Fire pits have become so popular in many homes. Relaxing around the flames on a cold night is actually enjoyable. They encourage social in outdoor areas during cold weather. Fire pits are the destination that can draw families with kids armed for the marshmallow roasting and adults when they want to enjoy cocktails and have the conversation into the cold evening—it is a wonder how your patio party can happen along without a fire pit. All in all, you must have an excellent surface to place it.
People would love to place the fire pit on concrete for different reasons; Concrete assures a safe and stable foundation for your fire pit. When you put it on concrete, you can rest assured that the fire pit is safer from structural destruction and defects, and your property can be safer from accidental fires. But what about the damages it is going to cause on your concrete patio?
On the other hand, placing a fire pit on a stable and natural surface is ideal. It is good to set a portable fire pit on the top of the natural surface such as concrete, gravel, stone, slate, brick, or a fire-resistant composite. One mistake we see DIYers make is that they put their fire pit on a wood deck, which gets dangerous when embers catch fire.
Therefore, the answers to the question ‘’can I put a fire pit on the concrete patio’’ are discussed below.
Fire Pit on Concrete Patio
The heat from the fire pit will project upwards. So, it means the bottom still will create a high temperature that damages your concrete patio. Therefore what should you do? This is what to do;
Pick a Prefabricated Fire Pit With Legs
This makes the fire not reach the concrete patio very fast. Also, you can get a lower fire pit with no legs but with a protective base that can simply be placed on top of the concrete floor and mitigate a small amount of heat.
However, if you want to directly build a stone fire pit or DIY paver on concrete the same way you would do on soil – damage to the concrete over time will be unavoidable.
Consider Using Heat Proof Mats
When a heatproof mat is placed above the ground will prevent heat from damaging the concrete patio greatly. These fire resistance pads are made so they can resist heat from reaching the concrete surface.
Keep an Eye
To mitigate the fire’s risk, clean up dry leaves, remove the fabric and other flammable materials from around the fire pit. Also, ensure that the fire pit is not attended to or left burning overnight. Keep watching, and must be ready to put off the fire if anything goes wrong.
If you have a concrete slab already located on your patio, this can be the best place to put a fire pit. However, you need to bear in mind that it can be damaged because of high heat. If you plan on using a fire pit for years to come, you may have to remove the pit and repair the concrete over time if significant damage occurs. However, you do not have to worry about the concrete catching fire, which is a big bonus.
For sure, concrete will not catch fire if not covered in something flammable like flammable liquid. They are made of non-combustible materials. When exposed to high temperatures, concrete will expand hence causing cracking.
The fire pit’s heat can reach up to 1,000˚ Fahrenheit, and that heat is radiating down towards the trapped moisture or air bubbles. When gas is heated, it starts to expand. Therefore the heated gas expands and creates pressure until the concrete patio is damaged. But this doesn’t happen in one day. The heat will mostly damage the concrete over time and cause it to crack or weaken the surface.
Let us give you a clear picture of what happened to the concrete when heated; when a fire exposes concrete to high heat, damage can occur since the material’s temperature shocks. Basically, like any other material, concrete expands as it is heated. When extreme heat is applied, the outer layers will grow much more quickly than the inner parts. This expansion is not easily absorbed by the concrete material, which can cause the layers to separate and eventually break away. The same effect can occur in reverse when hose streams or automatic sprinkler systems extinguish a fire. In this case, as hot concrete cools down suddenly, the outer section shrinks at a different rate and breaks away.
Moreover, if great heat penetrates concrete enough to weaken the concrete’s steel reinforcement components, the structural integrity of the entire structure could be badly affected.
In the end, it is the design that has a tremendous impact on the safety and the aesthetics of the fire pit in your outdoor living area. Like any other project area, proper construction and sound design are essential when building a patio.
The extended exposure to high temperatures like the ones generated from a fire pit can cause the concrete patio to crack and spall over time. You need to avoid using it in such areas if there is no proper mechanism of preventing heat from getting to the underneath surface.
That being said, if you are operating a luxury fire pit or a cheaper one, a wood-burning fire pit, without safety, your property could end up in flames, literally. This can lead to the significant loss of your property.
Therefore, if you are in a dilemma or asking whether to put a fire pit on your concrete patio, the answer is NO. To avoid damage on the concrete patio, you have to consider the types of fire pits with legs on them or use heatproof mats.
Read More – How To Build A Patio On A Slope