Outdoor Fireplace

An outdoor fireplace will add atmosphere, warmth and a great entertainment feature to your home. It will be the perfect focal point in your backyard landscape where family and guests love to gather for parties, dining and cozy conversations. With proper backyard fireplace maintenance, an outdoor fireplace will provide years of outdoor enjoyment.

To function properly, maintain a sound framework and retain a beautiful appearance, an outdoor fireplace requires backyard fireplace maintenance on a regular basis. The amount of maintenance required depends on the type of fireplace, building materials used and fireplace age.

Any outdoor fireplace can have problems. Exposure to outdoor weather conditions and changing climate conditions can cause various problems, especially over time. Look at some common problems that occur in outdoor fireplaces.

Problems from Weather Conditions

  • Settling – Outdoor fireplaces are subject to constant ground movement and soil compaction. Even though the fireplace is built on a patio or terrace, the concrete foundation of the patio or terrace can crack and shift as well. In cold winter areas like northern states, the ground readily freezes, then thaws again, causing water in the soil. Over time this process causes the ground to settle and compact resulting in an unstable outdoor fireplace.
  • Cracking – Even the best outdoor fireplace materials like natural stones, brick, rock, stucco, concrete and tile can begin to crack when exposed to intense heat and sun for continuous periods of time. Materials dry out and become brittle and this causes them to crack or chip easily.
  • Crumbling – If an outdoor fireplace is exposed to a lot of rain, snow and ice, materials can become saturated with water. The more porous the material, the worse the outcome. This constant process of absorbing water and drying out weakens building materials. Over time, they may start to crumble or fall apart at corners and mortar joints.

Problems from Defective Parts

  • Back Puffing – Back puffing is a common problem that occurs, especially in wood-burning fireplaces, with improper fireplace installation or without regular backyard fireplace maintenance of the fireplace chimney. The fireplace sends smoke back out through your fireplace opening into your face, instead of properly sending it up the chimney. Smoke guards and weatherproof exhaust fans should be installed to avoid this annoying and dangerous problem.
  • Leaking Gas – A gas leak is nothing to fool around with. It can cause an explosion resulting in harm to your family and property. All outdoor gas fireplaces require a gas line that connects to your main gas supply line at the house. Gas lines, turn-off valves and gas fireplace parts require regular backyard fireplace maintenance for safety. Any defective parts should be replaced immediately by a professional licensed contractor.
  • Defective Pilot Light – Outdoor gas fireplaces have a pilot light that ignites the fireplace burners. If the pilot light is defective or damaged, the fireplace won’t light. Have your contractor inspect the gas valve and gas line for problems and replace the pilot light if necessary.
  • Defective Burners – Gas burners can rust and deteriorate in outdoor fireplaces over time. Located in the fireplace opening, they are somewhat exposed to weather conditions like rain, snow, sleet and wind that can cause them to malfunction. Your contractor should inspect your outdoor fireplace burners on a regular basis to ensure they are working properly.

Ensuring that your outdoor fireplace is well-maintained and free of defects is essential to proper operation and safety. It will help to prevent accidents and fire that can be caused by defective parts. Regular backyard fireplace maintenance will provide years of outdoor fireplace enjoyment for your family in a safe backyard environment.

Basic Outdoor Fireplace Maintenance

All types of outdoor fireplaces require regular backyard fireplace maintenance. Hiring a professional contractor is recommended for maintenance, but DIY cleaning is possible just to keep your fireplace looking good. You’ll have to decide if the labor and effort required is worth your time and attention. Here are some helpful tips:

Wood-burning Outdoor Fireplaces

  1. Keep all plants and foliage around the fireplace well-maintained and cut back. Overgrowth can be a fire hazard. Don’t plant right next to the fireplace structure. Plants and shrubs can attach to the fireplace itself in joints or cracks causing materials to deteriorate.
  2. Use creosote sweeping logs that can help loosen creosote in addition to backyard fireplace maintenance and cleaning.
  3. After loosening creosote, check its thickness. If you see that it’s thin, 1/8th inch thick, the chimney needs to be cleaned by a professional. If the creosote is thicker than 1/8th inch, don’t use your outdoor fireplace until it’s thoroughly cleaned. You could start a fire.
  4. Use a broom and sweep out any debris like leaves or left-over burned wood. Dust ashes and debris off the mantle and hearth. If you have an outdoor shop vac, this is a great place to use it to remove soot and ash. Be careful using a broom on soot and ash as you can easily smear it around. A vacuum or shop vac is better.
  5. Use a stiff-bristled brush and warm, soapy water to clean outside fireplace surfaces, the mantle and hearth. The inside of the fireplace will be more difficult to clean, and may require stronger cleaners to remove buildup. Professional backyard fireplace maintenance is best for difficult areas.
  6. The fireplace chimney and flu should be cleaned and maintained by a professional chimney sweep or contractor to prevent possible fire hazards.

Outdoor Gas Fireplace Maintenance

  1. Make sure the gas is turned off before attempting any cleaning or maintenance on an outdoor gas fireplace.
  2. If your gas fireplace has an exhaust fan, be sure that it is working properly always.
  3. Make sure your ventilation system is operating properly always. If not, have it inspected by a professional and make repairs if necessary.
  4. Clean gas burners with a soft cloth and a soft bristle brush for burner holes. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning procedures and cleaning solutions for your gas outdoor fireplace, otherwise you risk voiding your warranty.
  5. Clean fake logs with a soft-bristled brush at least once a month to remove soot and ash.
  6. Turn off the pilot light during months when your fireplace isn’t being used.

Backyard fireplace maintenance is recommended by a professional at least once a year. If you use your outdoor fireplace year-round, have it inspected twice a year. Failure to do so can result in possible fire and injury to your home and family.

For long-term enjoyment and safety of your outdoor fireplace, talk to your landscape contractor for proper outdoor fireplace care and maintenance procedures that are best for your home.


Unfortunately, there is no magic way to turn a green or black pool clear overnight! It usually takes a lot of time, effort and money to clear up a typical “swampy” green pool. It is certainly best if you never let your pool water get this dirty, however most pool owners experience a “green pool problem” from time to time.

Although it is not easy work, there is a proven method of clearing up a green, black or very dirty pool in the shortest time possible.

Follow the instructions below for the best results.Cleaning brushesCleaning

  1. Remove most of the large debris from the pool floor with a large leaf net (not a hand skimmer!). This will stir up the water, and may make your pool look much worse temporarily, but the stirred-up debris will settle within a few hours. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO VACUUM THE POOL IF YOU CANNOT SEE THE BOTTOM OF IT OR IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF DEBRIS ON THE BOTTOM. YOU MAY CLOG YOUR SKIMMER, FILTER OR UNDERGROUND PIPES!
  2. Adjust the pH and Alkalinity levels of the water using pH Plus, pH Minus and Alkalinity Plus. These levels must be within the proper ranges or the water will never clear.
  3. Shock the pool. This means super chlorinating the water to kill off any bacteria and algae. If your pool is very dirty, it may need MANY gallons of liquid chlorine (shock) over a period of days before the water clears. Start off by adding 3 or 4 gallons, and if you see no results overnight, add 3 or 4 more gallons the next day. Continue this process until you notice the water changing color to either cloudy white, light green or clear. YOU CANNOT OVER SHOCK A POOL! The more you add, the quicker it will clear! Note…shock is available in liquid or powdered form, but we recommend using liquid (it works faster). You may also want to add a high-quality algaecide to the water at this point.
  4. Run your filter 24 hours a day and backwash 3 or 4 times a day for quickest results. Green or cloudy water will quickly clog a filter; therefore, you may have to backwash your filter many times a day until the pool clears. THIS IS NORMAL! Remember, you cannot over-backwash a pool filter. The more you run your pool, and the more you backwash the filter, the faster the pool will clear up. If you have a D.E. filter, remember to add new D.E. to the skimmer closest to your filter after each backwashing. A D.E. filter is more work than a sand filter, but the D.E. filter will clear a green pool about 50% faster than a sand filter.
  5. If you follow these instructions and your pool does not clear up within 4 or 5 days, your filter may not be functioning properly. If this is the case with your pool, have the filter system checked out by a professional. The pool will never clear up if the filter is not working properly!
  6. Once the water does clear up, you will most probably see debris on the pool floor (dead leaves, algae, etc.). If there is only a small amount of debris present, you may want to vacuum it up using your own pool vacuum system. If there is a lot of debris on the pool floor, you should have the pool professionally POWER VACUUMED. This will save a lot of wear and tear to your filter system, as well as assuring that no debris gets clogged in your pool pipes.
  7. We strongly urge you to watch our most popular site, How To Clean up just about anything”, where we through every step in detail for you.