Blog

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!

Read more

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

El Nino Looms; Don't Fret Too Much

By Taylor May
Published: 12/01/15 Topics: Comments: -

A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. Read more

Expedia to buy Homeaway

By Ronald Lee
Published: 11/05/15 Topics: Advertising, AirBnB, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

There’s always a bigger fish. Serial purchaser Homeaway has itself been acquired by Seattle based Expedia. Read more

Outdoors-For-All, the Heros Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: -

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

Vacation Rental Huts on Wheels

By William May
Published: 10/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

How about a vacation rental on wheels, and no its not a mobile home Not exactly. Tom Kundig is an architect who had an interesting problem and more interesting solution. They're called Rolling Huts. You'll want to know more. Read more

Tourism Destinations are Killing Tourists

By William May
Published: 06/01/12 Topics: Comments: -

Tourism is a clean, responsible industry that brings in visitors anxious to shop, attend events, tour attractions, rent lodging, and pay the taxes that go with them. So why do local government officials kill vacation rentals and turn away the easy spending guests who want them? Read more

Glorious Days on Washington State Beaches

By William May
Published: 05/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

It is time to plan your summer at the beach? Vacation Rental managers are not yet sold out but will be soon. To get your choice place get off the couch and make that call today. Read more

Oh No, Mount Rainier Has Disappeared

By William May
Published: 04/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

Mount Rainier disappeared today. Poof. Gone. I looked up and it was missing from the horizon. Reminded me of the day, 20 years ago, when Mount Saint Helens disappeared. Read more

Professor John Edwards: Insects & Music

By William May
Published: 04/01/12 Topics: Comments: -

When I first began to help out with the Gallery Concerts Organization, one of my favorite not-for-profir groups, I met a gentle white haired man with a goatee who glowed with his enthusiasm for the music. Later I was to learn he glowed about just about everything. If the term "twinkle in his eye" was created for anyone it was John. Read more

Twas the Night before Vacation Rental Christmas

By Jan Covey
Published: 12/31/11 Topics: Comments: -

The Christmas and New Years Holidays are a big season in almost every vacation rental market. Read how one plucky manager gets through the hub bub. Read more

Emilie's Ski Blog Visits New Paradise Basin at White Pass

By Emilie Kippen Westphal
Published: 12/24/10 Topics: Comments: -

I just got back from a great ski at White Pass. (That's in South Central Washington State) and I just gotta tell you they have opened up 767 new acres of terrain in Paradise Basin. Its that area up and behind the original highest lift. That area that we all dreamed of skiing for a long time. Read more

Vacation Road Trips Start at the Dentist

By Gail Adair
Published: 04/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offe Read more

Sunbanks Resort - Little known Secret Location

By Penny L. Taylor
Published: 03/31/10 Topics: Comments: -

Warm weather took me on a drive to Central Washington state, to little known Banks Lake and SunBanks Resort. Toasty hot in summer it boasts warm warm water unlike most big lake resorts. Read more

Become a Vacation Rental Angel

By William May
Published: 03/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offer Read more

Become a Vacation Rental Angel

By William May
Published: 03/01/10 Topics: Comments: -

Operating a vacation rental business can be fun and profitable but it also an opportunity to do some good in the world. Now property owners and managers can do that by participating in a public program that offe Read more

Chief Joseph Welcomes Everyone

By William May
Published: 12/17/09 Topics: Comments: -

Can I invite you to the most unique and remote mountain lodges in Washington State? It is called Chief Joseph Lodge and sits dead center in the middle of the state and five miles up from the summit of Blewett Pass highway. Click here to take a look. www.ChiefJosephLodge.com. There are photos, vid Read more

Complaints, Compliments and Compassion

By William May
Published: 11/19/09 Topics: Comments: -

For a number of years our company has been donating vacation rental use to a wonderful group called OutdoorsForAll.org (Formerly SkiForAll.org). Their mission is to enrich the quality of life for children and adults with di Read more

Complaints, Compliments and Compassion

By William May
Published: 11/18/09 Topics: Comments: -

She wanted to go to the beach. It was to be a special trip with her daughter who had special needs. Larger homes were her preference, but a plain ocean front condo was her budget. She asked for a first floor home and a vendor to provide oxygen. Read more

Everything Robert Fulgham Learned in Kindergarten

By William May
Published: 11/01/09 Topics: Comments: -

I stumbled onto an Internet posting the other day that told me it has been twenty years since Robert Fulgham wrote "Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten". Read more

Remembering the "Thank You" Game

By William May
Published: 09/01/09 Topics: Comments: -

Surprises are great. And thank you's are best. In an industry like property management that requires attention to detail, constant supervision and reconciliation of occasionally conflicting goals between guests and owners it is too easy to forget the little personal things that make life worth liv Read more

1 2