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Fire Pit on Composite Decking

Composite decking is more and more popular. There are many different brands, and each brand has its on proprietary formula for the "polymer" capping as well as the primary material of the board, such as a wood-plastic mix or a solid plastic. Rather than try to run a 3-hour test on each kind of decking, I decided to run a single test with a variety of decking samples in a careful layout with 4 samples dead center under the fire pit.
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I situated a Bree X-24 exactly centered over the layout. The center of the Breeo was over the center of the layout at the intersection of the 4 smaller samples. I was planing to keep a brisk fire going for 3 hours, as I did with other tests. But something happened that really surprised me: After just 15 minutes, I saw smoke coming from under the Breeo. I stopped adding wood and let the fire burn itself out, which took about another 45 minutes.
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The next day with the Breeo removed, I could see just how extensive the damage was.
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Before I moved the Breeo to the side table, I marked the outside of each foot with blue tape. This gave me a way to define exactly the position of the diameter of the Breeo. You can see that the fire burned a little hotter on the left side and that the diameter of the damaged area was about 3 inches inside the diameter of the Breeo with the maximum heat damage in the center.
This test does not show you what will happen with every fire pit on every kind of day. The Breeo burns hotter than some other fire pits. On a cold day, I would expect less dramatic results. I did a test a couple of years ago on Veranda decking using a very different fire pit on a very cold day. The Veranda decking was damaged, but in a much less obvious way.
The Azek and Paramount PVC decking samples show the greatest damage in this test. This in no way indicates that these brands are inferior. In fact they have many advantages. All you have to know is that if you have PVC decking, you shouldn't place a fire pit on your deck unless you have serious protection such as DeckProtect underneath.
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