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  • Writer's pictureJarad Clarke

Why should you get your dryer vent inspected.

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

It’s finally happened! Your offer for a new home has been accepted, and you are in escrow! Now it’s time to get your home inspection done. Of course you go through the inspector that your bank suggests because they would never steer you wrong on a purchase this important. Typically, your inspector will look for the following:

  • Grounds: Standing water, faulty grading, sick or dying trees and shrubs, crumbling paths and walls

  • Structure: Foundation integrity, rotting or out-of-plumb window and door frames

  • Roof: Defects in shingles, flashing, and fascia; loose and hanging gutters; defects in chimneys and skylights

  • Exterior: Cracks or rot; dents or bowing in vinyl; blistering or flaking paint; adequate clearing between siding and earth

  • Window, doors, trim: Rotting frames, peeling caulk, damaged glass

  • Interior rooms: Water-stained ceilings, adequate insulation, and sufficient heating vents

  • Kitchen: Proper venting, no leaks under the sink, and cabinet doors and drawers operate properly

  • Bathrooms: Toilets flush properly, showers spray, and tubs are securely fastened

  • Attic and Basement: no evidence of moisture, no evidence of decay, insulation sufficient and installed properly, sump pump operates properly

  • Plumbing: Drains flow properly; water has proper temperature and pressure

  • Electrical: Proper electrical panels and working light switches and outlets

I’m not sure if you noticed it or not, but one thing they don’t look at in most situations is the dryer vent, and whether or not that is in proper working order. Most home buyers, especially if it is your first home buying experience, wouldn’t even think to ask the inspector to check out their dryer vent. This would be a mistake. A clogged, or non-functioning dryer vent is a detriment to your new home, and could, in the worst case scenario, send your dreams of owning a new home up in smoke.

The following are the top 3 reasons to make sure that you get your dryer vent inspected before finalizing your home buying process.

Inspecting your dryer vent can prevent a fire

Clogged up vent causing dryer to malfunction compared to the cleaned vent.
Clogged dryer vent before and after

In our blog from May 21, Worst Case Scenario: What Can Happen If You Don’t Clean Your Dryer Vent, we outlined some of the reasons to get your dryer vents serviced. One of the reasons that is most concerning to our clients is the risk of fire. When purchasing a home from someone, you don’t know 100% what you’re getting. Yes, the previous owners could have made sure to clean out their dryer vents every year as recommended by professionals, but are you sure they’ve done that? We often hear from people who had no idea that they should get their dryer vents cleaned. If you don’t check that the vents and ductwork are clean you could be getting more than what you thought you were getting, namely, a bunch of leftover lent and clogs from the previous owner. These clogs are a big fire hazard. Getting your dryer vents checked by a professional before you finish signing those papers is an inexpensive way to make sure that you don’t have any clogs which could lead to a fire, and losing your home.

Correct Ductwork

Broken ductwork hidden in a wall.
Broken dryer vent ductwork

Repaired ductwork
Repaired dryer vent ductwork

Several years ago, before we opened Park Glen Dryer Vent Service, we bought our home. When the inspector came to check out our new home the garage was so packed full of stuff that he couldn’t get in to check the attic. That was a big mistake for us, and we should have had the previous owners move some things around to make sure that the inspector could get into the attic. Why you may ask? The ductwork to the dryer was a mess. It was literally laying on the floor of the attic instead of going out through the vent in the roof. For months we couldn’t figure out why it was getting so hot in the laundry room when we were drying our clothes, and why we were having to run the dryer at least twice for a normal sized load of laundry. Then we found the culprit, and had to fix the ductwork ourselves. This could have had serious consequences if we hadn’t found it when we did, and were able to fix it ourselves. Fixing that ductwork and seeing the huge difference it made in the dry time for our laundry, and how much cooler the laundry room was afterwards was one of the catalysts to us opening up our dryer vent service. We don’t want anyone to have to wonder why their brand new dryer in their new home isn’t working correctly.

Other people’s…stuff, and critters

This bird's nest was pulled out of a dryer vent that had a broken screen.
Bird's nest

Do you remember when you had to use the laundromat, and someone didn’t clean out the lint trap before you? What was that? Why was there always some weird hair, or crusty stuff in there? I know I’m not the only person who experienced that, right? Well imagine that, but it’s months or years of build up in the ductwork where you can’t see it. Even if the previous owners of your home were “white glove test” clean, it can be hard to keep critters out of your dryer vents if they are not cleaned and inspected often. We have had to clean out several bird’s nests, and wasp’s nests out of dryer vents this Spring and Summer. It makes sense, dryer vents are warm, and dry, so birds are often attracted to them. If the vent cover is broken, or missing, it is easy for birds and bugs to get into the ductwork. If the vent cover is fixed, but the ductwork isn’t inspected then those little guys get stuck in there, along with the nests causing nasty clogs that can have detrimental consequences.

Dryer vents are probably not at the top of your list when you’re looking for a new home, but it shouldn’t be ignored. It is a cost effective way to give you a little peace of mind when you are purchasing your new home.

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