The wood stove has been increasingly smoky lately… until Wednesday night, when the smoke stopped going up the chimney altogether and started coming out from around the trim panel. We closed the damper and draft down completely, choking off the fire in the box, and let it dry out.
Today, we got around to having a look at the situation. We pulled the insert out and found chunks of creosote here and there, but not enough to choke off the draft; I got out a paint scraper and ended up with an impressive amount of gunk. We swept it up and put it in a bucket.
Mrs. Fetched’s uncle said a “home remedy” was to swish a chain around the inside of the chimney to loosen up deposits… but like I said, it was clear all the way up. We decided to try it, so she went to get something for the chimney while I went up on the roof to see what getting a chain (or a chimney brush) down there would involve. I found a mesh of dog wire covering the exit, which was covered with creosote deposits, so I called Mrs. Fetched to tell her I found the problem.
I went down, got the paint scraper, and got the crud off the top of the screen. This didn’t do much for the stuff underneath, so I lifted the screen… and found about a centimeter of gunk like a blanket across the top of the chimney. This I removed then replaced the screen.
We lit a piece of paper, and it caught and went up the chimney… so Mrs. Fetched started a bigger fire. And the smoke’s coming right back into the house. I guess we’ll call a chimney sweep.