Humans may have discovered fire thousands of years ago, but there’s no denying that we’re still absolutely enthralled by it.
Even with the advent of different sources of energy and different ways to cook, you still can’t beat a good fire. This is especially true on a cool summer’s evening, gently warming yourself by the fire pit.
You can’t go wrong with a Solo Stove for this, with its portable design and low-smoke output making it perfect for garden use.
But have you ever wondered if you can put your Solo Stove on your decking?
After all, it seems a shame to have to sacrifice the joys of a good old-fashioned fire to make use of your specially curated seating area with your buddies.
Now, logic dictates that wood and fire don’t mix particularly well, but what about composite decking like Trex?
Surprisingly, the answer is that yes, Solo Stoves are safe on your deck, whether it's made from wood or Trex!
In this article, we’ll go into more detail about why your Solo Stove is safe on your deck, and tell you the precautions to take if you decide to do it!
The good news is that yes, you can use a Solo Stove on wooden decking. You and your buddies will be shooting the breeze around a nice warm fire in no time.
Having said that, you’ll still be mixing fire with wood, which is obviously a mix you want to avoid if you’re not trying to start an even bigger fire. Therefore, you’ll have to take some precautions!
Firstly, you’ll need to make sure that you opt for a stove that has a stand or optional stand feature.
Fire pits can getincrediblyhot, and it goes without saying that you don’t want something with a surface temperature of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit in direct contact with your deck.
By keeping some space between the pit and the deck you’ll ensure that any heat radiating downwards will be nowhere near as severe as direct contact. As a result, you’ll save your decking from heat damage!
Although Solo Stoves emit less smoke and burn cooler than other fire pits, you’ll still have to deal with the problem of sparks. Any real fire is going to hiss, crackle, and spark, and it isn’t going to stay confined to your stove.
Sparks can damage your deck, so you’ll have to bear this in mind. A good way to reduce your chances of troublesome sparks coming from your fire is to burn good-quality hardwood, which should spark less.
Trex decking is a type of composite decking. All brands of composite decking have a fire-resistance rating, rated A-C, so be sure to check your deck's rating before you put your stove on your Trex deck.
Even if your deck is rated A, you should still always use a stand when using your Solo Stove on a composite deck.
For the same reasons as outlined above for wooden decking, you should never have your stove in direct contact with your decking.
If you’re still considering whether or not to put your Solo Stove on your deck, you might want to get an idea of just how hot Solo Stoves get when burning.
In any event, it’s useful information whether you decide to use it on your deck or not. Unsurprisingly for what is essentially a metal box with a fire in it, Solo Stoves do get rather hot.
However, Solo Stoves don’t actually get quite as hot as you might think. Unlike some other fire pit burners, Solo Stoves have vents at the bottom which draw in air from underneath and keeps a constant cooling airflow throughout the fire.
It also has a specially insulated design to stop the exterior from becoming too hot.
It’s still hot, of course, and the Solo Stove manual strongly advises against touching the fire pit at all until the fire has gone out and the pit has cooled down.
A plus point of the Solo Stove in this regard is that as they burn rapidly, they will also cool down in a much shorter space of time than other fire pits.
However, you’ll still need to be alert around kids and pets. But in fact, this is just one of a handful of features that make the Solo Stove an ideal choice for both children and pets.
The Solo Stove’s low smoke design means a much more pleasant, less eye-watering experience for the kids.
This also means fewer sparks too, which means less chance of any of the little ones or the family dogs getting hit by rogue sparks whilst running around.
If you’re particularly concerned about sparks, however, you can buy (or perhaps even fashion yourself) mesh spark screens to prevent sparks from escaping the stove.
Another alternative would be to use a traditional fire guard, as you would with your indoor wood burner, particularly if you’re only sat on one side of the stove.
So, we’ve explained why you should always use the stand whilst sitting the Solo Stove on a deck, as you don’t want to risk heat damage.
But should youalwaysuse the stand? Personally, we can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to use the stand every time you use the Solo Stove.
The stand for the Solo Stove is a slightly smaller metal ring that sits underneath the main body of the stove.
The stand is ringed by a pattern of small holes in order to let the heat building underneath the fire radiate outwards, arguably improving the stove’s overall heat output.
Even whilst the stand is applied to the Solo Stove, the whole structure remains sturdy and safe- you needn’t worry about the stove becoming dangerously wobbly to the extent that it might tip over.
It’s also useful for different terrains. If you’re heading to the beach, for example, popping the stand on your Solo Stove is a good idea.
The added height on the stove keeps it out of the sand, which keeps the stove’s air vents from becoming obstructed and choked up.
For the same reason, using the stand might well be useful in particular situations like dirty, muddy, or dusty environments. It will also protect grass from getting scorched, too!
You might be wondering if just using the stand alone with your Solo Stove is enough to protect your deck from heat damage. Well, we reckon it ought to be, thanks in large part to the design of the Solo Stove.
In fact, Solo Stoves radiate far less heat downwards than most other fire pits. Why? Well, the Solo Stove has vent holes at the base, which creates an upwards airflow throughout the fire.
As a result, the vast majority of the heat is carried upwards and out through the top of the fire rather than downwards.
This might concern you if you’re after a particularly cozy fireside experience. Isn’t all the heat lost upwards into the atmosphere?
No, it isn’t. Whilst it’s true there are stoves out there that are better at radiating heat, the Solo Stove is still designed to emit plenty of heat from its flames.
However, if you’re still concerned about the possibility of your stove damaging your decking, you can opt for a heat-resistant barrier or mat to put underneath your stove and protect your deck.
These heavy-duty mats are made out of fire-resistant materials, like aluminum or silicone, and designed to withstand temperatures up to 2000 Fahrenheit.
There are all sorts of fire-resistant mats available on the market depending on your preference, coming in different shapes and sizes and made out of different materials.
Of course, if you really are concerned about damaging your decking with a fire pit or wood-burning stove, the simplest solution is to simply not put your pit on your decking.
There are alternative ways to keep yourself warm in the yard. For example, consider using a gas-powered stove.
Yes, we know it’s not quite the same as having a real fire on the go, but there are some excellent gas stoves on the market that will do just the same job without the risk to your deck.
Of course, another simple solution (although one that doesn’t totally rid you of the problem of sparks) is to locate your wood-burning stove or fire pit in the vicinity of your deck rather than directly on it.
Paving stone, concrete, gravel, and dirt are all absolutely fine, but think twice about putting your pit onto your lawn, especially if you put a lot of effort into it!
The heat from the fire will likely scorch the grass underneath, ruining your nice neat and tidy lawn.
So, you’ve read to this point and established that yes, you can use your Solo Stove on your deck.
But, for those evenings when it’s a little too cool or the rain is coming down, can you use the stove when the deck is covered? Heck, can you even use the Solo Stove on the porch?
A lot of the information we’ve covered here would suggest yes, right? The Solo Stove is a compact fire pit that burns quickly and efficiently and produces less smoke and fewer sparks than the average fire pit.
That being said, it is important to remember that all stoves and fire pits need good ventilation to prevent the buildup of the potentially lethal gas carbon monoxide.
Whilst a covered deck or porch will still be exposed on three sides and have plenty of airflow, the airflow will be restricted by the canopy above you.
Even though the Solo Stove creates less smoke, you’ll still likely find that the smoke is gathering underneath the cover, unable to escape directly upwards, potentially making your deck an unpleasant place to be anyway.
Therefore, you should not use your Solo Stove on a covered deck.
The Solo Stove is a great option as a fire pit, being versatile and portable and also producing efficient, reduced smoke fires.
They come with a stand that you’ll need to use if you want to use your stove on your deck, whether it is wooden or composite (e.g Trex).
You might also want to invest in other countermeasures to protect your decking, like a heat-resistant mat for underneath and a mesh cover to prevent sparks from escaping.
However, whilst you can use your Solo Stove on your deck, this only goes for uncovered decking. If your deck is covered, you should not use open flames to prevent the build-up of smoke and dangerous carbon monoxide.
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