Do Fire Pits Need to Be Covered?

Again it’s that time of year: we spend our nights by the fire with a refreshing drink in hand. The only negative thing about the fire pit’s seasons usually follows exactly with those of thunderstorms. When it comes to fire pits, you might think they’re expensive. So, when I purchased my last one, I wondered if a fire pit cover was necessary. I questioned whether fire pits need to be covered; however, it still depends on your region after the season’s first big storm.

The correct response is a resounding yes, and it’s not always for the reasons you believe. There are several reasons why your fire pit should be covered, and each is as essential as the next. Most crucial is that your fire pit is covered after usage to protect your investment and safety.

What are the benefits of purchasing a fire pit cover? Check out this list of reasons and a few other questions and answers to assist you in figuring it out.

What Are the Risks of Not Covering My Fire Pit?

There are a few hazards that come along with not covering your fire pits. Most of these errors will lead to the need for a new fire pit in the future, so they’re not minor mistakes.

Rust is the most common problem with fire bowls made of wood. Rusting is not an issue with all fire bowls, but a few are, and I’ve seen fire bowls rust from the bottom. If you keep attempting to use a rusted-out bowl, it becomes both dangerous and useless.

Water damage is not only a problem with metal fire bowls; they are often the most inexpensive to repair or replace. Even after the expense of twenty covers, if you have a gas or propane fire pit, the cost of replacing the damaged water can do to the gas lines is less than what it would cost for twenty covers. If too much moisture builds up under the gas lines, they can be destroyed, rendering your fire pit useless and potentially dangerous if you try to use it.

Even in a traditional stone fire pit, too much ice and snow can cause problems. Water expanding from freezing can push against the stone and cause cracks or structural damage to the surrounding stone.

Are There Different Types of Fire Pit Covers?

There are several varieties of fire pit cover to choose from, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. There are several fire pit uses for which different covers are required. It’s not uncommon to have two different covers for the same pit based on the rationale behind the cover and when it is used.

Spark Screens

The most popular form of fire pit cover is the spark screen, which is included with most portable fire pits. Most fire pits have metal mesh surrounds that are generally the same type of metal as the fire pit itself. While these covers keep the burning bits and any unwanted foreign objects out of the pit. They don’t help much protect the bowl from rain, which will soak your firewood and eventually cause wear on your bowl. 

Rain Cover

There are many different types of rain covers that they may need their own category. They come in various materials, from low-quality vinyl to heavy and more expensive canvas. Covers for your pit should be custom-made to the form and size of your structure and include a drawstring or elastic to keep them in place during strong winds. If your fire pit is traditional, you should have no trouble finding a suitable rain cover, but there are several sites where you can personalize one, even if this isn’t the case. As the name implies, these covers are designed to protect your fire bowl and anything else inside it safe from the effects of water.


Lids are similar to spark screens in form and overall function, with a few key distinctions that distinguish them. These lids are solid and prevent anything from going through, unlike spark screens that are mesh, so you can still see the fire. They are designed to protect the fire pit from the elements outside and protect the fire pit from the outside elements. Firepit lids are often used for in-ground fire pits that are too large for a spark screen.

What Should I do Before Covering?

It’s not only harmful to your cover but covering your fire pit right away has the potential for serious harm. There are little precautions you should take before putting your cover on.

You should first and foremost ensure that the fire is completely out. The best approach is to allow the fire to burn out naturally and cover it the next morning. If that is not an option, the next best option would be to add sand to the fire to suffocate the ashes. Don’t use water unless you have no other choice, as all covers are in place to prevent water from getting in.

When the fire is completely out, remove the ashes. Wipe down the inside of a metal bowl with a damp cloth to make it appear shiny and new. Remove all debris from the pit, then replace the cover once it’s clean.

Another piece of advice for ensuring long-term storage is to put a piece of wood or another item in the pit before covering it. The cover is less likely to collapse when the water runs off the edges rather than pooling in the middle, putting less strain on it.

Are There Other Ways to Protect My Pit?

Although there is no alternative for covering your fire pit with long-lasting, water-resistant material, there are a few other things you may add to the bottom of your fire pit to protect the lining and provide character.

Lava Rocks

Lava rocks are beautiful and heat-conducting, making them an excellent choice for the floor of your pet. Unfortunately, they don’t do an excellent job protecting your pit’s base. The porous nature of the stones makes them susceptible to water seeping through, and their unusual form attracts debris to accumulate and become trapped in between the rocks. Still, having some lining at the bottom is better than nothing.


Glass is similar to lava rock, but it has a few more advantages. Many say it looks nicer than lava rock, but that’s a personal preference. It’s a wonderful heat conductor because it’s less porous than lava rock. The shape of the glass allows for debris to get trapped in it, which explains why it retains its attractiveness; fire glass requires regular cleaning.


If you have a metal fire pit, avoid using sand. The sand prevents runoff and keeps ash, dirt, and debris out of any fire pit. Sand is excellent at retaining moisture because it is so thick. When the moisture is restricted to the bottom of your fire pit for extended periods, it causes rust.

Spray Paint

It may seem strange, but it is safe and might save you a lot of time if you have a metal fire bowl. When you’re about to use the pit for the first time or after cleaning it, look for waterproof spray paint that matches your bowl’s color. Allow the spray paint to dry according to the directions on the can before spraying inside and outside of the bowl.

Weather Proof Oil Coating

The oil coating is usable with or without a spray paint coating. You may prevent most water damage by wiping a weatherproof, petroleum-based oil on the bottom of your metal bowl. The disadvantage is that it must be coated every few months, so you must regularly clean your fire pit.

How Should I Store My Fire Pit Cover?

While you should always use your cover while not utilizing your fire pit, you won’t always be doing so. If you don’t use your fire pit cover, store it in a dry location like a shed. The final thing you want is for your fire pit cover to get wet and spread moisture around when you replace it.

If you’re using a vinyl cover, handle it gently while storing it. Cheaper covers will lose their shape or even tear if you’re not careful.

If you’re just looking to store it for the night but don’t have anywhere to put it, make sure it’s damped down with a heavy item. The final thing you want is for your cover to fly off in the middle of the night.

Spark screens and heavy fire pit lids do not need much maintenance or storage, but when they are no longer in use, it is critical to store them somewhere they may be kept clean. This is cuts down on the work you have to do with cleaning and keeps debris out of your fire pit.

Related Questions

How Long Do Fire Pits Last?

There is no single answer to this question. This all comes down to how much you utilize it, what sort of material it is, and how well you care for it. Metal fire bowls are less expensive, and they’re designed to be used once and then discarded. Even with careful maintenance, you may anticipate changing them every five years or less. Both in-ground and gas, Nicer fire pits will last a decade or more if properly maintained.

Can I Keep My Fire Pit Under and Awning?

There is no issue with having a fire pit under an awning as long as there is adequate ventilation around the fire pit and you have a spark screen in place to prevent stray embers from lighting your awning on fire. However, an awning does not offer the same protection against the wind as a fire pit cover. If there are strong winds, water and debris may be thrown into an open pit.

How Do I Make My Fire Pit Safer?

Since we were children, we’ve been taught that fire should be treated with respect. If you’re serious about your fire pit, you’ll probably take the time to make sure it’s safe for your family and the environment.

Use the right wood

Some people think they can throw whatever flammable material they want in a fire pit but burning some materials is bad for your health. When you burn pallets and other construction woods, chemicals may be released into the air. The same thing goes for items like magazines. Instead, choose to burn natural hardwoods that will protect you and the environment.

Don’t use inflammatory material

I am guilty of this one. It’s annoying to try and get a fire going, but it keeps burning out. It is tempting to throw lighter fluid on the wood and light it on fire, but this is not a good idea. Lighter fluid is not only a safety hazard, but it also strips the finish of your fire bowl and makes it more prone to the elements. Try to keep your wood in a dry place and use a natural fire starter to start it.

Inspect it regularly

Being an equipment owner is one of the most tedious aspects of the job, but it is also critical for safety. Check for any rust or foreign materials in the fire bowl to ensure that it’s clean. If you have a gas fire pit, have it inspected by a professional once a year to ensure no problems with your lines.

Give it space

Families can get a little rowdy from time to time, so a fire pit should be reserved as a warm location for the family to gather. Teach children and pets to avoid giving the fire pit a bad name by teaching them how to provide it with a safe reputation when it’s not in use and refrain from using it if they detect its presence.

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