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DeckProtect.com

Protect your deck or patio from the heat of a fire pit.

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Deck Safe Fire Pit Questions

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Can I place a fire pit on a concrete or stone patio?

Concrete is, of course, fire proof. However, it is not heat proof. You may not see any damage to the concrete right away, but over time, heat will cause the concrete to expand a little and then contract, causing cracks and spalling. I didn't think that fire pits could cause immediate and dramatic damage to a stone patio until I saw this video by an top notch patio company in New Jersey: Sierra Landscape Management

Can I put a gas fire pit or fire table on an outdoor rug or carpet?

Bad idea. The rug absorbs and traps heat and is in direct contact with the deck. Any kind of rug or outdoor carpet is the worst possible thing to put under a fire pit or fire table. See an example of the damage it can cause.

Can I put pavers under a fire pit on my deck? Will pavers protect my deck under a fire pit?

Typical pavers that you buy at Home Depot are over an inch thick. Thick pavers do a pretty good job of blocking heat. One reason that most pavers are made of cement which is a little bit porous. However, pavers still do not always provide complete protection. Heat from a hot wood burning fire pit can eventually penetrate even thick pavers. Pavers will heat up and eventually raise the temperature of composite or pvc decking above the melting point and cause wood decking boards to char. Pavers will be enough protection under some fire pits that do not get as hot underneath. One problem with pavers sitting in direct contact with the deck is that moisture will collect under them resulting in a build up of mold or mildew that will likely leave a stain on the deck. If you use pavers on a deck, be sure to remove them from time to time to give the deck surface access to air and sunlight. So the answer is a qualified yes. If your fire pit is raised on legs 4 inches or more above the deck, allowing plenty of air flow, pavers are probably enough to protect the deck. Just remember to move the pavers before they leave a stain.

Will tiles protect my deck under a fire pit?


Our tests show that ceramic tiles, which, unlike pavers are quite thin, do a very poor job of blocking heat. Heat more or less passes right through tiles. See the
results of the test we did with tiles.

How far should a fire pit be placed away from the house?

Generally speaking, a fire pit should be 10 feet or more from the structure of your house. A flying hot ember can land several feet from a fire and possibly cause a flammable surface to catch fire. The most important rule is to never leave a fire unattended.

What are the best deck safe fire pits?

There is really no such thing a s a deck-safe fire pit. If you search that term on line, you will see web sites selling fire pits. They are not deck safe. Be skeptical of what you see on the Web. While we were all taught that heat rises, it also radiates, and it radiates in all directions, including downward. Almost all fire pits, especially wood burning fire pits radiate a lot of heat toward the deck. The closer the fire bowl is to the deck, the greater the risk of harm. If you find a fire pit that is raised on legs that place the bottom of the fire bowl 15 inches or more above the deck on legs, not an enclosed base, so that fresh air flows freely in a lot of space, that fire pit may be safe on a deck. However, we don’t see many, if any, fire pits that fit that description. One fire pit that comes close to being “deck safe” is the SoloStove when you also purchase the stand that raises it about three inches. The design of the Solo Stove is unique because it draws air from the outside of the base and flows the air under the fire bowl. However, even Solo Stove will tell you that prolonged use on a deck may cause a problem. Fire pits and decks, whether wood or composite are not fully safe without an effective heat barrier.

Is a gas fire pit table safe on a deck?

Gas fire pits and fire tables do not typically burn as hot as a wood burning fire. However, that does not necessarily make them safe on a deck. Many types of gas fire tables have an enclosed base or structure that is only an inch or so above the deck. The enclosed space has the effect of trapping the heat, which then builds up over time. Without sufficient air flow under the flame, the heat can rise to a level that can be harmful to a deck, especially a composite or PVC deck.

What is the best way to dispose of the ashes from a wood burning fire pit?

Absolutely the number one rule is to wait until the next day when the ashes and remaining embers are completely COLD. There have been a number of deck and house fires that were caused by dumping ashes when some embers still have heat. If you pour a quart of water on the fire, you will see a lot of steam. Even that will not completely cool the ashes. The next day the ashes may be completely dry because the water has been evaporated overnight by the remaining heat. Assuming the ashes are cold, they are safe to dispose of anywhere. Some say that ashes are great for the soil in your garden, but it seems there are two sides to that idea having to do with the chemical composition.


Can I put fire pit on my lawn? Will grass be burned by a fire pit?

Grass will be scorched by the heat radiating from a wood-burning fire bowl. If you want to use a fire pit on your lawn, the best idea is to create a special place in your lawn for the fire pit. It should be an area twice the size of the fire pit. Replace the turf with gravel or pavers. Short of that, you can use a deck protector with legs that raise it a good 3 or 4 inches above the grass. Even then the heat may kill the grass.

Will DeckProtect protect my lawn under a fire pit?

No. DeckProtect is designed to sit on a hard surface like a deck or patio. Its hard rubber feet raise it a half inch, which provides vital space and air flow. Those feet will be useless on grass.

Do I need a mat under my fire pit?

Any product that is described as a “mat” will not provide the best protection for your deck under a hot fire pit for a number of reasons. For one, it is not substantial enough to completely block high temperatures radiating from the fire bowl. Also, it sits directly on and in contact with the deck with no air space between it and the deck. This means it will have substantially less insulating value and trapped moisture under the mat can result in staining your deck.

Is a gas fire pit table safe on a deck?

Gas fire pits and fire tables do not typically burn as hot as a wood burning fire. However, that does not necessarily make them safe on a deck. Many types of gas fire tables have an enclosed base or structure that is only an inch or so above the deck. The enclosed space has the effect of trapping the heat, which then builds up over time. Without sufficient air flow under the flame, the heat can rise to a level that can be harmful to a deck, especially a composite or pvc deck.

Are smokeless fire pits worth it?

Not if you like smoke getting in your eyes and having to rearrange the seating every time the wind changes. Smokeless fire pits are more expensive than the thin-metal fire pits made in China that you can buy at a big box store. However, they really can improve your experience of sitting around the fire. They are likely to give off more heat, not less, while producing a lot less smoke. The reason is that they do a more thorough job of completely burning the wood. Smoke contains miniscule particles of wood not completely consumed by heat. One downside of smokeless fire pits is that they have a bigger appetite for wood, and you will find yourself needing to feed a robust fire every few minutes. Another downside of a smokeless fire pit is that you get less of that real camp fire experience that leaves you with the wonderful aroma of a campfire in your clothing long after the fire is over. We have tested both the Breeo and the SoloStove, which are the two best known brands. There are other brands of smokeless fire pits now available on line, and we don’t know how effective they are.

Where can I find an American made fire pit?

Good question. A lot of American companies and web sites are selling fire pits imported from China. Imported fire pits are typically less expensive and made of thin steel. You would not expect to see many seasons of use. In contrast to fire pits, large gas burning fire tables are more likely to be American made. There are a handful of enterprising American craftsmen making solid wood burning fire pits here in the U.S. These fire pits are made with thick steel and will likely last long enough to pass on to the next generation. You can read about them here: http://www.decksandfirepits.com/made-in-america/





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