Dryer Vent = Potentially Serious Problems
Unfortunately, we regularly see installations like the photograph below on flat roofs. This problem can cause a lot of damage.
Dryer lint collects at the fan exit, and after a few months, it can block the fan completely. As a result, all of the humidity released by the dryer goes back into the attic, which can cause serious moisture problems in the house, but more importantly, it will inevitably cause damage to the roof decking over time, as shown in the photograph below.
Maintenance and Corrective Measures
If you have this kind of dryer vent, remove the fan and clean it at least twice per year. When the roof is being redone, ask the roofing contractor to correct the situation. They should even offer to do so. The roofer can install a vent that doesn’t require any maintenance (see photograph below).
The galvanized metal box shows what a proper installation looks like. This one has two flaps (exits).
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Published April 9, 2013