dryer exhaust without backdraft damper?

trancefusionJune 26, 2013

The previous homeowner had a deck built over the dryer exhaust. The deck is low enough that I can't climb under it, and the deck supports are blocking any view of the exhaust.

However, I removed the exhaust tube from the inside and was able to feel around with a screwdriver that the exhaust seems to just be open, with no backdraft damper.

The way I see it, I've got 3 options..

1) Leave it as-is, and continue to exercise caution when using the dryer (don't run it while sleeping, etc.) in case a critter should build a nest in there and a fire should start

2) Pull up some deck boards and add a backdraft damper

3) Cut a hole in the deck and extend the exhaust. This will create more sharp angles in the exhaust flow (to curve it up through the deck and then back out horizontally/downward so it doesn't take rainwater.

Any advice here on the best option? Does the backdraft damper even do anything to stop animals from nesting?

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I wish I could see the deck.

A dryer exhaust vent needs to be free of any obstacles even after the exhaust hood (at least 12 inches is the minimum suggested distance).

The damper helps with back draft and deters critters from setting up home.

This post was edited by georgect on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 11:40

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:36AM
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I'd modify the deck for access now and in the future. You're going to want to check and clean any built up lint from the vent periodically for safety anyway.

I assume the deck is attached to the house and has joists extending away from the house (perpendicular to the house outside wall). I'd take up enough boards to gain access and install a new joist cross member (parallel to the house wall) a foot or two away from the house. Then I'd saw the deck boards in two such that the joint falls right on top of the new joist cross member. Use stainless or good galvanized deck screws to reinstall the deck floor boards.

Now you have access to your dryer vent by unscrewing the portion of the interfering floor boards near the house.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 1:10PM
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The vent is next to the chimney. The boards run parallel to the house wall. Once they get to the chimney they start running perpendicular - not sure why the difference.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Here's another shot..

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I think installing permanent access is the way to go. Thanks for the idea! This looks like a good option..

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 4:46PM
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