I bet you haven’t looked behind your washer and dryer in a very long time… It’s okay, you’re not alone. The laundry room is probably one of the regularly used spaces in your house that gets the least amount of attention. Let’s change that. Here are some helpful hints and tips so your laundry room doesn’t feel neglected.
The Backside of the Laundry Room
Look behind the Washer and Dryer
Sure, you might find a lost sock, used dryer sheet or even a few toys or nerf darts (we have found quite the assortment of items while doing home inspections). What you should really be looking for are any leaks. Remove whatever debris is behind your washer and dryer and take a close look at the following:
Look at the Laundry water supply
Check for any leaks coming from the water supply hoses. Additionally, check to see that the shut off valves are not leaking and are not corroded. Certain municipalities in Des Moines have very hard water which can be hard on hoses and valves. Any corrosion or scale build up should be cleaned off so you can monitor for leaks in the future. Also check to make sure the drain tube from the washing machine is securely inserted in the drain and not working itself loose.
Look at the Dryer vent
Pull the dryer out from the wall and examine the dryer vent. While inspecting, if you see a collection of lint behind the unit, there is likely a hole or split in the vent pipe that needs repaired or replaced. All dryer vents should be securely fastened with clamps or foil tape. Duck tape should be avoided and NEVER use screws to attach a dryer vent. Especially since screws can cause lint to get trapped and increase the risk of fire. If your dryer vent is made of plastic, replace it with a rigid or flexible foil vent (plastic dryer vents offer no fire protection).
Lint Be Gone in the Laundry Room
Look at the lint trap
Hopefully you are in the habit of cleaning the lint trap on your dryer EVERY time you do laundry. Please start! Nonetheless, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that dryers and washing machines cause an average of 15,970 fires each year (dryers are to blame for 92%). Emptying the lint trip is your first line of defense against a dryer fire.
Look at the dryer vent
Second, have your dryer vent cleaned. Whenever a dryer doesn’t seem to be very efficient and you have to dry things a second time, a blocked or clogged dryer vent may be to blame. Many vent cleaning companies offer this service in the Des Moines area. Though, if you are a DIY type of person like us, you can purchase a dryer vent cleaning kit from the local hardware store.
Look at the exterior vent
The third thing to check regarding your dryer vent is outside. Locate where your vent exits the house. It may be on the exterior directly outside the laundry room, or possibly even on the roof. Be sure to see if there is lint buildup anywhere that needs cleaned. If you have a grate installed that is collecting lint, it is probably best to remove the grate to help reduce the risk of fire. Just be sure the vent closes fully so birds and critters can’t make themselves at home.
Finally, if you’re not following us on Facebook – start now! You can find us at Wiemann Home Inspection. Today’s Facebook post asks the question, ‘What’s the weirdest thing you have found behind your washer and dryer?’