Mold isn’t just associated with the washer – it’s also a health hazard that affects the dryer. Clogged dryer exhaust ducts are a breeding ground for mold growth inside the duct as well as on walls and surfaces in your laundry space. Mold spores thrive in humid environments and quickly grow and spread when exposed to water.
The purpose of a dryer exhaust system is to eliminate moisture during the drying process. Did you know that a full load of wet clothes contains about a half-gallon of water? A clean, properly installed dryer exhaust duct is critical to ensuring that water is fully expelled outdoors during the drying cycle. If the moisture isn’t escaping through the dryer exhaust duct for reasons due to blockage or improperly installed ductwork, it creates a humid laundry area, promoting the growth of mold and mildew.
Mold growth can lead to structural damage as well as a variety of health problems. Mold spores released into the air can cause respiratory issues such as asthma, and it can trigger allergic reactions. In order to prevent these issues, the source of the moisture buildup needs to be addressed.
Sources of Mold in the Dryer Vent
Clogs – Excessive moisture mixed with lint creates a paper maché that sticks to the walls of your dryer exhaust duct. Not only will this buildup continue to worsen, it creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive.
Leaks – If a duct is clogged due to lint buildup, the moisture cannot pass through it and often will begin to leak out of joints or cracks. Not only do you have the ideal conditions for mold growth within the clogged duct, the escaping water and moisture facilitates the growth of mold in the area outside of the ductwork.
When it gets to this point, steps should be taken to have the dryer exhaust system fully cleaned and/or replaced. A service company will come out to your home and do this for you, or you can do it yourself following the simple steps in this article, Clogged Dryer Vents and Duct Cleaning.