Posted on: 29 August 2016Share
Mold and mildew can wreak havoc inside your home in more ways and places than you may have previously considered. One area where mold and mildew are susceptible to growing is inside or near your clothes dryer vent. Even though this may at first seem less than intuitive, keep in mind that a clothes dryer must dispose of water in the form of evaporated vapor; if anything should interfere with this process before the water vapor passes to the outside, the chance of moisture accumulation increases. That's why noticing a musty or mildewy smell when using your dryer or even on your clothing may be a sign of a moisture problem. Below are a couple of things you can do to correct the trouble:
Insulate your dryer vent hose
Dryer vent hoses are often made of thin metal, such as aluminum or similar materials, and they usually come with no substantial insulation. Unfortunately, as dryer vent hoses heat up, the ambient air that is many degrees cooler may force condensation to appear on the exterior of the hose. This moisture can then help feed the growth of mold on the hose itself or in areas behind or beneath the dryer.
As a simple fix, loosely wrap the dryer vent hose with a carefully cut strip of fiberglass roll insulation. Be sure to place the fiberglass side next to the vent hose with the paper side facing outward. Secure the insulation using a piece of duct tape or aluminum foil tape to prevent it from unraveling.
Remove clogs from your vent hose
While condensation on the outside may be the source of the trouble, much of the time moisture that accumulates inside the dryer vent hose is the cause of mold growth. Fortunately, it isn't usually difficult to fix this problem either.
Begin by removing the vent hose from the back of the dryer vent; the hose may be held in place by a spring clamp or worm-screw clamp or it may be simply pushed on to the vent. After removing the hose, inspect its interior with a flashlight to look for lint accumulation. If you discover lint and it feels wet, you can feel assured that a blockage is causing mold growth.
To remove the accumulated lint from the hose, use a wet/dry vacuum to suction the material. Be sure to work down into the crevices of the hose to get as much lint as possible. Also, check the exterior vent outlet where the air exits your home and remove any accumulated lint at this location. A blockage on this side can slow down the airflow and permit condensation to occur, possibly resulting in substantial amount of water accumulation inside the vent pipe between the hose and vent outlet. If you continue to have difficulty with wet lint accumulating inside your dryer vent hose, contact a qualified appliance repair specialist to help remove deep-seated clogs.
If the mold problem caused by your dryer is severe, you may need to work with a mold remediation company for complete removal.