Keeping your fire pit properly maintained is a simple way to ensure that you and your family will be able to enjoy roaring fires season after season. In addition to keeping your fire pit clean and regularly inspecting it for signs of wear and damage, you must also cover your fire pit when not in use. Even if you live in a warm climate with mild weather, there are plenty of reasons to cover your fire pit. This article will tell you why and help you find the best protective cover.
4 Reasons to Cover Your Fire Pit
Between wind, rain, snow and sometimes even hail, Mother Nature has an entire arsenal of precipitation to throw at your fire pit. The moisture from these can cause severe damage to the metal pieces of your fire pit. A cover seals out the water and helps prevent rusting. Plus, covering your fire pit also keeps debris, dirt, and leaves from being blown into the bowl of your fire pit.
When not in use, your fire pit can provide a cozy home for rodents like mice and rats. Once rodents make themselves comfortable inside the fire pit, they can fill the fire pit with nesting materials and feces as well as chew through the rubber elements and wires of a gas fire pit.
In addition to rodents, there are also plenty of insects who would like to call your fire pit home. Pests like wasps can build nests inside unused fire pits. Not only can this be dangerous for the next person who tries to use the fire pit, the nests they create can also damage a gas fire pit by collecting in the tubes and burners.
4. UV Rays
Many people who live in warm climates with little snow or rain do not believe that they need a cover for their fire pit. However, the sun can also be very damaging thanks to UV rays. When placed in direct sunlight for long periods of time, UV rays can cause the paint to fade and break down ruining the look of your fire pit.
What Can I Use to Cover My Fire Pit?
There are two options for covering your fire pit. You can place a heavy-duty tarp over your fire pit and use anchors to keep the tarp securely in place. Otherwise, you can use a cover that is specifically designed to accommodate a fire pit. A fire pit cover is made from a durable material like PVC or polyester.
Please note, there is a difference between a spark screen and a fire pit cover. While both a fire pit cover and a spark screen are placed on top of a fire pit, a spark screen is a metal screen that is used while the fire is burning to protect anyone sitting around the fire from stray sparks.
Whether you use a tarp or a cover, be sure to extinguish all the coals and wait until the fire pit has cooled before you cover the fire pit. If the fire pit is still hot when you cover it, you run the risk of accidentally melting your tarp or cover and damaging your fire pit. For tips on how to completely extinguish the fire, check out this article, 3 Effective Ways to Put Out a Fire in a Fire Pit.
How Do I Choose a Fire Pit Cover?
Fire pit covers are available in a wide variety of shapes, materials, colors, and sizes. It’s important to choose one that will properly fit your fire pit. If you are looking for a cover for a round fire pit, measure the height and diameter of your fire pit. Next, look for a cover that measures 4 inches longer in diameter than the fire pit and slightly shorter than the height so the cover doesn’t drag on the ground. For example, a 32-inch diameter fire pit that is 12 inches tall would require a cover that measures 36 inches in diameter and approximately 11 inches tall.
For a square fire pit, you must measure the length, width, and height of the fire pit. Like round fire pits, you should choose a cover that is a few inches shorter than the height of the fire pit. If you can’t find a square-shaped fire pit cover, you can also use a round fire pit cover as long as it is the correct size. As a rule of thumb, a round cover will fit a square pit that is about 2/3 of the diameter of a round cover. For example, 48-inch round cover will fit a 32-inch square fire pit (48 X .6667= 32.016).
Fire pit covers can also be made from several durable materials. If you live in a cool climate area, avoid a fire pit cover made from PVC as the material can crack and flake when exposed to cold temperatures over time.
No matter where you live or what type of weather your area experiences, it is recommended that you keep your fire pit covered when not in use. This simple step will help keep your fire pit safe, clean, and ready to go for your next backyard bonfire. In fact, with a little maintenance and a quality cover, you will be able to enjoy your fire pit for many years to come.