Many of our customers keep using their chiminea right through the winter, using it to enjoy the great outdoors in comfort even when the weather’s horrible. A few of you prefer to pack your chiminea safely away for the winter, saving it for spring, summer and autumn. So how do you stash your chim so it’s in perfect condition for next year?
Winter chiminea care – 3 golden rules for all chims
- One, never store your chim on its stand. Put it on a flat piece of wood instead, to keep it off the bare ground, garage floor, shed floor or whatever
- Two, add a three inch layer of cat litter inside to absorb any stray moisture that might creep in while it’s in storage
- Three, stash it somewhere the air will circulate and help it stay dry
Storing a clay chiminea over the winter
Ordinary clay tends to crack through frost damage. You can mend small cracks but, to be honest, if you get a big crack you’ll probably need to buy a new chiminea. If you have one of our unique chims made from our very special CHIMALIN clay, which is excellent at resisting frost damage, it makes life easier. Here’s how to store a clay chiminea over the winter:
- Pick it up and carry it by the body, never the neck
- Stand it somewhere safe while you clean it, on a completely flat surface
- Keep it somewhere frost-free
- Give it a good clean first, outside and in, to remove all the dirt and dust – a stiff brush should be fine
- Re-seal your chim for spring with special sealants to protect the clay and enhance its waterproofing – bear in mind sealants last 3-6 months before you need to re-apply
- Make sure the chim is completely dry before storing it
- Ideally, buy yourself a proper chiminea cover for the best protection. A plastic tarpaulin also does a decent job, but not quite as good as a proper chim cover
Storing a cast iron chiminea until spring
Cast iron chimineas, fire pits and so on tend to rust – it’s just what iron does naturally. It makes sense to store it somewhere completely dry, and to make sure it’s totally dry before you store it.
- There’s no point stashing a mucky chiminea, so give it a good dust with a stiff brush first, inside and out
- If there are any rusty spots or areas, you can get rid of them with a wire brush then give it a coat of heatproof chim paint so it’s in good nick next spring
- Oil any moving parts so they don’t rust up and get stuck – ordinary 3 in 1 oil does a good job
- Stand it off the floor to help keep damp at bay
- Cover it with a proper chiminea protector or a decent tarp
Storing a steel chiminea or pizza oven until the weather gets better
Like cast iron, steel can rust when it gets wet or damp. So the same advice goes for storing a steel chiminea – clean it, dry it, cover it and keep it off the bare floor. Since pizza ovens are also made from cast iron or steel, they deserve the same basic maintenance and treatment before storing.