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Is Your Clothes Dryer Working?

Dryer Vent Clogged With Foam

The solution created a new problem.

While inspecting homes in the Tampa Bay Area, I see a countless number of homes with rodent activity in attics.  Rodents cause extremely unsanitary conditions in homes.  I have recorded rodent damage in attics ranging from damaged electrical wiring, to holes chewed through HVAC ductwork to, compromising the insulation throughout the attic.  When rodent activity is discovered in an attic, I ALWAYS recommend remediation work. Also, that rodent prevention be contracted by a qualified pest control company.

In today’s example, rodents were getting into the attic by way of the missing screen at the dryer vent and bathroom vent.  Also, the dryer exhaust and bathroom exhaust stacks had been compromised and were allowing the rodents direct access to the attic. After my clients moved into their new home, they called to let me know that the dryer was not working and that the bathroom fan was making strange noises.  After a brief discussion on the phone, I realized that I would not be able to solve this problem so I stopped by their home to see if I could figure out what was wrong.

I went on the roof to check the vents and found a big surprise. Apparently, the original homeowner took it upon themselves to mitigate the problem listed in my inspection report by sealing off the vent hoods with expandable foam.  I see this product used WAAAAAAAY too often by homeowners but I digress, that is a blog for another day.  As you would guess, the foam is completely blocking air flow for the dryer so of course, the appliance is not able to function correctly.

Some things should be left to professionals as some homeowners, despite good intentions, often cause additional problems in attempt to solve issues.  Two other quick comments – If it doesn’t look right, then it’s probably not, so don’t do it.  Also, expandable foam is the ‘duct tape’ of the 2000s and is used way too often.  If you are thinking of using foam for a repair, you may want to do a bit of research before you commit.

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About the author

Todd Johnson has been a home inspector in the Tampa Bay area since 1998. He is extremely detail oriented and takes great satisfaction in his work. Todd understands the importance of the inspection and how much is riding on it; after all, it's YOUR home! Call Todd at Frontline Inspections today at (727) 460-2655