Winter Damage

It is early Spring (April) in the SE of England where I live.  On a sunny afternoon, last week, I uncovered the oven for the first time this year to find some fairly nasty water damage.  The video below shows the damage.  I talk about “mysteriously disappearing” clay in the video.  After a little more consideration it is clear that this is just water damage.  Clearly water has been seeping through the covering and has eroded some of the outer clay content.  The heavier sand particles are left on the oven surface hence the covering of sand on the dome.

I know have to patch cracks and fix the chimney.  Hopefully she’ll be OK for another year once I get these repairs underway.  We shall see!


7 thoughts on “Winter Damage

  1. Hi

    I’m looking for someone to repair our clay oven. It’s has completely cracked all the clay or concrete on the outside. Need someone to have a look and repair please

  2. Pingback: Resilience | The Clay Oven

  3. hi to save some of the water damage paint the outside of the oven with a good masonary paint this will make the oven water resistant use about three coats

    • the problem is that the outside layer still cracks when it heats-up. However I can see that some paint might help keep the worst of the elements at bay. I have seen lime mortar used too.

  4. Hi, great blog.

    Do you think that firing it once or twice during winter would be a good idea? Would this help to dry it out periodically?

    I’m in Australia and our winters aren’t quite as fierce as yours so I might be in a better position. I’m going to try the simple type of oven first (clay dug from my backyard with no insulation) just to see how it goes. (I think I saw this on River Cottage Treatment at some stage).

    Thanks again for the great set of instructions! I hope it survives.



    • I guess it might help if we had any dry days! I think the solution is to cover the oven better to be honest. I’m looking at getting a BBQ like cover made for it.

      All the best with your project


  5. Simon,
    I had some damage on my oven as well, and I think it was mainly due to the frost. I took off quite a bit of clay which seemed to have lost its bonding, but the inner dome of really hard fired clay was fine. I have repaired it and also plan to put on another outer insulation layer as I have plenty of clay left over from last year. I have used it a couple of times already and there does not seem to be any real lasting damage and I will be using it again tomorrow to do some pizzas, so I’ll have to crank it up to max.
    I have just cooked a couple of joints of meat on before it which didn’t necessitate it getting up to maximum heat.
    I’m sure it’ll be fine.
    Hope all goes well with the community project.

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