How to keep your dryer vent safe

Dryer Vent Safety

Dryer Vent Safety

Your washing machine and clothes dryer are valuable appliances, and they need maintenance from time to time.

Steam Action Restoration Services recommends maintaining and keeping your dryer vent systems clean because of the danger of fire.

The vent system is the gateway for moisture-laden air to escape from the dryer to the outside of your home. The vent hose can be very short, perhaps just a foot or two in length, to several feet, depending on the distance from the dryer to the outside wall. The longer the hose runs, the more lint that can build up in the hose, increasing the possibility of a fire. Our team has the knowledge and training to not only handle isolated smoke and fire damage cleaning and repair, but we can also handle odor removal and complete contents restoration.

Besides a visual inspection of the hose and venting, pay attention to how long it takes your clothes to dry. If drying seems to take longer than when you first purchased your dryer, it may be due to lint buildup in the vent hose, restricting airflow to the outside. If you have to restart your dryer because your clothes are just not drying, then inspect and clean your hose and vent.

Inspection and cleaning

Disconnect the electricity to your dryer before doing any work and remove the lint trap and make sure it is clean. Pull your dryer away from the wall and unhook the dryer vent assembly. You will need a tool for this, most likely a screwdriver. Carefully use the hose from your vacuum cleaner, insert it as far as you can into the dryer hose, thoroughly vacuuming.

Also, inspect and clean the assembly from the end of the vent hose to the outside of the home. Go outside, if possible, and inspect the opening. You might even find a bird has tried to nest in the opening, and occasionally bees or wasps have attempted to take up residence. You will need to clear out anything that can block the airflow to the outside. If you aren't able to clean the entire hose, such as if it is too long, it's better to play it safe and just replace it all. Lint buildup inside the hose can overheat and catch fire, and you must avoid that at all costs.

And if the unthinkable does happen, and you have a fire in your home -- or smoke damage -- call Steam Action for restoration services. After all, it pays to call a professional.


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