No, I'm not referring to a dance but another intonation of the word, the more common word - CLOG.
Let's get some definitions out of the way.
Clog - noun - anything that impedes motion or action; an encumbrance; a hindrance.
Clog - verb - (used with object) -
1. to hinder or obstruct with thick or sticky matter; choke up.
2. (transitive) to stick; stick together.
3. (transitive) to encumber; hamper; hinder.
The origin of the word is unknown.
Dryer lint - noun - fuzzy stuff. Origin: the dryer. (This is the more esoteric, abstruse and recondite definition)
Going into the attic of an older townhouse I immediately noticed the stained roof sheathing with very rusty nails. Someone had the idea to add rolls of extra insulation, and piled it high and deep all the way to the edge of the roof, clogging the soffit vents. There was no overhead venting. The attic was full of dead air.
Yes, there was a significant amplification of apparent microbial growth evident in many places (we inspectors aren't allowed to say "mold" without doing a formal mold test, so that verbiage is the loophole).
With all that dead air, the attic smelled great!
Looking left, I noticed the only bathroom's vent tubing extending to the roof's surface, as it should. It exhausted it's air into a scoop vent, properly installed and meant for the dust-free bathroom air.
But somebody, perhaps the builder, added something. And it was added incorrectly.
The dryer vent!
Bathroom and dryer vents should be independently discharged outdoors.
Who knows when this dryer vent was added to the bathroom vent opening. Perhaps by the builder!
I have a personal pet peeve with dryer vents through the roof.
But no matter where the air goes, dryers should never vent through a scoop vent intended for a bathroom! There needs to be a larger, flapped opening for the air to exhaust.
Scoop vents have small, slotted holes. As the hot dryer air heats up the scoop vent the cooler air around it will create condensation, sticking excess dryer lint to the openings.
Over time the ultimate result, indeed the ONLY result, is a CLOG.
This vent was 100% closed off, and caked with lint, for nobody knows how long. The inside of the attic was littered with fuzzy stuff, aka dryer lint (origin: the dryer), everywhere. The sheathing was similarly and smartly decorated.
Going from lower to upper level a odor pervades the air. My clients asked me what the smell was. Before I even saw this I thought it smelled like dead air. And I suspected why - attic ventilation.
So here we have the perfect storm - the confluence of many things incorrectly done. And everything done was in the attempt to do it right or improve what was already there!
THIS PROBLEM HAS LIKELY BEEN FESTERING FOR DECADES.
My recommendation: good and bad smells happen for a reason! When unpleasant odors drench the air it is for a reason, or reasons. Sometimes things combine to create a problem, or make it worse. Hire a home inspector and maybe he can figure out why!
So now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put on my clogs and head to the barn, move the bales that clog the dance floor, spread some hay all around, and do some country clogging!
Well, I always do better in my PF Flyers.
I'll go with that. But you gotta like the tails and cane!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560