Easily Keep Water From Pooling In Your Fire Pit
As the rainy season comes, the effects are often seen immediately. Not only can standing water wreak havoc on your yard (and even your foundation), but pools of water can seriously damage your fire pit.
However, have no fear!
While pooling water is problematic, the solution is actually quite easy. So strap in and read our handy guide on how to keep water from pooling in your fire pit.
What’s The Big Deal?
Why would you care so much about keeping water from pooling in your fire pit?
It turns out that sitting water is not only a nuisance for cleaning purposes, but the moisture can cause your precious fire pit to rust. This drastically reduces its lifespan and can leave you needing a replacement.
If you’re wondering whether or not fire pits can get wet, they certainly can. However, without proper drainage or evaporation, serious problems can occur. As long as the pit can quickly dry, the side-effects of a damp fire pit are limited.
Tips To Keep Water From Pooling In Your Fire Pit
Consider the Type
Different types of fire pits have different concerns when it comes to water retention. The techniques you use for one fire pit could potentially be ineffective when used in service to another.
These are the different types of fire pits we’ll be considering:
- DIY / homemade with fire rings
- DIY / homemade without fire rings
- Metal fire bowls
- Portable fire pits
If something works particularly well for one (or doesn’t work at all for another), we’ll call it out specifically.
Watch the Placement
The biggest thing you can do to keep water from pooling in your outdoor fire pit is to place it in an area that has natural drainage and protection from the elements.
Ensuring that your homemade fire pit sits on a slight slope keeps the water moving and helps prevent it from sitting (too long). Conversely, building your homemade fire pit in lowland will almost guarantee you’ll have a sitting water problem.
For fire bowls and other commercial fire pits, the placement can still matter. If you’re having a sitting water problem in a fire bowl, consider moving it to where it will get more direct sunlight every day. Since water will evaporate more quickly with the glorious heat of the sun, that placement will certainly help.
Works for: all fire pit types.
Dig a Trench
If you already have a stationary homemade fire pit with a sitting water problem, your best option may be to construct a drainage ditch or trench.
In some cases, digging a small ditch to direct the waterflow away from your fire pit can completely eliminate the problem. If the water never gets there, it can never pool!
Works for: Stationary homemade fire pits (with and without fire rings)
Doesn’t work for: Metal fire bowls, portable fire pits
Use a Tarp
Tarpaulins can be a great solution if you have one handy and the other approaches don’t fit the bill. Simply cover the fire pit with the tarp when it’s not in use and you’ll keep the fire pit bed nice and dry.
You may experience some sitting water, but it will remain on top of the tarp where it belongs (and won’t cause a mucky mess by mixing with the ash).
However, beware — tarps made from cloth or plastic and will not stand up to a burning fire pit. Be sure the embers are completely extinguished before you put the tarp on top.
Works for: all fire pit types.
Store Under a Covered Area
Similar to tarps, simply storing a moveable fire pit underneath an awning or other covered area will stop sitting water dead in its tracks. If the water can’t ever reach your fire pit, it can’t collect and cause problems!
Works for: Metal fire bowls, portable fire pits
Doesn’t work for: Stationary homemade fire pits (with bricks/pavers/etc).
Drill Drainage Holes
Finally, if none of the other solutions work for your fire pit, you can try to drill some drainage holes at the lowest part of the basin. A few 3/8″ drill holes should be sufficient to make sure that your fire pit doesn’t collect sitting water.
Of course, this won’t stop the ash from getting wet, but it can help prevent the moisture from lingering, causing rust and other problems.
Works for: Metal fire pits, metal fire bowls
Doesn’t work for: Stationary homemade fire pits (with bricks/pavers/etc)
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