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Heat-Proofing Wood Fence Near Grill???

BillyG's picture

I have a situation where I need to put an outdoor gas barbecue grill near a wood fence.  I know it should be a couple of feet away during use, but in this situation it will be a few inches away, or at least far enough away to open the grill cover.  The grill will be semi-permanently attached so it cannot be moved away from the fence during use.  The fence is not attached to a building. 

In the end I may not do it, but I want to know if it can be done.

I had a couple of thoughts.  One is to mount 1/2" cement board on the side of the fence near the grill, with an airspace behind it.  I could even mount the cement board on steel hat channel or steel angles.  Would this provide fire protection and how would it hold up in the weather?

Or I could I use Hardie fiber cement board?

Another thought is to mount steel or aluminum sheets on the fence with an airspace behind it.

Let me know if anyone has done this successfully, or if you have any advice?  You can say "no" but I am looking for can-do advice if possible.  Thanks.


(post #95242, reply #1 of 16)

I'm a bit baffled by your question.  For the last 20 years, I have had my gas grill on the deck, usually as close to the house as I can put it and still open the top (keeps in under the eaves on a rainy day).  Unless your grill is a bizarre design, there won't be enough heat around the sides to cause any damage to a fence.


(post #95242, reply #2 of 16)

Normal use heat shouldn`t cause any concern....were a grill fire to get out of hand is another story.

I like your idea of the cement backer.....maybe even tile over it.....give yer grill a backsplash.

I`ve seen vinyl siding adversely affected by BBQ grills....never wood fencing though.

J. D. Reynolds

Home Improvements





(post #95242, reply #3 of 16)

Like they say, you probably don't need anything, but if you want something then cement board would certainly be sufficient. Just try to keep any fasteners (that could conduct heat through) out of the "hot spot" area. I doubt that you need a spacer.

If appearanceis an issue, you could possibly replace some fence pickets with pieces of Hardieplank siding.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #95242, reply #4 of 16)

Simply dampen your fence before lighting your grill.  A fine spray from the garden hose will do it or use a weed/deck sprayer (a clean new one please).  The hose or sprayer can double as an extinguisher.  That will be all the precaution you need.

(post #95242, reply #5 of 16)

A piece of sheet metal, aluminum would hold up well to corrosion, with spacer to hold it off the wood should work well.

Another thought, particularly if the fence is painted white, would be to paint on a good coat of slaked lime. Basically whitewash. Resistant to radiant heat and easily touched up it is also cheap. Might need to slap on another coat at the start of each grill season but this is pretty short work. Lime in a bucket. Add water and stir. Apply with a rough brush.

(post #95242, reply #6 of 16)

I just don't see the need for any heat shield....does anyone have any experience to the contrary?

(post #95242, reply #7 of 16)


I agree with you, as far as my old gas grill goes.  I've had it for 20 years and and it served me well.   I just upgraded to a bigger and supposedly better grill.  The new one operates differently and a blast of heat comes out the back of the grill.  The back of the grill is more open than I expected, and time will tell if I like it. 

Anyway, there is no way that I can put it next to a wood fence, and the grill may need to be at least a foot away from the fence.  The heat out of the back is intense.  I am considering using a sheet of aluminum or perhaps stainless as a heat shield, spaced away from the fence to allow good airflow behind the heat shield.


(post #95242, reply #8 of 16)

there was thread last winter about "cement board" left out i'd skip it.

use nothin but common sense.


Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Woodworks

Repairs, Remodeling, Restorations.   

(post #95242, reply #9 of 16)

Oh, contrar!  You haven't met my wife.  I added a small deck to the back a few years ago, I come home the next day, she's cookin' steaks on the grill, flames comin' out behind the lid, and the railing's on fire!  She didn't even know it 'til I asked "what are we havin' tonight, HouseBurgers? !!!  After that, I made a custom 'heatshield', like 4lorn said.  Her 'cooking' style explains to me why red meat is called 'Rare'.

Edited 5/18/2004 9:56 pm ET by TR

(post #95242, reply #10 of 16)

The instruction that comes with the grill should tell you how close you can place your grill to combustables. If it's any closer, use common sense and a heat shield.

(post #95242, reply #11 of 16)

The instructions say three feet...  but as you know the instructions are for lawyers, not the users.  ;-)


(post #95242, reply #12 of 16)

The instructions will be equally important to your insurance company .......

On a hill by the harbour


On a hill by the harbour

(post #95242, reply #13 of 16)

Your comment is not helpful. 

Heat shields for this type of application are not rocket science -- we're not talking about the space shuttle here.  The plan is to be safe and that's why I am asking for advice on good ways to beat the heat.

My insurance company is free to read the instructions.  The fence is small and it's not attached to structure so I'm not worried about the insurance company...


Edited 5/19/2004 12:47 am ET by Billy

(post #95242, reply #14 of 16)

I guess I should get out more; I've never seen a grill that had flames come out around enough to be a hazard.....

(post #95242, reply #16 of 16)

Yeah TenPenny, I was surprised to feel the heat coming out the back of this grill.  Apparently it's a design "feature" but I wish they would have made the top tight.  It's a pain in the butt, so I ordered some sheet stainless from and I will mount it with an air gap behind the sheet.


(post #95242, reply #15 of 16)

Cement backer board of any brand name would work.  Remember that heat rises.  Place the board so that the area from the bottom of the heat box to about a foot above and to either side is covered.