March 10, 2014

Caring for your Allan Block Courtyard Fire Pit

You read our blog on How to Build a Fire Pit; You got inspired and built one yourself.  Now you want to keep it looking good; so how do you care for your fire pit?

Let's start by talking about the blocks themselves, the Allan Block Courtyard blocks that you used for your fire pit are concrete units that are manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner, using natural stone and sand with integral color added to the mix during the production process. 

 As with all concrete products it is possible to experience staining from various outside elements.  Fertilizers and deicing chemicals can also cause the concrete to deteriorate over time so you'll want to minimize the contact with your fire pit to extend its life. To prevent fading from sunlight and to enhance your color of the block themselves, you can apply a concrete sealer.  Check with your local building material supply store for recommendations on concrete sealers for your area.  If you do use a sealer, be sure to follow the recommended instructions from the manufacturer of the sealer.

Based on weather conditions, you may experience a white power like deposit on the surface of the concrete.  This is called efflorescence and is not hazardous or an indication of problems with the block itself. It is simply free salts working their way to the surface of the block.  This  naturally occurring phenomenon can easily be cleaned with a power washer or by using an efflorescence cleaner available from most building material supply stores when it does occur.

Concrete blocks will crack and/or discolor when they are exposed to direct flames or excessive heat so you will want to make sure that you keep the flames away from the outside of your fire pit. You can fill the space between the steel fire ring with sand or gravel to minimize the heat transferred to the block to keep them looking good and long lasting.

With these simple tips you can keep that fire pit looking great for years to come. Giving you lots of time to enjoy the warmth and  the stories that will be told around your fire pit from Allan Block.

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