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How to care for an outdoor fireplace

How to care for a Trendz Outdoor Fireplace

Adding an outdoor fireplace to your home can be a dream come true. Perfect to relax in front of, entertain friends with as well as enjoy extra time outside, it’s a great addition to any home. Yet, as with any big investment, questions about practicality, maintenance and ongoing costs can arise.

Like most things, there is a degree of ongoing maintenance required if you’re looking to keep your recent purchase in tip-top condition for years to come. Ensuring that the fireplace will continue to provide outdoor enjoyment no matter the season can be as simple as following a few easy steps. Likewise, getting it started correctly will reduce any long-term issues experienced. 

For an outdoor fireplace to function properly, maintain a solid form and keep a long-lasting appearance, it will require regular maintenance. In this article, we explain the steps you should take to look after your outdoor fireplace from the very first fire you light to every fire thereafter.

Lighting your first outdoor fireplace fire

When your new fireplace has arrived, and after it has been installed, we suggest that when lighting your first fire you keep the fire very small. The aim here is to let the heat get into the concrete slowly giving the concrete time to season.

These small fires should be 2-3 hours long and the process should be repeated 3 times before increasing the fire size. These fires should be lit with a small amount of kindling and wood but should not exceed any more than 3 small-sized logs at a time. Even though all our fireplaces are built to withhold high temperatures and large fires, completing this step will help give the fireplace time to adjust to the high temperatures. 

This process will also help your cladding settle and set. Whether it’s plaster, paint, stone or any other material, it’s best to slowly introduce it to the heat of the fireplace.

Small cracks are normal

Our outdoor fireplace shells are made from concrete, mainly because it is one of the most durable and long-lasting products that you can use around your home. However, you may experience small hairline cracks on the concrete structure of your outdoor fireplace. Hairline cracks can appear because of changes in the temperature, as concrete gets hotter it expands and as it gets cooler it contracts. If hairline cracks appear, give the fire a quick paint touch up to help cover these. 

 It is important to understand the difference between large structural cracks and surface-level small hairline cracks. Over the years, we have worked on perfecting our concrete mixture meaning you should not experience any structural cracking, our warranty also covers this just encase. If you are concerned about the size of the cracks in your fireplace, then do not hesitate to contact us. 

Firebox maintenance

To help make sure that your firebox lasts many long summers and colder winters, we recommend giving the outdoor fireplace firebox a paint with Stove Bright® High-Temperature aerosol paint in the colour satin black every six to twelve months. 

To achieve maximum coverage, clear out the firebox completely, sweeping it of ash and brushing the firebox steel surfaces with a wire brush to remove any loose debris. Once dry apply the paint.

It is formulated with a blend of heat resistant pigments in a silicone polymer resin. By applying the silicone formula, your outdoor fireplace firebox will be able to retain its colour with temperatures up to 650°C. This paint is available at BBQ and fireplace stores, such as BBQs Direct. Although the paint is designed to handle high temperatures, it is expected that it will discolour on the back baffle that the majority of the flames draw against.

Steel wood boxes maintenance

When it comes to our steel wood boxes, we suggest applying RIPO (Rust Inhibiting Penetrating Oil) once every 3-6 months to form a rust barrier. The RIPO product forms a water-resistant film and helps protect steel from condensation corrosion. This can be purchased directly from our sales team for $89.

Before applying the oil all surfaces must be cleaned with a non-ionic detergent. This helps remove oil, grease, dirt and moisture for maximum effectiveness.

Lighting an outdoor fireplace in cold conditions

When lighting your outdoor fireplace in cold conditions, begin creating the fire small and build slowly, this will help to allow the concrete to warm up. This will not only help prevent hairline cracks from showing but it will also allow the flue to warm up making the smoke draw through the chimney more efficiently. By creating too much heat too quickly, the cold air within the flue could come straight back down, forcing the smoke of your freshly lit fire back out the front.

Trendz Outdoors fireplace warranty

All Trendz Outdoors Fireplaces come with a 2-year warranty, this warranty covers structural cracking and failure of the steel firebox. This is just another way that we can guarantee that you’re getting the best product and service, guaranteed. Over the years we have worked hard on building a fireplace with a solid foundation and quality accessories. We back this up with our 2-year warranty.

Cleaning an outdoor fireplace

Keeping your outdoor fireplace clean, especially during the month’s when you’re using it and also when it’s not in use is important to ensure it will function effectively. Whether it’s keeping the chimney clean, making sure the firebox is empty of excess ash build-up to general maintenance updates including the fireplace surrounds, we suggest reading our blog ‘How to clean an outdoor fireplace’ for more information.

It is also paramount to not burn rubbish in your fireplace, this also applies to green/unseasoned wood. Burning plastics or general commercial rubbish, including magazines or coloured wrapping paper, in an outdoor fireplace can release toxic chemicals into the air which are bad for the environment and those around the fireplace. Some materials can even coat the inside of your chimney and firebox reducing their performance.

Incorporating an outdoor fireplace into your backyard will not only add to the atmosphere of your property but will also provide a warm entertainment focal point. But for the long-term safety and enjoyment of your outdoor fireplace, it is important to complete proper outdoor fireplace set-up and maintenance. If you have any questions or concerns about either your Trendz Outdoor Fireplace or regarding purchasing from us, please contact us directly, we would be happy to help. 

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