Dryer Vent Cleaning & Repairs for Multi-Unit Buildings
Apartments and Condos Trust the Dryer Vent Wizards of Southeast Wisconsin
The professionals at Dryer Vent Wizard of Southeast Wisconsin help dryers run more efficiently and safely in condominiums, duplexes, apartments, and dormitories. We are the #1 expert in dryer vents in the country, and we’ll help with whatever dryer vent problem your home or business is experiencing.
If your apartment, condo, or other multi-unit building has dryers that are in need of cleaning or repairs, call the Dryer Vent Wizards of Southeast Wisconsin to schedule an appointment!
Lake Country Condominium Complex: 3 Common Multi-Unit Ventilation Problems
Background: Dryer Vent Wizard of North Milwaukee was contracted by a Pewaukee condominium complex to sort out some problems residents were having with their dryers not working properly. The condo complex consists of fifteen 2-story buildings, each with its own laundry room.
Ground floor residents at the complex had been complaining that when an upstairs neighbor ran their dryer, their own laundry room would fill up with damp, warm air from the upstairs neighbor’s dryer. Likewise, when the downstairs neighbors ran their dryer, steam would come through the upper unit’s dryer. If both neighbors were running their dryers at the same time, it took 3 cycles to get their laundry dry.
The Homeowners Association had hired a plumber to install backdraft flaps in a couple of the units where the problem was particularly bad, but this did nothing to resolve the problem. That's when they contacted Dryer Vent Wizard.
Problem #1: Wrong Rooftop Exhaust Vents
|The RIGHT rooftop exhaust vent: a Dryer Jack vent.|
When Dryer Vent Wizard came to inspect the vent lines at the condo, the first thing they noticed is that the rooftop exhaust vents were not designed for dryer exhaust. The vents were designed for attic ventilation. Besides not having a large enough opening for proper ventilation in the first place, most of the vents were clogged with dryer lint and had become dangerously inefficient.
One of the reasons attic vents become clogged with lint is that many are designed with a wire screen to prevent animals from nesting in them and/or getting into the attic. This was the case with this condominium. These wire mesh screens are easily clogged by dryer lint passing through the vent line. If the vent could be easily reached for routine cleanings, this wouldn't have been a problem. But because these vents were on a steep roof of a multi-story building, regular cleaning just isn't practical.
Solution: Dryer Vent Wizard only installs Dryer Jack exhaust vents on roofs. These vents are specifically designed for the maximum airflow of dryer exhaust and are available in an extended rise version (which we use) so they’re not likely to be covered by snow.
Problem #2: Dryer Vent Line Not Up to Code
While inspecting the exhaust system in the attic, another common problem was discovered. The vent lines in the attic were flexible, plastic vents wrapped in an insulated sheath. This would not have been an issue 20 years ago when the buildings were constructed, but they simply do not meet current building codes. It's a common issue that we're used to fixing, and each time presents an opportunity to significantly improve any outdated ventilation system.
Solution: The old dryer vent lines were removed and replaced with aluminum vent lines compliant with current-day safety standards. Additionally, each of the 8 units was given their own vent line running to the exhaust, instead of converging into one line where increased lint traffic is more likely to clog the vent. This facilitates air flow through the vent and eliminates the possibility of a backdraft from one dryer entering the vent line of another dryer.
|Old dryer vent line removed from attic.||New dryer vent lines installed by Dryer Vent Wizard.|
Problem #3: Steeply Sloping Roofs Prevent Routine Work from Being Done
The Homeowner’s Association wanted the work done as quickly as possible, but winter weather made it impossible to get on the steeply sloped roofs to replace the exhaust vents. Working in Wisconsin means adapting to seasonal weather--we're used to it and able to help.
Solution: Dryer vent lines were re-routed to the front of the building, where wall-mounted exhaust vents were installed. The existing rooftop attic vents were left in place to serve as they were designed. Since Dryer Vent Wizard is the only vent cleaning service in Wisconsin that is also licensed to install vents on roofs and walls, the Homeowner’s Association didn’t have to hire someone else to do the installation. Now routine maintenance can be done without having to access the roof, making it possible at any time of the year.
To ensure residents wouldn’t have problems with birds or other animals getting into the new exhaust vents and taking up residence in the attic space above their garages, Dryer Vent Wizard installed No-Pest Exhaust vents. These vents open freely when a dryer is running, but their design prevents birds, rats, insects and other pests from getting past them.
|Row of 4 No-Pest dryer exhaust vents installed in attic above the garage.||The No-Pest exhaust vent only opens from inside.|
On the buildings in the complex where it wasn’t possible to run the vent lines through the attic space to exhaust above the garage, the vent lines running to the exhaust vent on the roof were disconnected until warmer weather would allow for the rooftop exhaust vents to be replaced and the vent line reconnected. This would eliminate the problem of dryer exhaust backing up into the dryers of both upper and lower units, and the dryer exhaust would be able to exit the attic through the existing roof vents.
Prevent Dryer Fires in Your Multi-Unit Building
Fires caused by dryer vent problems continue to increase dramatically, so fire prevention and spreading awareness is a big part of what the Dryer Vent Wizards do. When dryer vents get clogged, the dryer works harder to dry the clothes and could overheat--and it happens more often than you'd think. It’s important to keep dryer vent clean all year round, and an annual cleaning is the best way to reduce risk. This is especially important in multi-unit homes like apartments and condos, where many people with multiple dryers being used constantly are at risk.
Last year, dryer fires accounted for an estimated $200,000,000 in property damage, as well as a significant amount of injuries and deaths. As a result, fire marshals, home inspectors, and property managers have become more involved in reducing the risk of this fire hazard, and Dryer Vent Wizard is here to help!
Signs Your Dryer Vent Needs Cleaning:
- Your clothes aren’t fully dry when you take them out of the dryer
- There’s condensation on the walls and ceiling of your laundry room
- The lint screen in your dryer isn’t catching lint evenly, or at all
- There’s a moldy smell coming from your dryer
- There’s a burning smell coming from your dryer
- The top of your dryer gets really hot when in use
- There’s lint around the door of your dryer when you open it
We Minimize Dryer Fire Hazards in Multi-Unit Buildings
The Dryer Vent Wizards of Southeast Wisconsin has developed a process whereby vents in large communities can be cleaned efficiently and economically. Our process allows us to enter the dryer vent at its termination on the outside. Our special cleaning apparatus enters the vent, cuts the lint loose, and blows it back outside where we collect it in a vac. We actually clean the entire vent, all the way into the laundry room...and we do it without entering any apartments or condos.
Following the cleaning of each unit, we leave a note on the resident’s door. The note lets the resident know that a Dryer Vent Wizard has cleaned their vent and to call if there are any problems or questions. We also let them know that we will come back and inspect their dryer for no extra charge. This inspection can detect a broken pipe, a disconnected vent, or other problems that we can correct.
Looking to schedule an appointment with the southeastern Wisconsin Dryer Vent Wizards? Give Dean Culver a call today at 262-312-1991 to get a quote for our services. You’ll never have to deal with a badly-functioning dryer ever again!
|Wizard: Dean Culver
Territory: All locations south of Highway 94 in Dane, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Walworth, Racine, Rock, and Kenosha counties