In most households, the clothes dryer is an essential appliance. But few homeowners understand how to properly install and maintain their dryer, and this lack of knowledge can result in a serious fire hazard. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates more than 15,000 fires are sparked by clothes dryers every year. The vast majority of these fires occur in residential buildings, sometimes resulting in injury and even death.
How do these fires start? It’s simple. As load after load of wet clothes are cycled through a dryer, lint is created. Much of this lint is caught by the dryer’s filter, but some collects in the dryer vent system. As a large amount of lint accumulates in the dryer filter and the dryer vent, airflow is reduced and heat and moisture build up. The dryer continues to work, the temperature rises – and the lint becomes the perfect fuel for a fire.
Another cause of dryer fires happens from the outside. It’s a problem that Rick Fucarino, remodeling project manager at The Roofing & Remodeling Company, has seen all too often. “Sometimes dryer vents get a bird’s nest in them, especially in the springtime,” says Rick. “This causes a clog, and can lead to a fire.”
If you notice that your clothes are taking longer than a full cycle to dry, or if clothes feel unusually hot at the end of the cycle, these could be indications of a blocked dryer vent. Our experts advise homeowners to have their dryer vent system cleaned and inspected every other year to reduce the risk of fire and increase dryer efficiency. “We can disconnect the dryer vent lines, vacuum them out and replace them if necessary,” says Rick. “When it comes down to it, proper dryer maintenance can mean the difference between life and death.” He also recommends that some dryer vents be cleaned and inspected more frequently, such as small stack dryers, older dryers without temperature safety controls and dryers with vent lines that are longer than six feet from the outside of the building.
At The Roofing & Remodeling Company, we take our customers’ safety very seriously, and encourage you to take a look at your dryer vent system today. For questions or to schedule a dryer vent inspection, give our experts a call at (757) 903-0050. From roofing to Virginia Beach remodeling to the smallest home repair, our family is here to take care of your family.