Can You Put A Chiminea On Wood Deck

Chimineas used initially for indoor cooking and heat is a typical outdoor feature rather than a traditional wood-burning fire pit. You can often find Chimineas on patios or in garden areas, although many gardens now lack surrounding ground areas and are replaced with decking areas.

A question often asked now is, can you put a Chiminea on decking materials and it stays safe to use? If you have a chiminea for deck use, you need to take precautions as they reach extremely high temperatures.

In our guide, you can learn more about adding your chiminea on deck instead of a traditional fire pit. By the end, you’ll know how to protect the composite decking by not placing your outdoor fireplace directly on the decking and avoiding any safety hazards. (Learn How To Get Rid Of Rabbits Under Deck)

Chiminea On Wood Deck

Safety of A Chiminea On Wooden Deck

Let’s start with some of the most significant dangers when you use a chiminea on a wooden deck and how you can reduce the risks.

Potential Risks

Because wood is flammable, there is always a risk a deck could catch fire when there is a fire so close.

When placing a Chiminea or fire pit directly near combustible materials, as they release a lot of heat, they pose a risk.

Besides, ashes and sparks could fly out of your chiminea with a wood fire. It can be easy for sparks and embers to set fire to your wooden deck, your garden, and also your home.

How to Minimize Risks

You can do a few things to lower your chances of harming your deck or starting a fire.

Place the chimenea on sturdy legs, and place a fire-resistant base made of pavers, bricks, or other fire-resistant materials that won’t transport heat to a flammable surface like wood and leave burn marks.

As a result, your hardwood deck is less likely to reach the temperature where it may catch fire.

There are custom-made fire pit rugs on the market. They can be placed beneath your chiminea to provide more heat protection for your deck.

Having water and a fire extinguisher on standby to put out any flying embers that drop on the deck can also reduce the risk. (Read Can You Paint Composite Decking)

Another strategy to reduce the chance of starting a fire is to avoid using a chiminea during dry, windy weather. This reduces the risk of embers blowing onto the deck or other locations.

Much of the safety for using fire pits and chimineas is more about common sense of keeping heat away from the wood.

Safety Padding for Chiminea On Wooden Deck

What Should I Put Under My Chiminea?

There are certain things to do when using a clay chiminea.

Before lighting the Chimie on the burner, wet the base of the Chimie. Clay can crack as a result of the heat from coal.

Cover the bottoms of the chimineas with dirt, preferably 3 inches deep. You could use little metal trays to raise your chimineas if they’re large enough, but it’s not required.

Place the chiminea on a surface that is fire-resistant like sand, tiles, or metal or stone fire pit pads.

Patios made of concrete and brick are also fire-resistant. However, once lit, the chiminea may reach extremely high temperatures, as previously indicated. Therefore, instead of mounting it directly on the wooden deck, mount it on a fire-safe platform.

Location

Keep the chiminea away from flammable objects. A safe distance from the home is roughly 10 feet away from overhanging tree branches and other flammable materials.

The chiminea’s construction is that the funnel sends a draft up, allowing the embers to go further and spark a fire on a windy day.

Safe Surface

Place your chiminea steady on a fire-resistant surface like sand, tiles, metal legs, or stone fire pit pads. Patios made of concrete and brick are also fire-resistant. Once the chiminea is lit, it may reach high temperatures as previously indicated.

Mount it on a fire-safe platform rather than directly on the hardwood deck. It’s also a good idea to make sure the base is sturdy enough to keep the chiminea firm and upright. (Learn How Long Does Deck Stain Need To Dry Before It Rains)

Spark Stoppers

By placing a spark stopper at the top of the funnel to prevent sparks from flying, you and your surroundings are protected from embers that could start a fire. You can buy a fire pit spark guard or create your own out of chicken wire.

Size of Fire

Make sure your chiminea doesn’t get too hot. If flames are shooting out of the front, you have a too large fire, which can pose a threat if it is close to flammable items.

Use Proper Fuel

When lighting your chiminea, be patient and not be tempted to use lighter fluid.

If your fire spreads too quickly, it may crack the chiminea’s walls. Your chiminea will last longer if you use the right fuel.

Here are fuels and flammable material to ignite and use in your chiminea?

  • Charcoal briquettes: It is best to use self-lighting ones where you need just a long match.
  • Gas: You can use natural or propane in cast iron or aluminum chimineas or fire pits.
  • Wood: Woods such as cedar and hickory are common, although you can get artificial logs that are easier to deal with.

Curing a Chiminea

Clay chimineas that have been broken in are less prone to cracking or breaking. Likewise, when a cast iron chiminea is cured, it prevents rusting.

Here is how to complete the process:

  1. Fill the bottom interior with sand
  2. Toss in some paper balls and light them
  3. Once the paper is burning, add some kindling material and small logs.
  4. Once the logs have burned completely, allow your chiminea to cool.
  5. Repeat at least three times.

Storing

Chimineas are typically portable, making them easy to store in a shed or garage during inclement weather.

Even if they appear durable, clay chimineas are delicate and should be stored during inclement weather. Carry the chiminea by the base rather than the funnel to avoid separating the two sections.

Cleaning

The ashes can be collected in the bottom of the fire pit with sand, gravel, or lava rocks.

This makes cleaning out the bottom easier by dumping the sand-ash combination in a pail, washing it off, and allowing it to dry.

Fire Retardant Deck Treatment

It is highly recommended that you use a special fire retardant whether painting, oiling, or preparing your deck before using a chiminea.

If an accident occurs, this substance will delay the development of a fire, allowing rescuers to arrive before the flames reach your house or protect against serious deck damage.

Add a Fireproof Mat

Even after applying a fire-retarding treatment, placing a chiminea directly on a wood deck is still not a great idea.

Preventing embers from getting straight into the wood is important, so lay down a fireproof mat at least 36 inches wide to catch any stray sparks. (Learn How To Sand a Deck)

Raise the Chiminea

Starting a fire requires oxygen, fuel, and heat. A windy day provides lots of oxygen, and a deck is fuel.

The chiminea will heat from the fire and via heat conducted through the chiminea your surrounding area and objects.

The heat from the chiminea should be kept away from the wooden deck and other surrounding items.

If your chiminea doesn’t come with one, a platform made of cinder blocks or bricks can suffice to prevent wobbling. You may also purchase stands specifically intended for outdoor fire pits.

Spark Screen for Chiminea

Install a Spark Screen

Although many chimineas come with a spark screen, if you have one of the older open-air models made of terracotta clay, it’s a good idea to install an aftermarket spark screen to keep all embers contained.

Types of Chiminea On A Wood Deck Range

Even after all the fire-protective preparations are taken, it is never a good idea to light a chiminea on wooden or composite deck and let it burn without supervision, no matter what material they are made from

Here are common materials used in the manufacture of chimineas after the traditional clay variety.

Cast Iron:

A chiminea made of cast iron is the toughest. Cast iron is more resistant to temperature changes and physical damage. They are also often heavier, making them more stable and less likely to fall.

Cast Aluminum:

For many purchasers, a cast aluminum chiminea is the best option. They aren’t as inexpensive as other models, but they have a lot of advantages.

Copper:

Copper is another acceptable and practical chiminea material. However, copper chimineas are not recommended for frequent use.

Their pop rivets are prone to wearing out, needing more frequent repair. However, if you want to go for a unique and old-fashioned look, the cost of a copper chiminea is well worth it.

Stainless Steel:

Stainless steel chimineas are among the most affordable options. One disadvantage is that stainless steel chimineas usually need to be assembled. However, putting them together is relatively simple.

Fire Pit & Chiminea Use Tips

It may appear risky to place a wood-burning fire pit on a wooden or composite deck.

A wooden deck and composite decks have issues ranging from basic fire safety to warping and cosmetic damage.

Wooden and a composite deck are significant investments, so knowing what hazards to expect and what information you’ll need to assess them can help you secure your new outdoor space.

However, if you follow the safety precautions, you can safely use a fire pit on both wood and composite decks.

Here are a few tips for deck chiminea and fire pit safety.

Stay Alert

The first rule seems obvious, but it bears repeating. Leave no fires alone on your wood or composite deck or anyplace in your yard.

Even if you take all of the safety precautions listed below, you can’t control the wind or unforeseen sparks from any fires.

Water & Fire Extinguisher

Ensure there is plenty of water and a fire extinguisher close to your fires. Many homes have an outdoor hose nearby, or even better, you could keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of sand to protect anything around your fire.

Fire Pit Barrier

Never use a chiminea directly on wooden decks or a composite deck. Likewise, using a fire pit on a wood deck can produce costly concerns such as full-on fire damage, ruin the decking supporting structure, and cosmetic damage.

Plastics often used in composite decking run the risk of warping and melting when exposed to extreme heat as a fire pit does.

Polypropylene melts at 320°F and PVC at 212°F, and some decking can soften as low as 176°F.

There are unique fire pit mats to protect a chiminea on a wood surface against severe temperatures. Simply arrange pavers or bricks underneath and around the chiminea or fire pit for a DIY solution.

Can You Put A Chiminea On Wood Deck

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