I have been trying for 2 months to get my chimney cleaned and got ghosted on two different appointments for cleaning and I am sick of it. The guy is a good sweep when he shows up but is so unorganized that he can’t keep track of what needs to be done to run the business. I ordered a chimney cleaning kit from Home Depot that will arrive on the 3rd of October. If I have to I can clean Mom’s chimney and mine when we want it done.
I have a simple setup for my chimney pipe as it goes straight up through the roof. Mom’s chimney pipe has a couple of 90 degree bends and then goes up. This cleaning kit has the poly/nylon sections and a plastic? expanding (brush) that you can use with a drill from inside the house. I have a large clothe tarp I can use to keep the creosote contained but it might be a messy job the first couple of times we have to clean the chimneys.
Last year Mom used a different sweep and they did an awful job. We had to go back and cleanup all the creosote that the sweep left in the chimney pipe that went through the wall after a 90 degree turn of the pipe. Some good came out of that fiasco as I learned a Shop vac with a bag for dry wall dust will work for cleaning up creosote from a cleaning. The bags are a pricey at 3 bags for about $20.00 but it is worth it for a clean/safe chimney.
Last but not least is Mom and I can clean our chimneys in the future no matter what happens to the economy since we have the tools we need on hand.
I looked at the sales ads this week and I don’t see anything I need or any great buys. I’m good for Halloween/ chocolate candy front. I already have a turkey though I’m want to buy a little stuffing mix perhaps a few frozen pies for the holidays. Other than that I’m good on the food prepping. I think there is a tendency to focus on prepping for food, water, heat, first and everything else is a bit of an afterthought and that can be a good thing but it can also lead into “tunnel vision” and you ignore other things that you need to have on hand.
Tools and knowing how to use them is a big thing for prepping. For example having a chimney cleaning kit on hand so you can you can clean the chimney so it is safe to use. I think battery powered tools are great but there is nothing wrong with having hand tools that can do many jobs well. A bow saw is great tool to have on hand for cutting limbs on trees but also work on fallen tree limbs. Honestly a bow saw can be faster cutting limbs compared to a battery powered saw. Sure more physical effort but it will get the job done cutting up fallen tree limbs. Speaking of chainsaws do you have an extra chain on hand and the files or chainsaw sharpener on hand? Do you have the oil on hand for the chainsaw bar if you are using an electric/battery power saw?
Think about how you will cook your food. I think a butane stove is great for back up cooking. You can use them indoors cost about $30.00-$50.00 and the fuel costs $12.00-$25.00 for 6-12 cans that will fuel cooking for several weeks. A French press coffee maker that only needs hot water to make coffee or you could buy a percolator coffee maker that works on any thing that can apply enough heat to reach 180 degrees F.
You can do a lot of little things that make life easier with out invest thousands of dollars. A small foldable solar panel that charges your cell phone, a battery bank or a laptop. About $50.00 on amazon. A battery bank that can “jump” your car battery but also has USB ports for charging your phone heck I I have rechargeable LED lights in my kitchen that I have used these little battery bank rechargers.
Igloo water jugs is a great way to store hot water. Be it prep for storm or the electricity goes out these jugs will hold water hot for at least 18 hours and warm for up to 36-48 hours. Absolutely fantastic to set by the kitchen sink for cleaning and cooking. Great in the bathroom for hand washing and cleanup. Perfect for storing 5 gallons of water, prepping for a disaster such as the hurricane hitting Florida. I use a smaller 2 gallon Thermos jug for the bathroom sink for cleanup. These sort of jugs don’t get enough love or use in the prepping community. When my water line broke I could heat water on my wood stove to about 160 degrees F. at night fill the Igloo jugs and have hot water the next day for cooking and cleaning.
I would recommend anyone storing water have a small 15 gallon barrel of water or 3 five gallon jugs of water and one empty 5 gallon Igloo jug that could be filled with hot or cold water at the last minute per person. One gallon per day per person might keep you alive but you need at least 3-5 gallons per day to cook and clean to stay healthy.