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Chim Chimney! What to Know on Chimney Sweeping

By William May
Published: 01/01/16 Topics: Vacation Rentals Comments: -

It’s that time of year to curl up around a warm fire - New Years has just happened, the weathers getting a little chilly, maybe there’s a light dusting of snow on the lawn. You open the flue, light your kindling, and wait for the romantic crackling to start.

But then you start wondering: when was the last time you got the chimney swept?!

It may sound like something of a Dickens novel, but modern chimney sweeping is something every homeowner needs to do. Soot deposits can clog your flue, smoking out your house, or worse, soot can create a fire hazard.

Sweeping also alerts you to any maintenance needs, and boy is it easier to repair a brick than replace the whole chimney!

So how do you go about getting your chimney swept? Well, this is something best left to the professionals. The last thing you want to do is wedge a ladder up your chimney and track soot all over the house.

Find a local sweeper who’s certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or the National Chimney Sweeps Guild. These groups ensure their members know what they’re doing with a brush, and can help diagnose any repairs that need to be made.

Professional chimney sweeps will set up tarps that capture failing soot, and will first inspect the flue to make sure there’s no major damage. Cleaning is done with brushes (not boys climbing up!) and high powered vacuums.

Cost typical depends on how many flues you have. While you may only have one firebox, other appliances in the house may have their own flues, such as dryers, heaters, and anything that needs to vent to the outside air.

Average prices should start around $150 and go up to $200 if video equipment is used. Video better enables diagnose of damage. For a more thorough inspection, ask for a Level II inspection.

So this winter before you pick out the movie and butter up the popcorn, make sure your fireplace is ready to go by getting it professional swept. And remember, it’s lucky to see a chimney sweep!

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Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0481 – 01/01/16
Sponsor: VRIA – Every idea, tidbit, technique and program at vRIA is intended to help vacation rental managers and owners operate better, grow bookings and succeed. Memberships start at the outrageous price of "Free." Join the industry today. – VacatinRentalAssociation.org

Vacation Rental Insurance for Condo Owners

By April Klazema
Published: 10/12/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

Say you own a condo in Florida that you have been visiting every spring break for ten years now. Next spring, you have a different trip planned and won't be able to make it down to the condo at all. However, the condo is in an area that is a hot tourist destination during the winter and spring months. If you aren't going to be using it, you figure someone else would pay good money to rent it out for a few weeks. Who knows? You might even be able to finance most of your other trip just by renting out your condo to other Florida tourists! Read more

How Much Vacation Rental Insurance Do You Need?

By April Klazema
Published: 09/01/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

When you are looking to buy vacation rental insurance coverage for the first time, you will likely have a laundry list of different questions that you want answered. Here are the answers. Read more

Do I Need to Get Special Insurance for My Condo or Vacation Home?

By April Klazema
Published: 08/01/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

If you rent out your property to vacationers or other tenants when you are not using it, then it cannot be protected under a homeowner's policy. If you are accepting money to allow someone to stay at your vacation home, learn heard about the insurance you must have. Read more

Special Insurance for My Condo or Vacation Home?

By April Klazema
Published: 07/01/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

If the purpose of the vacation home is for personal use only, then a homeowner's insurance policy will be sufficient to cover the property. But if you rent your home to guests on a nightly, or week basis that insurance is insufficient. Read more

The Vacation Rental Property Insurance Difference

By April Klazema
Published: 06/01/15 Topics: Insurance, Property Management, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

Most insurance companies will offer a specific vacation rental insurance policy that you can purchase to protect your rental properties. A vacation rental property may look like a home, but in the eyes of an insurance company, it's a business. Read more

What I do for a living

By William May
Published: 04/08/14 Topics: Comments: -

After a tragedy that has taken dozens of life in the small town of Oso Washington State, first-responders open the door to untrained volunteers after realizing they are better equipped at working in such difficult conditions. Read more

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