Unknown to many, dryer lint is one of the leading causes of house fires. In fact, lint buildup is one of the leading causes of dryer fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
The problem with lint is that it’s highly combustible. It creates a fire hazard when it builds up in your dryer or in the exhaust ducts connecting your dryer to the outside vent. Not only that, but lint buildup can also cause your dryer to overheat and eventually break down.
So how do you prevent lint buildup? Read on to learn more.
What Is a Dyer Lint?
Dryer lint is the fluffy, cotton-like material that collects in your dryer as it’s working. Lint is made up of tiny fibers detaching from clothes as they tumble around in the heat. These fibers are so light that they effortlessly float up and collect on top of your clothes, where they can eventually become trapped.
Over time, these fibers can build up and create a serious fire hazard, sometimes requiring you to hire a restoration company, such as puroclean.com. This can be a costly proposition if you don’t have insurance.
How to Prevent Lint Buildup
The following are tips on how to prevent lint buildup:
- Clean your lint screen after every load of laundry. A buildup of lint on the screen can block airflow and cause your dryer to overheat.
- Vacuum around your dryer regularly to remove any lint that may have fallen behind the appliance.
- Don’t overload your dryer. Overloading can cause clothes to become tangled, which makes it harder for air to circulate and increases the risk of lint buildup.
- Make sure the area around your dryer is well-ventilated. Good ventilation helps clothes dry faster and prevents lint buildup.
- Don’t use fabric softener sheets. These sheets can increase the amount of lint that collects on your clothes.
- Use a low-heat setting. High heat can cause clothes to shed more fibers, increasing the lint buildup risk.
- If you notice any signs of lint buildup, such as decreased airflow or excessive heat, contact a dryer vent cleaning expert as soon as possible for a checkup. Ignoring the problem can lead to a fire.
What to Do When a Fire Occurs
Here are a few helpful measures you can take in case a fire occurs due to your clothes dryer:
- Turn off the power to your dryer. This helps prevent the fire from spreading.
- Remove any clothing or other items that are in the dryer. These items can fuel the fire and make it worse.
- If the fire is minor, use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Ensure you have a fire extinguisher rated for use on clothes dryers.
- Call your local fire department if the fire is serious. In this case, avoid trying to put out the fire yourself and let the professionals handle it.
- After the fire is out, contact a dryer vent cleaning company to clean any lint that may have built up in your dryer or ductwork. This will help prevent another fire from occurring.
- If the fire is serious and causes water or smoke damage, you will need to contact a restoration company to repair the damage. These companies specialize in cleaning and restoring homes that have been damaged by fire. See this Phoenix restoration if you’re nearby.
Dryer lint is a serious fire hazard. Lint buildup can block airflow and cause your dryer to overheat, leading to a fire. To prevent lint buildup, consider the tips above. In addition, if you notice any signs of lint buildup, contact a dryer vent cleaning company as soon as possible. And if a fire occurs, follow the steps above to help contain the damage.