I really need to buy a taller ladder

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.

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8 Responses to I really need to buy a taller ladder

  1. Dannyboy53 says:

    Wow Jamie, I do hope you will use extreme caution climbing on the roof. I an disabled and my wife raises heck if I even mention climbing up there for any reason!

    Thank you for the mention of the Sawyer water filter, I have put this on our list of filtering systems to consider, HIGH on the list. We are on county water however we have a well about 40 feet behind the house. Mary and I pulled the pump and cleaned/tested it as it hasn’t been used in about two years just to make sure it is ready for use. Of course it depends on electricity but I found some simple plans to make a “bucket” out of pvc pipe for about $10 in the event we lose power. It is surrounded by stone sides and has a roof over it so it will be simple to set up for manual drawing.

    Keep the ideas coming Lady, I’m writing them down fast as I can!

    • Jamie says:

      Dannyboy, Smooshing myself or breaking bones is not high on my list of todo items. I did that when I was younger and I’m paying the price in arthritis though I’m as a good gauge on the barometer for changing weather.

      Since I’m in the “city” I can’t dig a well so I have to go water/rain barrels for my water supply. I’m pretty anal rententive about “safe water” since my last water test and have a good supply of safe drinking water already stored and I think my rain barrels will augment my safe drinking water after it has been treated.

      I’m still buying the 15 gallon food safe barrel from my beer lady. I have filled four and have another 5 empty that are ready for water storage. That’s not counting the nearly 300+ gallons of safe drinking water stored or the 300 gallons worth of rain barrels.

      Water is life and I think with using this filter with my rain water barrels as well as my stored “pool shock” dry bleach sanitizer I think I should be ready for any water emergency.

  2. Rob says:

    Could you build/find a sloping walk way to place in back of your home?? It would be hidden by being in back. That way you could just walk up with tools vs climbing. I don’t know the slop of your roof, do you have any kind of safety line you could clip onto so you don’t fall off?

    We now have 2 5 gallon water bottles. Our water froze last week and we just got our water back on Sat. 6 days after it froze. I would like to get a couple of more they run $9.95 each filled with water.

    If I can find your email address I will send you a photo of what I am talking about with the ramp.

    • Jamie says:

      Rob, The ramp Would have to have permits to build and cost to much over all.
      I think for quick and cheap water storage the prefilled water bottles are a great way to go. If there is a bottling plant or a farm store you might see if they sell recycled food grade barrels.

  3. The worst I ever got hurt up here was when I was up on an aluminum extension ladder and it bent and the bottom and dropped me down on to some rocks. Never, ever trust an extension ladder.

    • Jamie says:

      Harry: I’m not in a rush right now so I can take some time to buy a good ladder. I saw a couple of A-frame type ladders that will do the job even though they are a little more expensive I think the A-frame type would be better for me.

  4. Back when I used in indoor wood stove often I found that placing one of those blowers that fit in between pipe sections stopped a lot of soot clogging the top and spark catcher. This meant the blower actually collected the gunk but it was much easier to clean than going on the roof and had the added advantage of giving a second place of capturing heat.

    I believe they make them for all sized pipe.

    • Jamie says:

      Pioneer: The guys doing the installation told me most people remove the spark arrestor after installation because it clogs so easily.
      My impression was that the insataller thought the arrestor was a just a stupid code and that the chimney they installed for me was good enough all by itself to take care of any sparks.

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