How Safe is Your Laundry Room? By Wayne Herr

Most homeowners are unaware of the threat that an ill-maintained laundry room poses to their family’s health and safety. Despite using their laundry room multiple times a week, many homeowners never perform crucial maintenance tasks.

One of the biggest risks of a neglected laundry room is the possibility of a fire. Over time your dryer vent can get clogged full of clothing lint and dust. If the vent gets too clogged, the heat from your dryer can ignite the debris. This can cause a devastating and potentially deadly house fire. To prevent this type of fire from occurring, you should disconnect and thoroughly clean your dryer vent at least once every year. Alternatively, you could have a dryer vent cleaning service perform this maintenance for you. Whether you do it yourself or hire a service, it needs to be done in order to ensure your family’s safety.

Maintaining your dryer vent is also a good way to cut energy expenses. A dryer with a clogged vent does not dry as efficiently. A dryer with a dirty, clogged vent uses up to two or three times the amount of energy that a properly maintained dryer would use. Dryer vent cleaning will save you money on drying and keep your home safe.

Additionally, a clogged dryer vent can cause carbon monoxide to be released into your family’s home. Many homeowners do not know that carbon monoxide is vented through your dryer’s vent. The fumes that a gas dryer emits are dangerous. If these fumes are not able to escape through the vent because it is clogged, that carbon monoxide will enter your house. Carbon monoxide poisoning is deadly. To make sure that your family is safe from this threat, you should have carbon monoxide detectors installed and you should also have your dryer’s vent checked regularly. If your dryer is powered by gas, you should also have a professional periodically check your gas line to make sure that it is in good condition and that there are no worn or broken areas through which gas can escape.

Finally, homeowners should educate themselves about the type of water lines their washing machine has attached. Rubber lines can break and cause flooding. Manufactures recommend that you replace your rubber water lines once every five years. If you are in the market for a new washing machine, make sure that the unit you select has steel braided water lines instead of rubber water lines. Many of the steele braided lines come with a life time guarantee. It’s very important that you thread the water line properly or you will have problems.

A poorly maintained washer can cause a flood, and a poorly maintained dryer cause cause a fire. Both disasters can cause costly damage to your property. Additionally, a fire could put you and your loved ones in serious danger. Make sure that your family’s laundry room is safe by having regular maintenance completed. Also make sure you have a smoke detector near your laundry room. Over 15,000 dryer fires occur every year. Don’t become a statistic.

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