Burn, Baby, Burn

Every once in a while, when it’s windy out, there’ll be a startling bang and rattle in our fireplace. I could never make it happen when I wanted Derek to diagnose it. So, I finally called in a chimney guy.

I don’t know how he stays in business.  After he cancelled due to a backlog of work, I had to chase him to get him to reschedule. Chimney guys are rare in these parts. Our neighbour is one, but he only gets poor reviews on social media. He also attracted attention during the federal election campaign with a huge sign on his lawn that compared Harper to Hitler. No, we didn’t want him.

The original guy finally rebooked and after climbing up on the roof and examining the chimney with a flashlight, he determined that the only possible culprit was the fireplace insert. It’s several years old but still looks fine and does the job. However, this guy said he would send us estimates for replacements. When he didn’t get back to us in three weeks I sent him a reminder. His reaction was, what more do you want? I already came out there for free! Like I said, how he stays in business…

In the meantime we had a windy day and Derek finally heard the startling noise. He inspected the insert, the doors and the screen and decided to try an experiment. He ripped up a small wad of newspaper and folded it into about the size of a matchbook and tucked it under the latch that keeps the fireplace doors from opening. We haven’t heard a peep since.

small black square fills the gap between the latch and the doors

Its success confirmed, I wrapped that little wad of paper in black duct tape so it wouldn’t be noticeable, put it back in place and closed the screen. It’s brilliant, but that’s Derek. Thank you gods of fire and thunder for not allowing me to fork out thousands of dollars for a new fireplace insert! Estimated cost of repair: $2000-$4000. Actual cost of repair: 3 cents. Satisfaction: priceless.

2 thoughts on “Burn, Baby, Burn”

  1. It’s funny, but our one and only experience with a real chimney sweep (creosote and all of that) was also unusual. In addition to cleaning our chimney, he was very clearly spreading the word of God, right there in our house, too. Now, he DID also give me a great tip about cutting gift wrap by folding and using a knife on the crease, but besides that, it was just…unusual. Maybe it’s something in the job that brings out the characters (like your neighbour, and “what more do you want” guy). Or there’s just not enough competition?!? Come to think of it, that Santa dude does most of his work via the chimney, too. Perhaps the chemicals….

    1. Maybe! Haha. If this guy had moved quickly enough he might have been able to make a big sale! Lucky for us he moved at a snail-like pace.

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