embrace the outdoors, you will love having a backyard fireplace right outside your home. It’s where you can unwind, relax, sip a drink, chat with friends and loved ones, and enjoy the beautiful flames dancing before you safely, comfortably, and warmly.
You must take the necessary steps to maintain your fireplace to avoid any major issues. Here are a few tips to follow to enjoy your outdoor fireplace for years to come!
For starters, do your best to keep it clean. Just like indoor fireplaces need cleaning from time to time, so do outdoor ones. By cleaning your fireplace consistently, you’re setting it up to function well over time safely and efficiently. If you have a gas unit, remove spiderwebs and debris (like fallen tree leaves or twigs) that might otherwise clog your burners. If you have a wood-burning unit, you need to remove old ashes, coals, and water and eliminate spiderwebs and debris as well. The cleaner the fireplace, the longer it will last.
Keep Plants Away
If any plants or flowers are in the general vicinity of your fireplace, you should ensure that you trim them and keep them as far back as possible. The plants could present a fire hazard if they get too close to the fireplace.
In places where you get a lot of rain or snow, consider adding doors to your fireplace or covers for your fire pit to keep them dry and free from wind-driven debris.
Burning wood in a fireplace will produce soot, ash, and other debris that will build up over time. The best way to deal with it is to sweep it up or vacuum it out before it builds up too much and presents problems for you. Even if you use a gas fireplace, it can leave soot and ash behind the fake logs. Cleaning this up is essential for your safety!
Choose the Right Wood
When using wood in an outdoor fireplace or pit, be mindful of the type of wood you burn. Hardwood is better than green wood and softwoods. So, it’s better to burn oak or maple than pine, which holds a lot of water, creates a lot of smoke, and sparks while burning. To keep your wood pile “clean,” store it off the ground so it doesn’t pull moisture from the earth and where it’ll be harder for pests, bugs, and critters to get to and try to make a home.
Perform a Chimney Inspection
You wouldn’t use the fireplace inside your home for long periods without having it inspected and cleaned out, so don’t do it with your outdoor fireplace. Some people get too comfortable with letting their outdoor fireplace go for years without being swept out, which can lead to catastrophic results. It would help if you had a professional inspect your fireplace once every year to see what maintenance needs to be done to it.
At VistaPro Landscape & Design, we build and install outdoor fire pits and fireplaces with the intent that you’ll find them to be a stunning focal point around your deck, patio or pool area. We can also give you tips on maintaining your unique outdoor centerpieces so they will last a long time.
Contact us at (301)805-0119 to learn more about our custom design options for your new outdoor fireplace!