How to Protect Your Chiminea in Winter

How to Protect Your Chiminea in Winter

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Chimineas enhance outdoor spaces with warmth and ambiance. However, as winter approaches, it’s crucial to protect your chiminea from harsh elements to ensure its longevity and maintain its aesthetic appeal.

How to Protect Your Chiminea in Winter

There are a number of important steps that you need to take in order to protect your chiminea for winter. We’ll cover each part below and give you enough information to help you.

Cleaning Your Chiminea

Proper cleaning is the first step in preparing your chiminea for winter.

Start by removing all ash and debris from previous fires, which prevents buildup that can cause damage over time. For metal chimineas, use a wire brush to scrub off rust and loose paint, then wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove remaining particles.

For clay chimineas, handle them gently as they are more fragile. Use a soft brush or cloth to clean the surface without applying too much pressure.

Inspecting for Damage

A thorough inspection will help identify potential issues that can worsen during winter.

For metal chimineas, check for rust spots and sand them down. After removing the rust, treat the area with heat-resistant paint to prevent further corrosion and maintain the chiminea’s structural integrity.

For clay chimineas, look for cracks and seal them with high-temperature mortar, following the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. Addressing these issues before winter sets in is essential for both types of chimineas.

Choosing the Right Storage Location

Chiminea Outside Storage for Winter

Selecting an appropriate storage location is vital for protecting your chiminea from winter elements. Indoor storage is usually the best option.

Place your chiminea in a shed, garage, or plastic storage shed to protect it from dampness and freezing temperatures, which can cause clay chimineas to crack.

Ensure the storage area is well-ventilated to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mold or rust. If indoor storage is not an option, consider using a plastic storage shed like the Keter Store-It-Out, which is tall enough for most chimineas and provides protection from the elements.

Position the storage shed on a flat, stable surface away from areas prone to flooding and line the interior with insulating material for additional protection.

Covering Your Chiminea

Chiminea Covers for Winter

A good cover is essential for protecting your chiminea from rain, snow, and freezing conditions.

Choose a durable, weather-resistant cover designed specifically for chimineas, ensuring it fits well to provide complete coverage.

For clay chimineas, make sure the chiminea is completely dry before covering it to prevent trapped moisture from freezing and expanding, causing cracks. After covering, secure the cover tightly to prevent it from being blown off by the wind.

For metal chimineas, ensure the cover is waterproof and UV-resistant to protect the chiminea from rust and sun damage.

Moving Your Chiminea

If you decide to move your chiminea indoors for winter, follow these steps to do so safely. Gather necessary tools and materials such as assistance from a friend or family member, heavy-duty gloves, and a wheelbarrow or dolly if available.

Begin by ensuring the chiminea is completely cooled down and empty of ashes and wood.

This reduces the weight and makes the chiminea easier to handle. Assess the material of your chiminea, whether clay or metal, as this affects how you should handle it.

Clay chimineas are fragile and can crack easily, so handle them with care, cleaning off any loose debris gently. Metal chimineas, although sturdier, can still be heavy and may require repairs for any rust or damage before moving.

Choose a stable and level path for moving the chiminea, avoiding rough terrain or steep slopes. Position the chiminea near the edge of the surface for easier lifting and less distance to travel.

With assistance, squat down and position yourselves on either side of the chiminea, bending at the knees and keeping your back straight. Lift together using your legs, not your back, and lift slowly and steadily to avoid straining yourself or dropping the chiminea.

Transport the chiminea carefully, using a wheelbarrow or dolly if available. Once moved to the new location, gently set it down and inspect for any damage that may have occurred during the move, addressing any issues promptly.

Position your chiminea in its new spot on a stable and level surface, allowing clay chimineas to acclimate to the new environment for a few days before use to reduce the risk of cracks.

Lighting and Using Your Chiminea in Winter

Using your chiminea safely in winter requires extra precautions. Ensure the area around your chiminea is free of flammable materials such as leaves, paper, and dry wood.

Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and familiarize yourself with its use. Wear long fireplace gloves to protect your hands from the cold and heat when tending to the fire.

Once your chiminea is safely lit, it can create a cozy and warm atmosphere on chilly winter evenings.

Invite friends and family to gather around, offer hot drinks, and enjoy the crackling flames together. Use dry, seasoned wood for the best results and avoid using damp or green wood, which can produce excessive smoke and creosote buildup.

Winter Maintenance

Regular maintenance throughout winter is essential to keep your chiminea in top condition.

Regularly remove ashes to prevent buildup, which can obstruct airflow and affect the quality of the fire.

Use appropriate cleaning products for your chiminea material, such as high-temperature paint for metal chimineas and high-temperature mortar for clay chimineas.

Periodically check your chiminea for any damage and address issues promptly to prevent them from worsening. This includes sealing any new cracks that may develop due to temperature changes.


Protecting your chiminea in winter is crucial for its longevity and continued enjoyment.

By following these guidelines and addressing the unique needs of your clay or metal chiminea, you can ensure it remains a focal point of warmth and comfort during the cold season.

Regardless of whether your chiminea is stored inside or outside, always use a high-quality, UV-resistant cover to protect it from the elements throughout the year.

With proper care, you can enjoy the beauty and warmth of your outdoor space even when temperatures drop, ensuring your chiminea will be a beloved feature in your outdoor living area for years to come.