Fire pits are meant to be enjoyed outdoors, so naturally, that poses the question, can fire pits get rained on?
While fire pits can withstand some rain, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. Some fire pits may be more durable than others, but all will eventually show signs of wear or damage after being left in the elements for too long.
If the rain comes unexpectedly one night, you shouldn’t have to worry about any immediate damage, however, it is always best to be prepared and protect your fire pit as much as you can.
The best way to do this is to educate yourself about the situation and learn how to prevent it.
In this article, we will go over everything you need to know.
Will my fire pit rust?
If your fire pit gets exposed to any rain or water, it will begin to rust no matter what type of metal it is made out of.
While water may seem harmless, it is actually one of the most damaging elements out there, especially when it comes to metal.
The type of metal your fire pit is made out of and how long it is left in the rain will change how quickly your fire pit can rust after being exposed.
It may go without saying, but the longer your fire pit is left in the rain, the quicker it will begin to rust.
While all types of metal fire pits can succumb to rusting, some will rust quicker than others. For example, despite some thinking that a cast iron fire pit won’t rust, it will actually rust faster than most when exposed to any rain or water. Steel and copper will also rust, but they may not show signs of this as quickly.
Regardless of what type of metal your fire pit is made out of, one great way to prevent your fire pit from rusting is to season it. If you’re not familiar with seasoning, it typically refers to the coating of any metal surface in oil.
What is extremely useful about this is that it creates a thin barrier over the metal to prevent it from rusting.
Seasoning a fire pit is very simple and easy to do, and if you can get into the regular habit of doing this to your fire pit, it will have a much smaller chance of rusting when being exposed to rain. To season your fire pit, all you need to do is take a paper towel or cloth with vegetable oil and rub it all around the surfaces.
We recommend doing this every few weeks, although it depends on how much your use your fire pit and how often it is being exposed to the rain.
As a general rule of thumb, the more use your fire pit gets, the more often it should be seasoned to protect it.
Can I leave my fire pit out all year?
If you have a larger fire pit, it makes sense that you will probably want to leave it outside for the entire year, however, you will need to be prepared to deal with the changing seasons and elements if you decide to do this.
As mentioned above, fire pits will rust when being exposed to rain so if you’re planning on leaving it outside permanently, you’ll want to take some better precautions than regularly seasoning it.
The best way to protect your fire pit on a long-term basis is to keep it covered.
There are many different fire pit covers to choose from and if you want to fully protect it from the rain, you’ll want to make sure that the cover is strong and durable enough to not have the water seep through.
Almost all covers made with synthetic materials should be thick enough to prevent any water from coming in contact with your fire pit.
When leaving your fire pit out all year, it is important to keep it covered anytime that you expect water or rain to come in contact with it. This can even include high humidity or some light morning mist.
Any contact with water will cause the fire pit to rust, and while you can clean the rust off when this happens, it is always best to prevent it first.
On the contrary, you won’t want to leave your fire pit covered for long periods. High humidity or cold rainy weather can still build up on the fire pit underneath the cover, so it is important to take off the cover and let the fire pit air out when the weather allows and the sun is out.
How do rain and water affect the fire pit?
Water will inevitably cause metals to rust upon exposure, so you can expect the rain to be no different. In certain areas rain has even been discovered as being highly acidic which can cause rust even faster than regular drinking or tap water.
Although rust is the most commonly thought of negative effect from the rain, it can also cause damage in other ways as well.
If you have a handmade fire pit, you won’t need to worry about water damage as much, however, if you purchased a metal fire pit, especially a propane fire pit, this is when you will want to be more concerned with water damage.
On top of water causing rust, it can also can corrosion which can clog the pipes of a propane tank or start eating away at the metals. These are two other things that you don’t want your fire pit to experience.
If your propane fire pit is exposed to rain it can begin to damage the ignitor and the pipes that the gas and flames come out of.
Even if the fire pit isn’t exposed to a lot of rain, it can still become harder to turn on and may take some time to burn off the water.
If the fire pit is too wet it may not even turn on until it can dry out. In extreme cases where rain piles up inside the fire pit and is soaking the materials, you may also need to take apart your propane fire pit to properly clean it and get it working normally again.
This is why it is so important to protect your fire pit from any rain coming in contact with it in the first place.
If you can avoid your fire pit from being exposed to the rain, then it will extend its longevity and avoid any potential problems from occurring.
If my fire pit does get rained on what should I do next?
If your fire pit does get rained on you don’t need to worry too much, as long as this isn’t a regular occurrence. As soon as you notice that rain has come in contact with your fire pit, it is best to first check on it right away.
If rain is being exposed to your fire pit, you should try to cover it with a tarp or any other larger material that you have at the moment.
If you have a hardware store located nearby you, it would be even better to purchase a cover if you don’t already have one or can’t find something else to cover it with.
If you notice that water is piling up at the bottom, do what you can to dump it out safely or empty it in another way so that water doesn’t stay soaking in the grate. This is what causes corrosion and increases the time that damage will occur to your fire pit. Incidentally we have an article on how to deal with water pooling on your permanent fire pits here.
If you expect more rain to come shortly after your fire pit has already been rained on, make sure to cover your fire pit to avoid any more rain coming in contact with it.
If it has already been rained on and you have a break of nice weather, drying out the fire pit and seasoning it before you cover it is also a great option.
As soon as you notice any rust beginning to build up on your fire pit, you will want to remove it as soon as possible so that it doesn’t continue to grow. Avoid using products that damage the metal like steel wool and instead use a rust dissolver to properly clean it off.
If you do damage the metal while cleaning the rust off, you’ll want to reseal it to prevent any rust from returning.
Even if you clean the rust off of the fire pit without damaging the metal, it is still recommended to season it to build a protective layer against the rain.
Overall, the best way to protect your fire pit from rain is to not let it get rained on at all.
Covering it is the best solution, but if an accident happens, just know that your fire pit is still redeemable and will not be damaged unless rain is continually being exposed to it.
Alright, that’s it for this article guys, if you found it useful then a share on social media or your website would be cool!
All the best
ps here’s a few articles related to this one you might find interesting: