I decided to write this short article because I just came home from one of my dryer vent cleaning jobs in which a family was having trouble drying their clothes, their laundry was just taking far too long to dry which is a typical sign pointing to a clogged vent, something I see everyday but there was a curious twist this time, something they themselves have noticed for quite awhile in their laundry room…. MOLD!
We are all aware of the deleterious effects of mold, it can cause respiratory problems, long term sickness and even death in the worse case scenarios. Why mold in the laundry room you ask? Well, it’s simple really, mold needs basically three things to thrive… heat, a source of food (dirt, lint) and MOISTURE! In this particular instance the dryer vent was clogged which caused a back pressure of air that leaked into the laundry room from a loose connector on the dryer. This allowed an excessive amount of moisture into the room which raised the humidity levels to the point of creating a perfect environment for mold to thrive in clean dryer vent.
There were dark splotches of mold all over the walls and ceiling and the homeowner recalled noticing that the windows in the laundry room were fogging up whenever laundry was being done. This was not the first time I had witnessed such a problem, it happens more often than one might think. Ironically, the homeowner didn’t realize that there was an exhaust fan in the ceiling of the laundry room, had it been turned on when they were doing laundry the problem could have probably been avoided, but of course the real answer lies in preventative measures to avoid this from happening in the first place. It’s still unclear as to what extent the damage is to that particular room, the mold could possibly be remediated by a simple mixture of diluted bleach in water but if the mold has already settled inside the walls the only safe course would be to rip out the drywall and start over.
Keeping your dryer vent line clear is extremely important because it’s job is to carry the warm moist air to the outside where it can then be dispersed. If your line is restricted enough it could produce the above scenario or worse, it could cause a fire! If you own a gas dryer then you should be doubly concerned about having your dryer vent cleaned and inspected at least once every two years. Moist air backing up into your laundry room is bad enough but CARBON MONOXIDE… now that’s a whole different ballgame!
Francis Burger is the owner of “Boise Dryer Vent Cleaning” He invites you to stop by his site for more information.