Wow. Yesterday’s post about cleaning out the dryer duct pipe and fixing a leaky vent on the roof sure sparked a whole lot of passion in you guys!
I was a little hesitant to even post about the leaky issue because there weren’t any pretty pictures to go along with it. I didn’t want to bore you guys. I was pleasantly surprised when I got such a positive reaction about the post. Thank you! Now I know you guys really do like the down-and-dirty nitty gritty posts.
In addition to all the positive feedback I received, I did get quite a few questions and comments – enough to warrant another follow-up post.
First and foremost, I want to address the children being on the roof and their safety.
Please know I am probably one of the most neurotic overprotective mothers on this planet. In fact, I’ve blogged about child safety on this blog before. I was 100% confident in the safety of the kids through the entire roofing experience. The house is 2-story, but this section is on the 1st story:
I would NEVER let my kids any higher than that. Ask Ben, he’ll vouch. 😉 Also, they are 10 and 8, and are responsible. I trusted that they could handle themselves. We went over roof safety before we got on the roof. They knew the dangers of being on the roof, and we are very strict about them following rules, some of which are:
No running on the roof before Home Inspection. No walking on the roof – they had to crawl on their feet and hands when going from the window to the vent area. Any sign of roughhousing at all would cause immediate banishment from the roof. We were very clear that this was a privilege, and without proper behavior they would go inside immediately.
::off my safety soap box::
The second thing I want to address is: Me wearing flip-flops on the roof.
Yes, probably pretty dumb. I didn’t want to get gross tar crud on my tennis shoes (or sneakers for all you East Coasters!). I pretty much do 99% of all DIYs in flip-flops. It’s dumb. I could slip or cut my toe off. I know the risks. I will continue to DIY in flip-flops. I don’t recommend it though. If I ever build a house or something, I’ll probably put on real shoes.
I REALLY really appreciate that you guys were so concerned about our safety. I hope my explanations made you feel better.
And you guys, wow, you are way too smart for me. Seriously. I can NOT pull one over on you ever. I should know that by now. What I’m referring to is the actual venting of the laundry room.
Yes, the venting is awful and stupid and I have no idea how the design of it even passed inspection. Moist hot vented dryer air should NEVER need to travel over 20 feet before it vents. And in my humble opinion and assumption, having a 90 degree turn through the ceiling that runs 6 feet before it turns 45 degrees towards the roof top is probably the dumbest design flaw I’ve seen.
Even after the full 20 feet of vent was totally clean and clear, the dryer was still taking over an hour to dry. Unacceptable. And you guys so called me out on this.
I actually decided last week that I was just going to vent the dryer through the window, which is right next to the dryer. I wasn’t planning a post for it, hence the lack of step-by-step tutorial.
I wasn’t going to do a post because honestly, I highly doubt this get-up is “to code”. And lets face it, it’s kind of a trashy solution. I was just going to quietly have my dryer venting out my window while you guys just blissfully assumed it was venting through the vent pipe in the wall. My bad.
So, yes, I have rerouted the venting of the dryer. My clothes dry so much faster now! It went from about an hour dry time, to now 15-20 minutes.
The window solution is not ideal, but I’m not quite ready to commit drilling a hole through the brick. I need to figure out what our code allows, and make sure I do it the right way. So, for now we have a semi-permanent solution that I am happy with and can live with for now.
There are probably a hundred ways you can set this up. Here’s the rigged setup we have going on for now:
The Dryer Vent runs from the dryer directly into a Back Draft Damper. The Back Draft Damper connects to a trimmed down Supurr-Vent Dryer Vent Hood, which runs through a hole cut into a piece of 3/4″ thick wood. The Supurr-Vent Dryer Vent Hood has been wrapped in Foil Tape to seal off any air leaks. The wood is cut to fit inside the window. The edges of the wood have been wrapped with Rubber Foam Weatherstrip to prevent a draft.
I don’t know if this is the best way to set up a dryer vent solution, but it’s how we did it. And so far it has worked great.
As for the fact that the window is unlocked and open now, we easily remedied this with my favorite window locks that I mentioned here.
For all the upstairs windows I used one lock per window, but for this window we opted to put one on either side. Not only does it keep the burglars and rif-raf out, we also put them on pretty tight to help put pressure on the wood contraption below to keep it in place.
I’ll be honest, it doesn’t look *awesome* from outside – especially since it’s on my front porch, but with a little white paint I think it will make a huge difference.
We plan on painting the wood white to match the trim on the window. I think once it’s all white it will be a lot less noticeable. Also, I’m going to get a big potted plant or something to position in front of the window to help obstruct the vent view.
I want to note also that even though the air that blows out is moist, I’m not worrying about damage to the window frame or house because the window is metal and the house is brick. If I had a wooden window I might be a little more concerned about moist air blowing on it.
Here you can see inside the Dryer Vent Hood to see the the Back Draft Damper.
You could probably do without the Back Draft Damper and just have the Dryer Vent Hood, but I opted for both as a double barrier against bugs and back-draft.
So there you have it. After spending so much time cleaning out the fire hazard that is the vent pipe in the wall, we ended up bypassing it completely anyway. But at least water isn’t pouring into the laundry room anymore. And honestly, I sleep a lot better at night knowing I don’t have a potential fire hazard packed inside my walls.
And now to answer a few more random questions from you guys:
* I have gone back and forth about stacking the washer and dryer. I had planned to, but recently changed my mind, but now I’m considering again.
* Please, at least once a year, disconnect your dryer vent and clean the pipe inside your wall completely out. You will be shocked how clogged it gets.
* The Splendidly Imperfect Miss M! gave the BEST advice I never thought of:
“Disconnecting the dryer from the vent once a year or so and shoving a leaf blower into the vent will blow it all out the roof vent, helping to keep it clear.” Such a great tip!
* No, I’m not going to make anything out of the dryer lint. I chucked all of it. Didn’t even save any for a camping trip as fire starter.
If my tips have helped even one of you to have a safer more efficient dryer, then I’ve done my job!
I hope I was able to answer all the questions you had, and clear the air about my family’s safety.
*Yes, I’m aware I misspelled “Supurr” on all my photos. Whoops.