This winter you did everything perfectly. You covered your masonry barbecue with a good coat of water-repellent paint and you protected it with the sheet designed to cover it – and yet, now that you need it, it's full of water. Let's ask Luigi, technical manager for products at Sunday, a few questions.
Why aren't the first warm days of Spring enough to dry out my barbecue?
Even if it's protected, the barbecue will normally tend to absorb moisture over winter. A few sunny days won't dry it out completely. Burning some wood is the best way to get it back into shape.
Is there anything I need to do the first time I light the barbecue?
The first time you light the barbecue, you need to do it very slowly and gradually. Start by adding half a kilo of wood and when all the wood has burnt, add another kilo. Keep on going for about two hours. These steps will dry out the barbecue gradually.
I'm impatient, I'd like to light my barbecue straight away and grill food on it. What might happen?
If the barbecue is still damp when you light it, you could create a pressure cooker effect. Any water remaining in the masonry can suddenly turn into steam, the pressure increases and cracks the surface.
Am I fine if I used water-repellent paint, though?
Water-repellent paint is excellent because a lot less water enters the masonry. This way, if we do have some rainy days, you won't need to repeat the steps to light your barbecue gradually. In any case, barbecues treated with water-repellent paint can resist rain for about a week. They definitely cannot resist the amount of rain that falls over winter.