Swede Sweep
Dryer Vent Cleaning

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  It's always a new adventure going on a dryer vent cleaning service call.  I find it amazing how creative a contractor can be in how the venting system is routed, and generally there is little consideration of having the system serviced at a later date.

Many times the venting system needs to be re-routed from its original design when having a remodel done.  In order to 'make it work', we've seen cases where either improper materials were used, such as corrugated flexible pipe within the house walls, or where there were not proper sealed connections between pipe sections.

 
 

During a remodel, the roof was raised on the left side of this house. 

The original roof was still in place. 

The contractor installed the roof vent for the dryer vent, but neglected to add a section of vent pipe for the dryer to exhaust outside. 

As a result, the dryer was just venting in between the two roof sections.

I've even seen cases where the roofer completely sealed off the vent going through the roof or left it disconnected in the attic.

This is not only a fire hazard, but can also lead to a serious mold problem and if it's a gas dryer is venting carbon monoxide into the interior of the house structure. 

It also literally turns that area into a hot, humid sauna!

Dryer exhaust vent on the roof

Looking down dryer roof vent with pipe missing

 
 

 
 
The setup in the wall vent in the top right is actually more intended for using with a bathroom exhaust or any other type of fan driven exhaust where you are just venting out air. 

Obviously when a fine mesh screen is used for venting a dryer vent it will clog almost immediately. 

You really should never have any kind of mesh covering the opening of a dryer exhaust vent.

The vent shown in the lower picture is definitely dirty, but at least is the proper design. 

There should be a hinged flap or a series of hinged flaps that will open when the dryer is running, but close when not in use to prevent birds or weather from getting into the vent.

Dryer exhaust vent clogged by the metal mesh screen

Clogged dryer exhaust vent on side of wall

 
 

 
 
No that's not some exotic type of dryer lint--it's dirt!  This type of venting system goes down, runs underneath the slab, and comes up again generally as a wall vent about 6-12 inches above ground.  Usually most of the venting is pvc pipe. 

This sounds like it would be the most ideal type of venting system, but the truth is we probably clean more of these than any other arrangement, and also run into the most problems. 

Not only can they be full of dirt and possibly roots, much of the time they can be full of water, mud or sludge as well.  Its very important to make sure that there isn't alot of planting and sprinklers around the outside exhaust vent since does seem to contribute to the problem.  Sadly, if they are full of water we are not able to brush it out.

Dirt removed from dryer vent

 
 

 
 
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To learn more about our dryer vent cleaning procedure, visit our Dryer Vent Cleaning Page

 
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To learn more about the risk of a dryer fire, visit our Dryer Fires Information Page

 
 

 
 

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