How Bird or Rodent Nests Can Lead to Dryer Vent Fires

April 11, 2018

Dryer vent fires typically are associated with the winter months, but April and May in New York and New Jersey marks the beginning of nesting season which can be a potentially hazardous time for homeowners. Birds and rodents often nest in dryer vents, leading to dryer fires – and nests can be built in a day or less. In a four-year span, within the last decade, dryer fires have resulted in $238 million in direct property damage according to the .

and , the nation’s leader in dryer vent repair, cleaning and maintenance, offers homeowners the following tips to properly identify if a bird or rodent has nested in your vent and how to properly clean, sanitize, and prevent nests in the future.

Identify:

  1. Loss in Dryer Efficiency: A first sign of a bird’s or rodent’s nest in a dryer vent is that the dryer suddenly becomes less efficient, taking longer to dry clothes. 
  2. Droppings in Plain Sight: Birds and rodents leave droppings near their nests, and a key inspection step is to check for them just below the exterior portion of a dryer vent, outside of the home. 
  3. Debris around the Vent: If you see pine needles, hay, grass and other small debris inside the dryer vent or right near the opening, this is a sign of a nest. 

Remove:
It’s important to contact a professional dryer vent technician to safely and thoroughly remove the nest and debris as harmful bacteria from animal droppings like Histoplasmosis Fungi and/or the Hantavirus can be left behind. If not properly removed, the nest or a portion of the nest can get pushed deeper inside the vent line. After removal, a technician will professionally inspect the dryer vent line to ensure the line is free of all debris and lint. A proper vent cover can be installed to prevent birds and rodents from nesting.

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