Monday, October 26, 2009
It's been a while since I've posted... My OCD requires that a project be totally done before I will post it -- and I have a few projects that have just a little thing left, and so while they are "almost" done I don't let myself post. I've been churning away on things though!
So my fireplace -- ! When I bought the house it was connected to a gas line with fake logs. So not my style; I like the real wood fires -- they smell good, they make fun crackling noises and of course I love messing with them...call me a pyro (but tell me you don't think that's fun too!)
When I had a plumber out to remove the little gas line stub ups in the floor from the old furnace, I had him disconnect and remove the gas line in the fireplace. But I wasn't confident that it would be safe to have a real fire in it, so I called a chimney sweep to come out.
Enter -- Doug of Black Hat Chimney Sweep. Once again, found him on Angie's List (which reminds me, I need to write up a favorable review for him...)
Doug added a damper -- how in 80 years nobody thought to add a damper is beyond me! (Hel-lo, there goes my air conditioning and my heat, up up and away through my chimney!) It looked enormous for the size of my fireplace, but apparently once you get past the firebox, the opening is 3+ feet wide.
He also confirmed that the brick is fire brick, e.g. it will withstand heat from a fire. Incidentally he said the fireplace has barely been used in 80 years -- the brick isn't even discolored! Amazing.
He also added a steel plate to block the opening between the two walls of brick: from my understanding, the exterior wall of brick that I can see in my livingroom below my mantle, and the wall inside the chimney. Apparently there was an opening between the two and flames could like their way up in between... could lead to a house fire. Good catch, Doug! Yikes.
He also climbed up on the roof and put new screen over the top of my two little chimney pots. He said the wire mesh that as up there was too fine of a weave for smoke to pass through. I do not understand how that could be, but then again I am not a chimney sweep either.
While he was up there he replaced a brick that had fallen off the tippy top of the chimney. (I was able to find a matching brick in the shed --- let's think about how long that had been there... again, amazing to me.)
Doug was awesome. He teased with Greta the whole time he was in the house (she was quite interested in all the aromas) and he even replaced a non-chimney chimney cap that had sailed off of my roof (frankly nearly hit me in the head like a frisbee) a few weeks ago. It covered up a furnace vent or someting -- not exactly sure -- but I figured it was serving some purpose and should go back up there.
Tom and I had gone to pick up some firewood the week before, so now I am ready! I figure the first fire will be Halloween weekend when my sister Janice arrives for her 2nd Annual Halloween Getaway. We'll see if the weather is chilly enough!
Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here is a photo of Doug the chimney sweep. I warned him he would end up on my blog -- he was as good sport about it all. (That's the damper he's placing. It was wrought iron and weighed a ton!)