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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Clothes dryers, lint and what you need to know

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters across the country respond to countless home fires caused by clothes dryers. A buildup of lint can cause a fire. In other words, not cleaning your dryer can be more of a threat of fire than an electrical malfunction.

Now, some dryers have indicators designed to alert you when lint has built up or blocked the vent. It is still good practice to check with your own eyes, for lint every time you use your dryer.

Below are three simple steps for laundry-room safety.

Clean The Lint Filter

Not once a month, or even once a week, remove lint from the dryer’s lint screen every time you use your dryer. It doesn’t matter if you do this before or after drying a load, but remove any lint from the screen at some point during each use. Not only does this help prevent a fire, but it also helps your laundry dry faster.

Replace the Accordion-Style Ducts

Most of the time, dryers are equipped with a 4-inch vent in the back, which homeowners or installers connect to the outside vent with a duct. But not all ducts are made the same.

If you have plastic or foil accordion-style duct connecting your dryer to the vent, it's a good idea to replace it.They are risky because they can sag, allowing lint to build up at low points. Also, the ridges on this type of duct can trap lint. Using a metal duct won’t sag, and lint is less likely to accumulate. Try using the shortest length possible.

Inspect Vent and Exhaust Duct Regularly

If you notice that your dryer takes longer than it used to, to dry clothes, that's a clue that there may be a blockage. Another clue is when you’re drying a load, go outside, and look at the dryer vent. Do you see or feel exhaust air? If not, the vent or exhaust duct is probably blocked with lint.

Try disconnecting the duct from the dryer, cleaning it out, and reconnecting the duct to the dryer and outside vent. Also, clean behind your dryer and underneath it because lint can build up there too.

SERVPRO of Lenoir, Duplin & Jones Counties would like for homeowners to use these simple tips to prevent a fire in your home. If you find a build up of lint in your dryer vent upon inspection, we can clean that too! Call 252-208-7888 and schedule an appointment!

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