How Long Does a Fire Pit Last, Anyway?

A round fire pit made up of stones and seashells is filled with ash from a burnt out fire, there is fire wood in the background.

Fire pits are one of the most popular outdoor furnishings, and for good reason. You can gather around your fire pit with friends and family and have a relaxing evening under the stars. They allow you to spend time outdoors on chilly nights, and there is just something magical about sitting around a fire.

A fire pit’s longevity depends largely on its material. Some are metal, others are stone, and some are even built into the ground or the deck. While the key to a long lasting fire pit is how well you take care of it, some materials are better than others. I’ve researched and built this handy table to help you determine how long fire pits last.

Aluminum5-10 years
Brick10-50+ years
Concrete/Cinder Block5-15 years
Galvanized Steel10-25 years
Propane / Gas7-10 years (until components break)
Stone DIY50-200+ years
Wrought Iron30-70 years

Making Your Fire Pit Last Longer

As you can see, most fire pits listed above have a pretty healthy range of outcomes. The truth is, how you treat your fire pit matters at least as much as the materials its made from. So with that said, let’s take a look on some different ways we can make your fire pit last longer.

Only Burn Dry Split Wood

Fire pits are made to burn wood. When you burn other materials or use accelerants, they can release toxins into the air and damage your fire pit. If you stick to burning dry split wood in your fire pit and avoid burning other materials, including cardboard, magazines, painted wood, or other trash, your fire pit will last a lot longer.

Use Water to Extinguish the Fire

This is another tip that will extend the life of your fire pit. If you pour cool water over burning hot flames, the sudden temperature change can cause your fire pit to crack. Make sure that you let the fire burn out completely, and then spread the ashes apart so they can cool. Then you can pour water slowly over them to ensure that the fire is completely out.

Keep Your Fire Pit Covered and Stored

If your fire pit is portable, you should keep it stored in a shed or the garage when you aren’t using it. If not, you can get a cover for it. The cover will protect it from rain and other elements. The mesh that sometimes comes with the fire pit is not a cover (this is a spark screen, a topic we cover here). The cover should be made out of heavy duty metal or nylon. If you leave your fire pit out all of the time, getting one of these covers will help it to last longer.

Regularly Clean Your Fire Pit

You should always keep your fire pit clean if you want it to last as long as possible. After you have a fire, you need to remove the ash and other debris from the bowl. You will need an ash scoop to do this. Once you remove the ash, you can clean the fire pit. Different types of fire pits need to be cleaned with different products.

If you have a stone or masonry fire pit, you can use muriatic acid and water. Rinse the fire pit with water, and let it dry for two or three days. If you have a metal portable fire pit, you can clean it with a rag and soap and water. You can turn it upside down and just let it air dry.

No matter what your fire pit is made from, cleaning it regularly will ensure that it lasts a long time. The more cleaning you do after each use, the easier cleaning it will be.

Final Thoughts

If you take care of your fire pit and keep it clean, it should last a long time. The quality of the materials that make your fire pit can play a role as well; higher quality materials will last longer. If your fire pit is metal and portable, you should store it when you aren’t using it. You can also buy a cover to protect it. Taking these precautions will ensure that you enjoy your fire pit for many years.

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