Taking the laundry to the basement of your Raleigh, NC, home isn’t just about sticking the washing machine to a corner. You need to think of ventilation for your wet clothes and waterproofing so basement humidity won’t cause problems. If you don’t have proper appliance ventilation in the basement, you risk damaging your appliances or starting a fire. Let’s not forget that carbon monoxide can build up to dangerous levels. In this post, we’ll show you the steps for venting your appliances and handy maintenance tips.
Installing Basement Vents
Your washer and dryer need to be vented to the outside. Typical vent installation goes like this:
- Plumber determines the shortest route the venting pipes will travel to the outside.
- A 4¼ inch hole is punched on the outside of the wall. Alternatively, the vent dryer is made to go through the window.
- A dryer vent cap is secured against the side of your home with screws then caulk applied around the edges.
- Duct tubing is cut to length and joined to the exhaust with multiple sections being reinforced with foil tape.
Other Installation Considerations
Here are some other things to consider as you set up your laundry area in the basement or install proper ventilation for the appliances.
Sneaky leaks in your laundry room can cause water damage. Don’t buy time. Small but constant drips due to plumbing issues can build up and create widespread damage. Consider replacing the plastic or rubber lines with stainless steel lines or newer rubber hoses. If you replace the lines, make you replace their metal washers as well.
Don’t flush the washer on the wall but place it away to create room for supply lines at the back. Pressing the supply pipes against the wall might cause them to kink, and this can lead to a water backup and leak out.
Laundry Drain Blockages
Some washing machines drain directly into a sink with drain filters. These components catch grime, particles, and debris. Be sure to check the drain and empty the drain filter from time to time. Debris can accumulate and cause the drain to block, leading to floods.
Remember to check the sink for debris and blockages. These are signs of major plumbing issues. If the sink doesn’t have a filter, get one. In the meantime, try to use a drain snake or pour a chemical drain opener. Should both fail to work, it might be time to call a plumber.
Conduct Routine Maintenance
Check the manufacturer’s manual to see how often you should inspect your washer and dryer. Scheduling regular maintenance on your machines will enable you to arrest issues before they break and cause leaks.
Maintain your washer. Make sure it’s as dry as possible. Leave its lid open when it’s not running. Check the hose that connects to the washer for leaks. Ensure all the washer connections are properly attached. To avoid overflows and toxic fumes, install a p-trap.
Clean and monitor vents regularly. Routine cleaning will prevent lint buildup and ensure your ducts move hot vapor out fast. Install LintAlert to monitor the levels of lint in the ducts. Whenever there’s a blockage, the device will flash red and beep to notify you of the same.
If clothes or linen take long to dry or there’s a burnt odor, the dryer vent might be clogged. The reason your clothes aren’t drying fast is that airflow is constricted. If this continues, the dryer may short cycle and shut down. Remove the lint regularly so moisture can escape through the vent. Clearing lint also helps prevent accidental fires.
Waterproofing the Basement
Venting alone won’t curb basement humidity. You will need to install a basement dehumidifier to control moisture. This device works by sucking vapor out of the air. This way, moisture won’t accumulate and cause problems such as condensation, peeling wall paint, and mold growth. Insulate ducts and water supply lines. Water vapor tends to form around them during cold weather.
Get in touch with Tar Heel Basement Systems for a free basement waterproofing inspection and quote. We can help you with all the basement repairs and waterproofing so you can have a clean, dry, functional laundry room.