Sealing the wood stove
The good news is --- I'm pretty sure we defeated the smoky wood stove. I don't actually know if the problem was ashes building up on the baffle causing draft problems or smoke leaking
out the gap in the stove pipe. But we dealt with both potential
problems at once and one or the other (or both) did the trick.
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The bad news is --- that
awful scent you get when you fire up a brand new wood stove for the
first time? It must come from the heat-resistant sealant. When we stoked
up the fire Monday evening after Mark sealed the pipe for me, the
trailer filled with such an awful odor that I opened the door and
windows even though it was below freezing outside.
It took about twenty-four
hours for the scent to burn off, but now we seem to have a tight,
smoke-free wood stove once again. Moral of the story --- if your stove
begins to smoke when you fire it up the first time in October...don't
put off the problem until the weather is so bitter cold you can't keep
the windows open for more than half an hour at a time. Instead, learn
from our mistakes and seal your stove in warm weather so you can off-gas