As a home inspector, I come across dryer vent termination issues multiple times per week. Laundry rooms can quickly create problems and damage in your home.
Here are some things to be aware of:
Watch for leaks and kinks developing at plumbing connections to the washing machine.
Water can overflow from the top or bottom if the machine is overloaded with a load that’s too big or if it is resting on an uneven surface.
Protect the electrical or natural gas connections to the dryer, and ensure that they are not disturbed or accidentally dislodged from their connections.
A gas dryer vent that passes through walls or combustible materials must be made of metal.
The length of a dryer exhaust ensures that its blower will be able to push sufficient air volume to take away the laundry’s damp air and lint. The maximum length of the exhaust hose should not be greater than 25 feet from the dryer to the termination at the wall or roof. The length can be increased only when the make and model of the dryer are known.
Inspect the dryer venting to make sure it is not clogged or restricted, which will help the unit operate efficiently and normally as well as prevent the unit’s motor from overheating and failing. A clogged or restricted vent hose may also lead to an accidental fire caused by the ignition of built-up debris.
The clothes dryer exhaust poses a different problem than other exhaust systems because the air is damp and carries lint. Ensure that the vent exhausts to the outside and not to the attic, crawlspace, or attached garage, because the wooden structural members of the house could be affected over time. The exhaust vent’s termination should have a backdraft damper installed to prevent cold air, rain, snow, rodents, and birds from entering the vent. The vent termination should not have a screen on it, as this can trap lint and other debris and pose a fire hazard.
Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
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