Leaking Dryer Vents are a typical problem that we find all the time. This is one of the locations that are inspected in our Environmental Inspection process. It is very common to find high levels of lint behind the Washer/Dryer location. Sometimes we find mold growing in this location and other times we do not find mold. It is important to check this periodically because this can be a high humidity area.
There are several reasons why this problem occurs. We will list them now:
1. Improper installation on Day One of the Washer/Dryer Installation. What happens is the clamp on the vent pipe is not secured properly and when the Dryer is pushed back in, the vent pipe slips off. This is an installer error but not all installers are created equally. This can cause a serious moisture problem in this area. If not fixed immediately, the possibility of mold growth can happen.
2. Homeowner pulls Washer/Dryer out to clean in this area. Sometimes the vent will come off if the Dryer is pulled out too far. This is a another problem that we find in older installations. Occasionally, we find the beginning stages of mold growth on the surface of the lint or drywall behind the Dryer.
3. Homeowner uses a Ventless Dryer Box. This is a box placed on the floor where the Dryer exhausts in the the box and collects the lint. This is a very poor choice of venting your Dryer. We had one in Key Biscayne, FL where the client had been using one for over 3 years. The mold growth in this area required Mold Remediation to take place to remove the walls. That is how bad the mold growth was in this unit.
4. Venting pipe develops holes in it from age. This is another common problem. You can buy this flexible plastic exhaust pipe in Home Depot or Lowes. The heat eventually causes the flexible pipe to break down and it gets holes in it. Best choice is flexible metal duct. You will find this in the same location where you found the Plastic Flexible Duct. It costs a little bit more and requires a little more work but is worth the cost compared to Mold Remediation. Metal Duct is a better choice to prevent future mold growth in your Laundry Area.
5. Last one is rodents or small animals eat holes in the flexible duct. This is not a common problem but it happens. We had one case in Stuart, Fl where rats were entering the house and living in the Garage. The wall behind the Dryer had to have Mold Remediation and the entire Duct System had to be cleaned and disinfected for rodent droppings.
In conclusion, it is important that you have this system inspected on a yearly basis to make sure you have not developed any leaks. It is also important to have this system cleaned every two years because of a possible Fire Hazard. This is also in addition to the possibility of Mold Growth in this area. As always, if you suspect any type of problem in Washer/Dryer Area, call a licensed Professional to check it out.