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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Taking Care of Your Dryer Can Prevent a Fire

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

FEMA recommends cleaning your dryer vents at least once per year. But you may have to do it more often based on your family's needs.

History is full of notable duos; Lewis and Clark, Sonny and Cher, and Batman and Robin. But only one pair makes a difference in our lives almost daily: The Washing Machine and the Dryer. We’ve gone over a simple way that you can take care of your washing machine to prevent water damage, and now the dryer should share the spotlight too. After all, it does so much for us besides just dying clothes. Wrinkly shirt pants the morning of a job interview and you don’t have time to iron, or you just want a warm and comfy to snuggle under while you binge watch a certain show that talks about Winter all the time. The Dryer is there for you, be there for it.

One of the easiest ways that you can take care of your dryer is to clean the lint screen after every load. This ensures that your dryer is working efficiently and safely. If you use dryer sheets, you may have to do more than just a quick wipe down of the filter. Experts have said that the sheets can cause a slight build up over time that is not easily removed, and you can test your lint filter by pouring a small amount of water over it, and if the water pools anywhere you can gently clean the screen with a brush in warm, soapy water. Just be sure to thoroughly dry it before the next use.

But dyer filters are not the only part that you need to clean, those screens filter lint and other material, but it does go somewhere and exits out of the dryer vents. And those do need to be cleaned on occasion; the frequency depends on the load sizes and how much you use the dryer. Start with the exit vent, as these can be inviting to animals of all kinds. Lower vents can attract small rodents, and higher vents can make nifty places for birds’ nest. Once the exit is clear you can focus on the link inside of the vent pathway. There are a few ways that you can do this. You can use an air compressor to blow it out, but that can be messy. There are vacuums that have brush attachments but are limited by the length of the hose on the vacuum. You can purchase flexible brushes with extendible wands; these can work at both ends of the vent. There are even professionals that can provide this service just search “Dryer vent cleaning near me” to find one for you.  

Keeping a clean dryer vent will help to improve the efficiency and lifespan of your dryer, but the ultimate reason is for safety. Lint can build up in the vents, and according to the National Fire Protection Agency, more than 15,000 dryer fire happened in the US during 2010 with clogged filters being the leading cause. Our franchise has had to perform our fire and smoke restoration services to homes affected by fires that started because of a dryer. And several years ago, I lived in an apartment community when the laundry facility caught fire because several of the dryer vents were clogged. So dryer fires are a serious issue.

Making the investment in cleaning or having your dryer vents cleaned is one way that you can take care of your dryer and keep your family and property safe.

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