Dad came over tonight and help me clean the spark arrestor and cap on my chimney. It’s kind of a bad thing when your wood stove won’t draw smoke up the chimney as it just sits and smokes with no air to feed the fire. I was warned by the guys doing the installation that the spark arrestor might clog and by golly they were correct, it was completely covered in gunk. At least the cap and spark arrestor was easy to pop off and I was able to clean it easily. I have been running the stove about three months regularly so I will have to watch for this in the future. I was hoping to get through the winter and then hire a chimney sweep to do a full cleaning of the chimney around March but I need to have some basic tools on hand to do a little work on the wood stove in between cleanings hence the need for a good ladder to get on the roof.
I have been looking at adding a good ladder to my basic tool kit. I have a shorter step ladder that works for most jobs in the house but I don’t climb very well any more so having a good ladder for getting safely on the roof really is important for house maint. I have some time to look for a good ladder on sale as Dad got a couple of jobs done requiring a tall ladder done while he was here working on the chimney spark arrestor. Dad unwrapped the electric cord on the garage door opener so no I can test out my power pack to see if it will open the door. If the power pak isn’t quite strong enough to open the garage door I will fire up the generator so I can get the mini van out and then park it in the alley so I can drive if I need to go shopping and stuff.
Having the ladder would also help me get on the roof and blow/sweep off, if we get any ash from volcano eruptions we are down wind of from Cascade range. Volcanic ash can be very heavy especially when it gets wet, as little as 6-10 inches can collapse most wood frame roofs. I went through the St. Helens eruption back in 1980 and it was interesting how the wind patterns made such a big difference in how much ash was deposited. Plus a good ladder is just handy for any homeowner to have for the basic tool box. Doing things as safely as possible is just smart especially in any kind of disaster situation, breaking an arm or a leg because you are cheap is just dumb. Best to spend a few extra dollars to have a tool that is safe that you confidence in when you use it.
Water storage is in the news and I found the Sawyer personal water filter that weighs about 2 oz. filters 100,000 gallons water to .1 microns and costs about $20.00. This filter would not help in a chemical contamination like what is happening in W. Virginia but I think it would be a great filter for most situations. I like how it the filter can attach to most water bottles and these are are very low cost so each family member could have a filter for water that is easy to use. I think I’ll get a family 4 pack of the filters to try out at the end of the month and add to my Get Home Bag and BOB also as a backup filter to what I already have on hand for the house and RV. This kind of filter could become a very valuable barter item if the SHTF and will always be good for camping.