Is Your Leaky Dryer Vent Causing Mold?
We have an interesting story about a house built in 1977 that we worked on for a customer. This is a picture of the laundry room on the first level which is below ground. Our task was simply to give it a new paint job. The job looked simple enough. We did a walk through inspection and discovered a few hidden mold issues that needed to be repaired first which took the homeowner by surprise.
We first removed the washer and dryer and found a problem with venting from the dryer hose. The lower dryer vent was not properly sealed to the dryer pipe and was letting exhaust leak behind the dryer resulting in moisture and lint accumulation. The top part of the dryer exhaust tube also was not properly sealed and had gaps where air was escaping. These 2 areas were cluttered with lint that had been deposited from the holes but the Shop Vac took care of that dusty mess. We sealed the pipe joins with duct tape on the bottom where it connects to the dryer and the upper vent outlet along the outside wall.
The next section that needed repair was the cinderblock wall behind the dryer. Lint and moisture make the perfect breeding ground for mold and that was problem number two. Mold and mildew is one of those problems you want to take care of quickly before the whole area is damaged. First we tool a broom and swept up all the accumulated debris on the floor. It’s amazing what you can find behind a dryer. We used a scraper to get all the dirt and debris from the floor.
Because mold spores float through the air and land on everything we decided to spray down the wall with a bleach solution to kill the mold as we wanted to kill it before we tried to wash it off. Make sure you open a few windows and let it air out for a few hours. Bleach is a toxic chemical so be careful and read the warning label on bleach.
After a few hours we went back into the laundry room with a rubber gloves, a bucket of hot water, a rag and a brush. The wall was scrubbed with the brush and then rinsed with the hot water drenched rag. After cleaning the area and removing as much moisture as possible we plugged in a fan and allowed circulating air to dry out the area for 24 hours.
Next we used a mold inhibiting sealer on the cracks and mold inhibiting white paint on the walls and the laundry room looked and smelled like new again!
A few more minor touch-ups, a floor mat, and some baseboard edging on the drywall side, and this project was complete!
You can help prevent mold by checking the venting connection of your dryer every so often to make sure that it is venting properly.