A popular addition to most modern gardens is the chimenea. Perfect for when summer days start to cool in the evening so the family can finish their BBQ and stay outside longer. Flickering flames have a therapeutic quality, and can be quite hypnotic as it starts to get dark.
Essentially an outdoor fireplace; chimeneas come in many different shapes and sizes. And although they are fairly durable, ensuring you take good care to maintain your chimenea will ensure it will last a long time.
Choosing A Chimenea
Chimenea’s are made from cast iron or clay. Each type has its own special requirements for maintaining they stay looking good and work properly:
- Cast Iron: Metal chimeneas last longer than clay versions as they won’t break as easily and can be easily repainted. The biggest problem facing them though is that they rust. Surfaces get extremely hot so be careful when they are lit for long periods.
- Clay: Some clay chimeneas look like genuine pieces of art, which is one of the reasons that make them so popular. They are also a little safer as they don’t get as hot as metal versions. They do, however, require more maintenance as they can crack if they are not handled with care.
Clay chimeneas can’t be disassembled as they are one unit, but others come with instructions on how to assemble. Always keep instructions to make sure you can break it down and re-build it if it needs moving.
When you choose a spot for your chimenea, make sure you position somewhere flat, fireproof (not on grass), clear of overhanging branches and far away from fences that might catch fire.
Chimeneas are designed for burning small amounts so don’t overload them; and ensure the materials you burn are suitable to be burned. Don’t use your chimenea to burn household waste and plastics.
Make sure you have the right safety equipment; gloves, fireplace tools, extinguisher in case of emergency and a cover for when it’s not in use.
Never try to extinguish the fire with water as this can break your chimenea due to rapid changes in temperature.