4 Ways Your Dryer Vent Can Be A Safety Hazard In Your Home

When you think of home safety hazards, what pops into your mind? Perhaps electrical outlets, creaky stairs, or an unattended stove. Dryer vents probably didn’t make your list but it’s true, they can easily become a safety hazard. Taking a close look at your dryer vent with a proper home inspection can help catch common dryer vent issues before they become a serious hazard.
1. The Connection Is Loose
Your dryer vent is connected to the wall either under or behind the dryer. A loose connection could allow the hot water vapor to leak into the areas surrounding your dryer. Anytime you get concentrated heat in a small area such as a laundry room it can lead to bad things, whether that’s a fire or damage to the walls. During a home inspection, take a look at your dryer vent to make sure the connection is tight.

2. The Vent Is Restricted
Dryer vents are typically made out of flexible plastic or metal that can easily become bent or crushed. When the flow of exhaust air is restricted it can build up and cause your dryer vent to become a fire hazard. You need to take a close look at your dryer vent during a home inspection to ensure there are no kinks or restrictions. If there are it may be best to replace the damaged vent and purchase a vent elbow, which allows you to turn the vent at an angle without causing restrictions.

3. Lint Accumulation
Lint buildup is perhaps the most common and dangerous safety hazard associated with dryer vents. The exhaust from your dryer vent also contains lint from your clothing. Lint is highly flammable and blocks the air duct, reducing the efficiency of the dryer vent. From there the dryer can overheat, causing mechanical failure and sparks which could potentially light the lint on fire. It’s important to look into the dryer vent for any blockages, lint or otherwise when your home inspection is performed and regularly afterwards.

4. The Vent Terminates Indoors
According to the IRC (International Residential Code) all exhaust ducts must terminate outdoors and at a certain distance away from any doors or windows. In some older houses the ducts may end in attics, crawl spaces, or walls. The moisture can accumulate in these confined spaces, causing wood to rot and potentially even encouraging the growth of dangerous mold. Rotting wood can weaken the foundation of your home and even if the mold is confined at first, it can quickly spread to other areas of the house. A thorough home inspection will catch this issue so you can correct it before any major damage is done.

Even things that you take for granted, like a tiny dryer vent, can become a major safety hazard under the right conditions. Whether you’re purchasing a new home or taking another look at your current home, it’s a good idea to perform a detailed home inspection. At Super Inspection Pros we have decades of experience in home inspections, and we can help you catch the little issues before they become big issues. Contact us today to schedule an inspection for your current or future home.

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