Wood-burning stoves have become increasingly popular in the last few years, and as temperatures rise and we head back over to our gardens, more and more people are looking at outdoor wood burners to power their summer fire.
When keeping a burner outside, however, there are a few maintenance tips to keep in mind to ensure your appliance is running safely and efficiently.
In fact, while keeping rust at bay is still an essential component of indoor stove maintenance, it’s even more crucial when you’re dealing with outdoor stoves and chimeneas. Being exposed to humidity, winds, and rain will promote oxidation, especially as temperatures get higher. While modern stoves and stainless steel stoves are much less prone to rusting compared to older models, excess moisture and long periods of inactivity can become problematic in the long run, needing immediate action to save your stove from irreparable damage.
So, how can you make sure your wood burner is protected throughout the summer, and how can you properly clean a rusty outdoor wood burner in preparation for the garden parties ahead?
Taking good care of your outdoor burner is much easier than you think — here’s all you need to know!
The Problem with a Rusty Outdoor Wood Burner
First things first, let’s quickly go over why, exactly, a rusty outdoor wood burner can become such a safety hazard in such a short window of time.
Rust is the result of a natural oxidation process, taking place as iron and steel come in contact with water and oxygen, a reaction that is often a lot more prominent in cast iron stoves. While salvaging a rusty outdoor wood burner can be quite easy, you should always make sure to act promptly to avoid not only a decor-ruining eyesore but also the biggest issues associated with a rusty burner, like the deterioration and formation of tiny holes in the appliance.
Once heated, a very rusty burner might fail and produce excessive, dangerous smoke, or even start an uncontrolled fire.
Rust is something you definitely don’t want to ignore or play around with, so follow our guide to learn how to clean a rusty outdoor wood burner, the right way!
How to Remove Rust from an Outdoor Log Burner
If you start spotting rust on your wood burner, the first thing you should do is check whether you’re dealing with surface rust or more serious rust, so you can gauge if it’s salvageable from the get-go.
To check the state of your log burner, simply scrape the surface to see if the rust can come off in layers, or use a small mallet to see if the metal can be manipulated in some way. If that’s the case, you’re not dealing with surface rust, but with a more serious and advanced rusting that will likely need the help of a professional.
Once you’ve checked the state of your wood-burning stove’s rust, make sure the appliance is completely cooled off before wearing a pair of gloves and goggles.
You’ll want to clean your log burner by scrubbing the rust with either a wire brush or a sandblaster, loosening the rust with plenty of elbow grease and wiping all the flakes off with a slightly damp cloth.
As you scrub, you’ll notice the colour of your stove turning from red to black or brown, as the iron or steel underneath is exposed once again. As a final touch, you’ll want to apply some polish with a dry cloth, using a gentle circular motion. Once dried, apply another layer of coat to ensure your log burner is fully protected, preventing more rust from forming anytime soon!
Taking Care of Your Wood-Burning Stove
Now, it goes without saying that making sure your stove is properly cleaned, repaired, and maintained throughout the year will save you a whole lot of headaches in the long run.
On top of always using the best firewood for your appliance, checking for and getting rid of rust is an essential step in any wood burner maintenance routine, so make sure to follow our blog for regular maintenance guides, tips, and tricks — your stove will thank you for it!