Multi-Family Properties should Have Regular Dryer Vent Inspections
The main cause of dryer vent fires is the negligence of getting them cleaned. When was the last time you had your apartment building’s dryer vent cleaned? Not only is it important to clean the lint filter on the clothes dryer between each load, but it is also important to get the dryer vent duct cleaned annually.
Here is a picture of a very dirty commercial dryer vent with heavy lint buildup.
Regular apartment building dryer vent cleanings and inspections may reduce other risks such as:
- Carbon monoxide intruding back into your home
- Moisture getting trapped in the vent causing damage to drywall, wallpaper, ceilings and other building materials
- The clothes dryer taking twice as long to dry clothes as it should
Resources and time and money are all being wasted because the apartment dryer vent cleaning needs to be done and has not been done. The clothes dryer appliance works too hard and runs longer than necessary. As the dryer runs at higher than designed temperatures, the life cycle of your clothes dryer decreases. This can lead to the heating element burning out or the possibly of a fire igniting as a result of overworked fan motors.
Annual Dryer Vent Inspections for Apartment Buildings
A qualified dryer vent technician from Midtown Chimney Sweeps will examine the following items when he comes out to perform an apartment dryer vent cleaning:
- Make sure that your dryer vent is separate from all other vent systems, and that it exhaust to the outside world, not into a chimney, crawl space or attic.
- Make sure that your vent hose is in good condition and meets code. White plastic hoses you definitely need replacing it as soon as possible. These have actually been outlawed due to their lack of UL Listing. You’ll want to replace it with an aluminum vent hose and make sure the length is as short as possible and not crushed or kinked. It’s important to make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and that the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is running.
- Run a brush down the vent and blow out the loosened lint and debris.
- Inspect the exterior termination to ensure that the gravity flapper is in proper working order to keep out insects and pests such as rodents and snakes.
[Special Note: It’s important to limit the use of dryer sheets and only operate your dryer for approximately 40 minutes per load to allow more air circulation within the dryer and less lint build.]
Dryer Vent Fires
In conclusion an estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires in residential buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and have caused about 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Cleaning the lint trap will help in this but nothing is more critical than having a professional come to your home and clean your dryer vent pipe to assure the safety of your home and family with this appliance.
Here is a picture of all the bags of lint that were removed from the 10 story apartment building during the lint and dryer vent cleaning process!
Don’t forget the Chimney!
Chimneys are required to be inspected annually in the US and cleaned as required. Midtown Chimney Sweeps is ready to inspect and clean any chimney in North America (almost)!