Fire pits add a lot of entertainment possibilities to your backyard. You can use them to grill food or roast marshmallow desserts. They add ambiance and warmth as you converse with friends and family in the backyard. They can even contribute to your outdoor decor. So, once you invest in a fire pit, you'll want to protect it from the elements, so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.
An outdoor fire pit cover will do many things for your fire pit:
- It will protect it from rain and snow exposure, which can cause rusting, cracking, or discoloring.
- It will keep your bowl free of debris such as dirt, leaves, and grass.
- It will keep your fire bowl dry for the next time you want to start a fire.
When you secure the cover over your fire pit, make sure it fits over the entire surface properly AND that the coals are cool. Placing a cover over a warm fire pit may cause the cover to melt.
There are two main types of fire pit shapes for wood burning fire pits:
Let's start with the popular round pit. To find the right size cover for your fire pit, you will need to measure it. All fire pits and covers are measured by the diameter of the furthest outside points of the pit. If your fire pit measured 32" diameter, I would suggest purchasing a cover at least four inches larger in diameter than that. So, a 32" fire pit may need a 36" or 40" cover.
You also need to take into account the height of the fire pit. If your pit at its maximum height is 20" tall you will want a cover that hangs a few inches short of 20". You do this so the cover doesn't touch the ground and collect dirt.
Some round fire pit covers come with a drawstring & toggle. This allows you the secure the cover over the pit. Simply tighten the drawstring & toggle so that the cover is flush against the surface of your fire pit. This feature keeps it off the ground so that it is free of water and dust, and also ensures that the cover will stay on your fire pit, even on windy days.
Another popular fire pit style is the square fire pit. A lot of the same principles apply for the square fire pit cover as for the round one. Measure the length and width of the pit and use a cover a few inches larger. Make sure it hangs down the side far enough, so it is a few inches off the ground.
However, square covers are not as popular as round ones, and it may be a challenge to find the correct size. Sometimes, you can substitute a round cover instead. As a rule of thumb, a round cover will fit a square pit about 2/3 of the diameter of a round cover. For example, 48" round cover will fit a 32" square fire pit (48 X .6667= 32.016).
All fire pit covers should be waterproof, but some covers are only made from a thin sheet of PVC. Be careful of this, as over time, the PVC will crack and flake in cold temperatures. Many covers use vinyl layering on the outside for the waterproofing, but then reinforce it with polyester netting backing for ensured endurance through all kinds of temperatures. The netting also makes placing the cover on the pit easier, preventing sticking and scratching. Also, ones that come with a drawstring and toggle are ideal as it ensures the perfect fit over your fire pit as well as securing it despite windy conditions.
As you can see, when you want to protect your fire pit, cover size and shape does matter.