Our house is sort of tall for a single story house. We made the basement 'taller' than average, then there's the normal first floor, then a 9.5/12 pitch roof, then this tall chimney. It's high up there, and I don't like high. My Hubby-Rock Star-Hero took care of business, let me tell you.
The last time we did this was the first time we did this. At the bottom of the flue (chimney) pipe there is a little lid. Twist it, and it comes off so you can sweep the chimney, empty any debris, all that good stuff. The first time, I just popped that puppy right off and was immediately enveloped in a cloud of fine ash. No air, no light, just ash. It got in my eyes, nose, ears, hair, clothing, skin. It was awful, and I was stupid.
So this time, I was more prepared, even though I couldn't find the goggles. I bet my alma mater is glad I was wearing their hoodie - Go Racers!
Meantime, while I was getting 'ready', my rock-star husband already had the cap off. It's all good.
Here, he's getting the chimney brush ready. Ours is a poly brush, because the flue pipe is stainless steel. If you use a steel brush on a steel chimney, it can scratch it, and once it's scratched, creosote (bad) can more easily stick to it.
The rod is fiberglass, and comes in four foot sections, so you twist on one, start it up the chimney, then twist on the next one, etc., until you've gotten all the way to the top. My job at this point was to watch with binoculars to see when the chimney brush was all the way to the top, and to see whether or not it cleaned the screens on the spark arrestor cap.
Our neighbor was kind enough to let us borrow a 30' ladder, except it was a 24' ladder...so hubby went to town and rented this bad boy.
I'm a big chicken about heights, particularly on ladders, so I held the base nice and tight and said prayers. Little Bit watched from inside the cab of the truck (she can't open the doors yet, so we didn't have to worry about her wandering into a dangerous area or coming to help). She loves to honk the truck horn, so we made a deal that she must NOT honk it, but that once Daddy was down, she could honk it more than once. She did great!
I don't have pictures of the Hubby-up-on-the-ladder part. Safety first! But look how up it is! My rock star Hubby climbed all the way up there - twice!!
Somewhere, there is a picture of me peeking out of that chimney where it meets the roof line - back when it was first framed. All I remember is being really scared and wanting to get down. Ah...home construction memories!
While he was up there, he used various sizes of wire brush to loosen all the crusty, yucky, naughty creosote from the screen. He also checked to make sure screws were tight, things were snug, and he popped in that one piece of siding trim that needed a little whack. Just like new! Pretty much. I was just happy when he was back down and safe.
These pipes are clean!! (name that movie)
The night before I had discovered a loose gasket, so we went ahead and replaced those too. Does this happen to you too? I was just going to clean the glass, then I found the loose gasket, and before I know it...
But everything is all fixed up now. This one is around the door frame - and it starts out gray.
This one, around the glass, will likely be gray very soon! We also replaced the gaskets around the lid of the stove once we had the horizontal pipe all cleaned out.
Our stove draws beautifully now, it burns better, and is a joy to use. Thank you, Sweetie!