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How To Clean Out Dryer Vent On Roof

Finding Your Dryer Vent

How To Clean Dryer Vent On Roof | Step By Step | It’s Super Easy!

The dryer vent is quite easy to find, right behind or beside the clothes dryer. The challenge is when youre dealing with a longer vent hose like in a duplex or an apartment loft. In such a scenario, the hose will lead to a PVC chimney pipe which exhausts the heat somewhere on the perimeter of the building. For now we will focus on dryer vent cleaning for single family homes where the flexible metal duct is short and is hooked up to the dryer vent cap on the outside of the house.

Once you locate the dryer vent, unplug the power and make sure not to disturb the gas line. In most cases, the gas line will flex just enough for you to pull out your clothes dryer. If you max out the flex pipe, stop pulling the dryer out and make the best use of the allotted space to clean out the dryer vent. Now its time to disconnect the dryer duct from the wall.

How Do You Clean Out A Dryer Vent To The Roof

Vacuum on the ground floor.


Besides, can you run a dryer vent out the roof?

While it’s preferable to vent the dryer through the siding, an upstairs dryer location or brick siding may mandate doing it through the roof. You‘ll need a dryer roof vent that keeps out the elements while allowing lint and hot air to escape freely and blow away.

Similarly, how do I know if my dryer vent is clogged? If your dryer or clothes are extremely hot during or at the end of a cycle, a blocked vent could be the cause. Your laundry room feels hot or humid. If your dryer vent can’t push the air outside your home, it’s got to go somewhere . You notice a musty smell.

Then, how often should you clean dryer vent on roof?

If you only dry four or five loads of laundry per week, an annual cleaning should suffice. However, if you have an exceptionally large family and dry as many as four or five loads a day, it may be a good idea to clean your dryer vent once every six months or, if you want to be extra cautious, once every three months.

Can you use PVC to vent a dryer?

While PVC is meant for plumbing and venting applications, PVC is not approved for venting a clothes dryer and should not be used for this application. PVC pipe can allow a static charge to build up this static charge can ignite the dryer lint leading to a fire.

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When Can You Clean Dryer Vents With A Leaf Blower

A leaf blower provides a strong, steady stream of air in a straight line. Once youve disconnected the duct from the wall, you should be able to use your leaf blower to blow all of the clogged materials out the other side dryer vent. However, this only works if your dryer vent system meets all of the following criteria:

  • No metal screens on exterior walls. If you do have one and can remove it, thats fine. If you cant remove it, the leaf blower will just compact the lint, threads, and dust onto the other side of the metal screen.
  • The vent line must be short. If its more than a couple of feet, the leaf blower wont be able to blow the trappings completely through the vent.
  • The vent line doesnt turn or curve. If there are twists and turns, the trappings will get stuck and the leaf blower wont be able to push the clogged lint, threads, and dust all the way through.
  • The vent has smooth metal inside. Some ducts use accordion-style duct material. Unfortunately, lint collects in the folds of these and can be impossible to dislodge with a leaf blower.

If your dryer vent system doesnt meet all of the listed requirements, do not use a leaf blower. You could create a worse clog that will require professional dryer vent cleaners to dislodge and remove.

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Signs Of Lint Buildup

Is your laundry taking longer to dry? Do you have to run the same load twice? Is the top of your dryer hot to the touch after each use? Rather than a faulty dryer, clogged ductwork may be the culprit. The removable dryer lint filter catches most of the lint as it passes through a load of laundry. But, pieces of lint can sneak past the filter and get stuck in crevices along the dryer duct. When theres a buildup of lint, airflow is restricted, which can lead to overheating. If the air inside the duct gets hot enough, it can ignite the lint and cause a dryer fire.

How To Remove The Roof Dryer Vent Cap


If you’re wondering why your dryer is shutting off before the clothes are dry, it may be because the vent opening is blocked with lint. Clearing the vent opening is a minor maintenance task — only slightly more complicated if it’s on the roof. A rooftop vent cap usually has louvers or a screen that can catch lint, and it’s easier to clean if you remove it first. Although it may be covered with tar and shingles, the vent flange is nailed to the roof deck, and you can simply pry it off.


Go in the attic, find the dryer vent pipe and follow it to the roof. If you see a pipe clamp attached to the pipe just under the roof, loosen it with a screwdriver and remove it.


Set up an extension ladder on the side of the house and anchor it to the fascia or roof trusses. Climb on the roof with a utility knife, hammer and cat’s paw pry bar in a tool belt.


Peel back the shingles covering the vent flange to expose the nails holding the flange to the roof deck. If any shingles are covered with tar, cut though the tar with a utility knife.


Tap a cat’s paw pry bar under the head of each nail with a hammer. Pry up the nail and put it in your tool belt so you can use it to reinstall the vent.


Pull the vent straight up when you have removed all the nails. You may have to twist it to disengage the pipe on other side from the duct to which it is attached.


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No Other Direct Access To The Exterior

Concrete slab foundations are becoming the norm in building construction. When a dryer is along an interior wall in a concrete slab home, there is no access under the slab to run a dryer vent to the exterior. Directing a dryer to the roof becomes the only feasible option to vent the dryer outside.

According to building codes, dryer vents cant vent to a soffit, leaving the roof the only option. Dryers venting through the roof must have a rigid metal vent pipe and requires routine cleanings to prevent dryer fires. It would be best if you had the dryer vent professional cleanings annually or as needed.

How To Clean A Dryer Vent With A Leaf Blower

A leaf blower is an extremely flexible tool that can be utilized for a number of jobs they werent originally developed for, from removing snow to threading pipes. One typical use is blasting lint from clothes dryer vents.

Here we will show you how to clean a dryer air vent with a leaf blower.

This video reveals you just how effective it can be.

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Are All Dryer Vents On The Roof

Not all dryer vents lead out to the roof. In some homes, the dryer vent will be on the wall of the home. You can still use the same cleaning process as the one for your roof vent, however. Many dryer vents are not at a height that allows for easy access from the vent side of the tube.

Being able to clean your dryer vents out the smart way can make sure that your home is safe and secure and that your dryer is performing correctly every time that you use it. You should remember that this process should be done at least twice a year but you might need to do it more often if you are drying a lot of clothes on a daily basis.

Should A Roof Dryer Vent Have A Screen

Roof dryer vent cleaning

If your dryer vent is installed on the roof of your home, it is recommended to avoid adding a screen to it. However, you will see that most vents dont come with a screen anyway, so this is not something you should consider.

The main reason why you shouldnt add a screen to your roof dryer is that it will prevent the lint from escaping properly. Lint will clog over time, and your vent will not work properly due to the screen, which is why it is better not to add such an accessory.

If your vent accumulates too much lint, you expose your home to a fire risk. Because of this lint layer, air will not flow smoothly through your venting system and the heating element can get to temperatures of 190 degrees F. If this heat gets in contact with a lint clump, the risk of a fire happening is very high.

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How To Clean A Dryer Vent Starts With The Right Tools

This is a new house and oops, I left my dryer vent brush behind my old dryer. That meant some research and a trip to the store. I decided to get the LintEater Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit because we have really tall ceilings, making it difficult to maneuver manually. Their system provides brushes for steps 2 and 3, plus extension pieces so we went up 15 feet for now.

Here’s what you’ll find in the LintEater Dryer Vent Cleaning Kit:

  • Long vent brush for getting into the dryer cavity .
  • Short rotating brush that cleans off the interior surface of the dryer vent .
  • Flexible rods to work through your entire vent system . There’s also hardware so you can attach your power drill to the rods.
  • Blockage tool if you find a clog somewhere in your dryer vent .
  • Components to allow you to attach your Wet Dry Vac to the dryer vent opening, to catch the lint as you clean it out.

So the actual task of cleaning the dryer vent isn’t that difficult. Probably the biggest challenge is moving the dryer to access the vent and please, don’t forget to unplug the dryer. This is also a job better done by two people, or at least the heavy lifting as dryers unlike refrigerators, aren’t made to roll out so thanks to my husband for lending a helping hand!

Ready to clean your dryer vent?

Take Steps To Avoid Lint Buildup

Reducing the amount of dust and lint in and around your dryer may reduce how often you need to clean the dryer vent.

  • Regularly sweep and dust the area around the dryer.
  • Remove the lint trap filter and clean it out before every cycle. Its quick, easy and makes a big difference in your dryers performance.
  • On a regular basis, remove the lint screen and vacuum in and around the lint filter housing with the hose attachment of the vacuum cleaner.
  • Dryer sheets can leave residue on a lint screen that can build up over time. If the lint screen is clogged, use a scrub brush to wash it in warm, soapy water, rinse it with clean water and dry it off with a towel.

It’s important to remove lint regularly to avoid lint buildup. Cleaning lint from a dryer ultimately protects your home from house fires as well. Not only can the lint catch fire due to buildup, but if a fire were to start due to other circumstances, the lint would provide fuel, causing the fire to grow. Cleaning a dryer vent not only keeps your home safe, but keeps your dryer working properly and efficiently.

A clogged clothes dryer may not just be a fire hazard, but can cause your energy bills to increase by requiring longer drying times for your laundry. Knowing how to clean a dryer vent can protect your house, save some money and make your clothes look better.

Get all the things you need to clean your dryer vent today. The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.

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How To Clean Dryer Vent Pipe On Roof

In the photo above, the back of the dryer is on the right, and the wall bent on the left. Add the pipe of the vent through the hole and place the flashing on the shingles.

Reasons For Dryer Maintenance

How to Clean a Dryer Vent on the Roof: 14 Steps (with ...
  • The recommended and set-up timing for a load to be complete is between 35 to 40 minutes. If the clock keeps ticking away and your load is not thoroughly dried, then you should be concerned, and you should consider doing a maintenance job on your machine.
  • Vent hood flaps do not open properly. The flaps should flap open automatically when air from the dryer begins to flow out. If not, it means there is lint built up, and your dryer needs maintenance.
  • Lint and debris are expected, given that clothes wear off quickly, especially with machines. However, as time goes by, lint and debris accumulate around the dryers lint filter when you notice this, do a cleanup or replace the filter. Failure to clean the lint filter is the leading cause of home clothes dryer fires.
  • Another one is that when you start feeling the heat temperatures in the room rise even when the dryer is running, you should be aware that lint build-up might have occurred, interfering with airflow.
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    A Diy On How To Clean A Dryer Vent That Goes To The Roof

  • Turn the dryer on. This will help with the air moving the lint through and out the vent.
  • Grab a plastic garbage bag to bring to the roof with you to put the lint in. This way you dont have to put the lint that you clean out in the gutters.
  • Use a ladder and safely climb to the roof where the vent is located
  • Inside the vent is a small trap door and a screen. This is there to keep the birds and other animals out and you can remove this.
  • Dryer Vent Screen If you have one, it is best to remove the screen and only have a flap for the gooseneck. A screen does not allow lint to exit and will clog. A flap will open when air blows out.
  • Use a coat hanger that you have unraveled and stick it in the vent. This will allow you to loosen up the clog of lint.
  • How To Clean Dryer Vent From Inside

  • Unplug Dryer – This step is essential for obvious safety reasons.
  • Pull Dryer Out Away From the Wall – Working in tight quarters can make the task a little more difficult. Get your dryer out away from the wall so you can easily work on the vent behind it. Locate the hose and take note of where it connects to both the dryer and the wall.
  • Loosen 4-inch Clamp-on the Back of the Dryer and Wall – On the back of your dryer, you will find a 4-inch clamp that holds the flex duct in place. This clamp can be loosened with a simple screwdriver.
  • Disconnect Flex Duct from Dryer and Wall – Once you get the clamp loosened, you should be able to slip the dryer duct off and begin working easily. Set it to the side where you can easily access it. You will need it later on in the cleaning process.
  • Clean Duct/Hole in Wall – Its not a bad idea to start with your hands. Grab as much lint as you can in big clumps and remove them. To get smaller stuff and the hard-to-reach areas, you can use a shop-vac and suction out any remaining buildup. Some people use an with a brush on the end to clean out really bad debris clogs. You can also take a leaf blower and push debris through the vent and out of the house.
  • Clean Out Flex Duct Use a shop-vac or wire hanger and try to get out as much debris as possible. A leaf blower can do some work here, too. If its bad enough, it might be easier to get a new 4-inch flex duct.
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    Why Invest In Dryer Vent Care

    Why invest in dryer vent care? Well, even if youre religious about emptying your lint trap, a lot of lint will end up in your dryer vents. Even if theres only 1/2 buildup of lint, efficiency is cut by just under 40%, which means youll be running your dryer for longer to accomplish the same job. Not only will this waste time and energy and make your clothes dryer work harder, but since lint is flammable, it can also cause a dryer vent fire.

    Preventable, lint-related dryer vent fires account for more than $500 million in property damage and an average of 100 injuries every year here in the U.S.

    On top of that, lint-filled dryer vents are a health hazard. Gas appliances produce carbon monoxide, and if the vent is clogged or blocked, this dangerous gas can make its way into your home and harm you and your family.

    These same problems can arise if the venting is improperly installed or if ducts are damaged or loose. But with regular dryer vent cleanings and proper installation, youll enjoy lower fire risk, lower risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and lower energy bills.


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