This mobile home in Northern Virginia was a mess from top to bottom.
Perusing the outside of this mobile home I stumbled across this interesting hole.
It is poorly insulated.
It is exposed to the weather.
It is shiny and clean!
It is close to the ground.
It is crushed.
It is made of sharp metal and dangerous to the touch, particularly little hands playing with it.
It caused me pause.
So, what is it?
What do you think?
1. An interesting new doggie door?
2. Kind of a sideways dumbwaiter, to bring small groceries into the house?
3. A clever way to spy on the neighbor?
4. A dryer vent?
5. A fire hazard?
6. Both 4 and 5?
In this case, while 1 would be very fun (and only for very small dogs) the answer is 6.
The dryer is a very dangerous appliance if not maintained regularly. It is probably the most dangerous appliance in the home. See a previous blog HERE.
Notice how clean the metal is? There is no accumulated lint clinging anywhere.
That is because the exhausting air and lint are not getting out! Inside the home, and looking behind the dryer, there is an impressive accumulation of lint. And when asked the seller says it does take a long time to dry clothing.
The air only exhausts about 12"! It should not take long to dry.
The dryer is pushed so tightly against the wall that the vent is crushed and totally clogged. Not only is this a terrific energy waster, but a HUGE DANGER as well.
It is all unnecessary. Not crushing the dryer vent from inside is crucially important. Understandably space is a premium in these small mobile homes. But still, common sense has to reign when the dryer is positioned.
Also, the outside needs to be kept lint free and should be covered so rain and animals do not get inside.
If these two things are not paid attention to everyone is exposed to a potential fire as the dryer overheats.
Just outside this dryer-vent opening is a wooden storage shed. A fire would likely ignite it as well. The shed is very close to the mobile home next door. Fire might spread there too before the fire department can arrive.
This is a sorry situation all around.
My recommendation: check your dryer connection and outside vent opening regularly. Clean it as frequently as necessary. Love your family and your neighbor by treating your dryer with common sense. Pay attention! You, your family, your house and your dryer will last longer!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560