Home Skills: Chimney Works

Looking at the new heating season, DH and I were looking at two tasks.

1. Clean the wood stove chimney. It had been two years, so we felt it was time. Instead of hiring a chimney sweep ($150 a visit) we bought a chimney brush with rods ($165). DH climbed up (our house has only one storey), I fed him the brush and the rods, and the job was done in 15 minutes.  We’ll add these tools to the Transition Wayland Tool Pool (chimney sweep not included).

2. All of last year, whenever the furnace would come on, the house would fill with an exhaust smell. Not enough to set off our carbon monoxide alarms, but unpleasant. We diagnosed the problem as a crack in the old chimney flue. We asked for an estimate and it came back at $1200 (materials and labor). But when the woodstove was installed and we had the other flue lined, it didn’t look like rocket science. So we bought the metal liner, the connectors and the chimney top online and the high temperature caulk and silicone ($400 total ), and with the help of two friends installed it in an hour or so.

It was pretty warm out today, 50F, so both chimney flues were unused until around 6 pm. I even opened the windows wide. I emptied the rain barrels for storage, reattached the gutters, put the hoses away. I am eager t0 clear the downed limbs from the garden beds so I can plant my garlic. I’ve got 4 pounds of seed garlic and plan to put some in every bed to “sanitize” the soil. I need to fix the hoop house (only one tear from the fallen branch). And I want to get some horse manure from my neighbor and start spreading it all over. Also, I need to get me 5 bales of straw from  the feed mill…

All that will depend on Amie. Her school is canceled a second day because the building still doesn’t have electricity, but she is ill, anyway, and will probably be home tomorrow as well.

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  1. Hi – glad your power is back on! In WMass, I only had about 12″ of snow, but was without power for just a few hours short of 5 days. Like you, I’m so thankful for my woodstove.

    I’m wondering about this comment: “I’ve got 4 pounds of seed garlic and plan to put some in every bed to “sanitize” the soil.” Could you please elaborate about garlic sanitizing soil? I’m not familiar with this idea. Thanks!

  2. Hi Michelle, I’m glad you too have your power back. I think we’re getting used to this now. Sounds eerie, but sometimes eerie is what we’ve got, and you roll with the punches!

    Garlic is an antifungal and antibacterial not just for your body when you eat it, but for the soil you plant it in as well. And not just harmful fungi and bacteria. Just like it deters pests like mice and deer, it deters aphids and borers, codling moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, snails, carrot root fly, whiteflies…
    That’s the story on the street, anyway.

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