During the winter months, we tend to wash and dry thicker and newer clothes with heavier fabrics that can create an increased amount of lint. Snow, ice, lint and other debris can block your dryer vent and prevent proper air flow out of your home. When this occurs, your dryer vent doesn’t work as efficiently and can overheat. This not only damages your clothes, but also quickly becomes a fire hazard.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 3,000 clothes dryer fires occur each year, costing $35 million in property loss and causing over 100 injuries. The leading cause of residential dryer fires is a failure to clean the dryer. Frequent dryer vent cleanings will make your appliance work more efficiently, but also prevent fire damage and a home fire.
The Most Common Causes of Dryer Vent Fires
Clogged dryer vent pipe
If a dryer vent isn’t cleaned and maintained regularly, lint will build up over time, eventually causing a blockage. Any obstruction can prevent hot air from escaping the dryer’s exhaust system causing a dangerous build-up of pressure inside your dryer’s motor housing, that can lead to an explosion or fire.
Severely restricted or broken vent pipe
If your vent pipe is too small or goes through a tight space like your attic or crawlspace, vibrations can cause it to break or restrict air flow through your vent pipe. This constraint can cause dangerous pressure build-up in your dryer’s motor housing.
Improper vent installation
If your dryer vents aren’t properly installed, it may cause damage to your home as well as increase the risk of fire damage or smoke damage from an electrical malfunction or sparks from faulty wiring. Improperly installed dryer vents can also lead to a build-up of excessive moisture from improper airflow or even blocked vents outside of the home. This moisture can cause mildew or mold growth in your venting system, which requires professional mold remediation.
Safety Tips To Prevent Dryer Vent Issues:
Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
Clean the lint filter before and after each cycle.
Do not forget to clean the back of the dryer to make certain it’s not damaged, crushed or restricted.
Check the outdoor vent covering to make certain it opens where the dryer is operating and isn’t restricted.
Fire Restoration From A Dryer Vent
While it is essential to have the dryer vents properly cleaned once per year or as recommended by the manufacturer, sometimes dryer vent fires occur for a variety of reasons. If a fire should damage your home, be sure to call a fire damage restoration company as soon as possible. The professionals at ServiceMaster By Mason are available 24/7 to help assess the situation to develop a comprehensive restoration plan and work fast to restore your home as quickly as possible. Contact ServiceMaster By Mason to learn more about our fire damage cleanup or dryer vent cleaning services.