A deck, porch or patio is one investment that you definitely want to protect. Keeping it safe from the sun, snow and rain is enough of a chore, so the last thing you’d want to worry about is something like your barbeque or fire pit costing you when you least expect it. This is our review of the DeckProtect fire pit pad to help you decide whether or not it’s worth your hard earned money!
Our Review of the DeckProtect Fire Pit Pad
Sparks and embers aren’t the only thing that can threaten a well-manicured deck or patio when it comes to fire pits. Believe it or not, the culprit to many warped deck boards and burn spots is actually the blazing hot bowl. You’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re built to protect the surface they’re being used on, but time and time again people have to find out the hard way.
Find our detailed review, following some need-to-know when it comes to fire pits and wood decks!
What is Heat Dissipation, and How Does it Affect Your Deck?
It’s simply a result of a hot object with a surrounding area that’s comparably cooler. In other words, when you burn wood on a fire pit on your deck all of that heat needs somewhere to go.
No matter what kind of fire pit you ultimately choose, all of them will throw off some amount of heat below the fire bowl, or main vessel. So, how do you stop it from ruining or otherwise damaging your beloved deck surface? Fire pit mats and pads break up that heat and prevent it from spreading to vulnerable surfaces like wood or composite deck boards.
Using a Fire Pit on a Wood Deck
It just so happens that the best place to enjoy your fire pit is also one of the most flammable. There’s more to a wood deck that makes it an attractive tinderbox for an errant ember besides the obvious. Wood decks are made with a consistent spacing to allow for the wood to expand and contract, while also draining water to prevent it from warping.
If a rusty fire pit or barbecue allows an ember to make its way on or under a deck, that spacing provides fuel and oxygen for what could quickly become an out of control fire. For that reason, it’s essential that you provide a barrier between the fire pit and the deck surface itself.
Will Composite Deck Boards Warp From a Fire Pit?
They do, it’s because the heat being produced from a fire pit doesn’t just go up in smoke like you might have thought. It’s easy to assume that fire pits are built for this sort of thing, but that just isn’t the case!
Most of them can get as hot as 800 degrees fahrenheit, which is more than scorchy enough to warp your deck boards like a potato chip! Not to mention some unsightly discoloring.
Using Fire Pits on Wood Decks
Avoiding scorching here is just as important as with a composite deck, but it is of course a bit easier. That being said, you’re still going to want to keep the deck stain and color safe as well. Opt for fire pits with a raised fire bowl.
These ensure that at the very least, the hottest part of the fire pit isn’t making direct contact with the surface of your deck. Secondly, find a fire pit pad or a fire pit mat that offers both heat and fireproofing protection. Dry wood decks are vulnerable to errant embers, so this is also a safety measure.
Using Fire Pits on Composite Wood Decks
Although the immediate risk of a fire isn’t quite as big of an issue with composite decks, a fire pit pad goes a long way to preventing some potentially catastrophic damage.
Here, using a system like the DeckProtect is going to save you money and headaches. Here’s how:
A comprehensive study published by the company themselves shows the effect of leading fire pits, even those with lifted and airy design, on a wide array of composite decking pieces. What you’ll find here is that the fire pit alone was unable to prevent extreme burning and warping damage from taking place.
In this case, a raised system like the DeckProtect fire pit pad lived up to its name, effectively keeping the dangerous levels of heat off of the composite decking. If it was me shopping for a fire pit and fire pit pad, this is almost certainly the solution I would reach for to not have to worry about replacing pieces of decking or dealing with even more disastrous damages.
Can You Put a Fire Pit on Granite or Stone?
It seems like a good idea at first, using stone or granite slabs to try and keep the fire pit’s heat off of your deck’s surface. Sadly though, it’s not quite so easy.
Granite may seem like it’s dense enough to absorb the heat from a fire pit, but in practice it doesn’t quite work out that way. Some fire pit owners have observed an unfortunate but startlingly common occurrence when it comes to granite slabs and warm fire pits.
In this case, granite slabs used to protect composite decks from warm fire pits actually transferred heat directly to the deck boards. The result is burnt and melted composite decking that actually fused itself to the granite creating an expensive mess, to say the least.
Avoid a mishap like the one described above by choosing something that’s suitable for your deck’s material and the type of fire pit you’re using.
So, do we Recommend the DeckProtect Fire Pit Pad?
The reason we chose to review this line of fire pit pads is because they provide a unique type of protection against the heat given off by almost every fire pit. It goes beyond just a standard piece of foil-lined fabric that sits under your fire pit.
It truly disperses the heat coming off of the fire pit using a unique combination of materials that makes owning and using a fire pit a much more worry-free ordeal. Because of the build quality and tired and tested effectiveness of the DeckProtect fire pit pad, you can be sure you’re getting a fire pit pad that will actually protect your investment.