On a chilly evening, curling up in front of a crackling fire is really relaxing. Fire pits may help spice up social gatherings in outdoor settings during the colder months. Because most wood-burning fire pits are constructed of heat-conducting materials such as iron, there is considerable fear that the fire pit will cause harm to the concrete patio surface beneath it. But, is it true? Will a fire pit damage the concrete patio? Find out the answer in this article.
Will A Fire Pit Damage Concrete Patio?
Yes, over time, a fire pit will cause damage to a concrete patio. When a fire pit is used, the heat it emits will be sufficient to dry the concrete, causing it to expand and crack. When the concrete is exposed to high temperatures, the cement will break down, and the concrete’s color will shift to a reddish tint.
How Fire Pit Damage Concrete Patio?
Fire can harm concrete in several ways. The fire dehydrates concrete due to its high heat. Concrete has water in it for its whole life; thus, it will always have some water in it no matter how old. The heat from the fire drains moisture from the concrete, causing air pockets and cracks.
If your patio contains a lot of water, the aggregate used in your concrete may expand or break down. One finds limestone as an aggregate in several quick-mixes, for example. Concrete cracks and fails when subjected to intense heat.
However, quartz aggregate is more durable than limestone in many concrete forms. Quartz expands rather than liquefies like limestone. The quartz aggregate expands rapidly in hot weather and cracks before the limestone mix. So choose a patio with limestone aggregate. Heat will extend its life.
Warning: If you use limestone-based aggregate in your patio (it will say so on the bag of ready-mix), expect some apparent changes after using your fireplace. Calcination will be the main issue. The heat causes a chemical reaction in the concrete and limestone.
It appears as chalky, white lines near your fire pit. While unattractive, calcination serves as an insulator, protecting your concrete patio from heat damage. Calibration is challenging and unattractive.
If your concrete patio has rebar embedded in it, it is even more flammable. Rebar becomes brittle at 500°F. Sounds hot, but not for a fire. Rebar can break when it becomes brittle and loses its shape.
Concrete will crack under heat due to the rebar reacting with the particles.
How to Protect Concrete From Fire Pit?
Various approaches can be used to protect concrete from a fire pit.
1. Remove the fire pit
Make use of a portable fire pit instead of one fixed to the concrete surface.
2. Build a fire-resistant surface
Refractory cement and/or fire bricks can be used to build a fireproof surface on top of your concrete, making it more resistant to fire.
3. Make use of ember mats
To shield your patio’s surface from damage, you can buy an “ember mat.” These mats have the purpose of protecting the concrete surface of your patio from errant embers or grease.
These mats can provide a minor heat shield as a supplementary barrier between your concrete surface and your elevated fire pit. However, you shouldn’t rely on them to be your main heat shield.
4. Fire Pit Pad For Concrete
Try an actual fire pit pad protector that reflects heat back into the fire pit for a more effective heat barrier. These barriers are designed to decrease heat transfer and are frequently constructed of reflective material. Products like these will still necessitate an air gap between the product and the fire, but they won’t be as large as ember mats.
5. Concrete Pavers
As a last resort, you may choose to install fire bricks or concrete pavers between your fire pit and your concrete patio to protect it. Even though they’re unattractive, pavers can be arranged in a discreet fashion, and a fire pit can be placed directly on top of them.
Mats, for example, cannot be placed directly on the floor since they can be destroyed. You may use any fire pit style on top of pavers or fire blocks because they are sturdy and durable.
Best Fire Pit Mat For Concrete
1. Ember Mat
The Ember Mat is by far one of the best fire pit mats on the market right now! You don’t have to worry about popping embers or dripping grease hurting the ground because the mat is made of food-grade silicone.
It also comes with reflective edging that makes it easy to see at night, as well as eight stainless-steel edge grommets that keep the mat in place.
2. Newtex Fire Pit Mat For Concrete
One of the best fire pit mats available is the Newtex Fire Pit Mat, which features superior materials and world-class customer service. To keep the mat cool and safe to the touch, it is made of industrial-grade, high-temperature aluminized Z-flex fabric technology.
Aside from that, the Newtex Fire Pit Mat is available in three different sizes, all of which have been approved for use in aircraft fire containment by the FAA, California, and New York State Fire Marshalls.
3. KINGXBAR Fire Pit Mat
If you’re looking for a low-cost, high-quality, and long-lasting fire pit mat, choose the KINGXBAR Fire Pit Mat for a concrete patio visible at Night.
Due to the food-grade silicone used in the construction of this mat, it is both fire retardant and fire-resistant, protecting your floor no matter what it is made out of. Preventing burns, heat damage, heat distortion, grease spills, cement stains, and a host of other issues.. is one of our top priorities.
There are four reflective strips on this mat to assist make the area more visible at night, too. Adding to the convenience of this grill mat is that it can be washed by hand, machine, or even vacuumed! Despite wear and tear, grease, and water buildup, the material is long-lasting.
The many rings on the inside of the BBQ mat make it even easier to fasten the mat to the ground and store it when not in use. The ability to quickly store and move objects.
If you want to keep the heat from transferring to sensitive surfaces like grass or wooden decks while using this fire pit mat, you will need a different mat. Place the fire pit mat 10 inches or more below the heat source.
Will a Portable Fire Pit Damage Concrete?
Yes, unless you take measures, a portable fire pit will almost certainly harm your concrete patio. In fact, even if you use a portable fire pit, it can still reach temperatures of up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you have a pit that is 6″ above the ground, likely, the temperature on the surface of the concrete will still be above 1000 degrees when the fire is at its fiercest. The advantage of portable fire pits is its portability; you can easily move the pit around if you have a fire.
On the other hand, some folks are adamant about not moving their fire pit because of safety or aesthetic concerns. As a result, you can place the portable fire pit on top of pavers or a form of fire mat to help lower the environment’s temperature.
This will be your most effective option for preventing concrete patio damage. To conclude, having smaller fires is probably the most effective approach of using a portable fire pit without causing harm to your concrete patio or concrete driveway.
The greater the amount of fuel – or wood – you utilize, the hotter your fire will become. A little fire will still provide plenty of heat and ambiance, as well as ensure that your concrete surface lasts for an extended time.
Can you put a fire pit on a paver patio?
Yes, installing a fire pit on a paver patio is possible. The paver patio or bricks can survive up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and even higher temperatures. Because bricks are less prone to break than concrete, using bricks as pavers to protect your concrete surface will most likely be your best option when it comes to utilizing them as pavers to protect your concrete surface.
On the other hand, the heat can discolor patio pavers, depending on the materials used to construct them. A fire pit mat can be used to prevent discoloration if you are concerned about it happening.
Will fire pit ruin pavers?
In this case, pavers are made of concrete, so you can be sure they will get burned. But the best thing about pavers is that they can be thrown away. So if they break, you can just buy new ones at a low price and keep the patio surface that’s underneath it safe and sound.
Can You Build a Fire Pit on Your Concrete Patio?
If you utilize the right materials, you can build a fire pit on a concrete patio. Using fire bricks to line the inside of a concrete fire pit is perfectly acceptable. Additionally, you’ll want to make use of heat-resistant ready-mix mortar when you’re putting up a concrete pit.
You can finish off your concrete patio fire pit by using this type of product, which will allow you to secure the firebricks to the surface of your concrete while also establishing a barrier between the fire and the real concrete. It is imperative that you thoroughly plan out your pit build before mixing these ingredients.
It is vital to use limestone-based aggregate in heat applications since it is better able to tolerate the heat than quartz/silicate-based aggregate. There are many types of refractory cement that can be used to make heat-resistant concrete. Refractory cement with limestone-based aggregate is the best way to make this concrete. To use, follow the application instructions on the refractory cement container.
It’s important to keep in mind that pouring concrete over fire bricks contradicts the purpose of utilizing them by exposing any exposed bricks underneath. Fire bricks can be used as a lining for any type of fire pit, as long as they are glued together using high-heat mortar.
Will a Fire Pit Damage Asphalt?
You might want to keep a fire pit away from your patio area if it has any asphalt in it. Asphalt is made from petroleum, which means it can start a fire. Oil fires are hard to put out, and the fire department would likely have to help. In the summer, that’s an easy way for the night to turn sour quickly.
Can Propane Fire Pits Damage Concrete Patios?
No, they usually don’t. In general, the flames do not burn hot enough to cause an explosion. This does not mean it never does.
One of the advantages of gas-burning fire pits is that they are safer. Compared to a wood-burning fire pit, they have a limited BTU output. Which becomes hotter and hotter as the fuel is added.
As long as the proper procedures and products are followed when purchasing or constructing a fire pit, any concrete patio can have a fire pit. Use pavers or fire bricks to dissipate the heat in your home. Alternatively, you can get a fire mat that is extremely resistant to heat. What matters is that there is something between the pavement and the fire pit.
You can’t simply move your portable fire pit over your patio to prevent spalling, cracking, or concrete degradation. A protective layer is always necessary to keep heat from interacting with a concrete floor surface. The harm caused by larger fires can be lessened by smaller ones. But, even little fires can quickly get very hot.
It doesn’t matter what kind of fire pit you have. You should always use it with caution. Use caution around open flames, and keep a fire extinguisher close at hand at all times.