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I don't know who built this house but they did it stupidly.

I need to replace my external dryer vent cover because one of the fins broke. However, it seems like whoever built the house, covered the edges of the vent with stucco instead of attach it to the house with screws.

I think the previous owner ran into the same problem and just put screen mesh over the problem. I want to fix the problem correctly (which is replace this vent cover) but I don't see any way other than breaking into the stucco.

Is there any advice on how to fix this problem or is putting the screen mesh the only way to address this issue without breaking into the stucco and making this a bigger and more expensive issue?

I hope the photo has enough resolution since it originally was larger than 2MB. enter image description here

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The vanes in a vent like that are usually just plastic with small pegs that project out from each of the top left and right corners. These pegs fit into holes in the vertical side rail of the vent frame so that the vanes can hinge out when there is positive air pressure coming out the pipe. They then swing back into the closed position under the force of gravity.

These vanes are removable by simply gently flexing the vane in the center and allowing the peg on one end to come out of its swing hinge hole.

There is a very good possibility that you can find a replacement vent where the vanes are the same size. You could snap the vanes out of the new unit and insert them into the existing frame. Making this replacement would eliminate a lot of work trying to rip out the old vent and installing a new one.

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If you have access to a Dremel or an oscillating cutting tool like shown in the picture (just an example, not endorsing a particular one), you could easily cut the vent right along the edge of the stucco after you remove the screws and screen. That vent is just plastic, so it will cut easily. Then you should be able to pull it out and replace with a new one.

Oscillating cutting tool

As a side note, I have that exact vent, and bought it not that long ago, so it should still be available if you wanted to follow the suggestion in another answer and just replace the missing fin. I think the vent was probably less than $10. Here is a picture of what that vent looks like outside the wall if it helps (as you can see, there is not much of it embedded in your stucco):

Vent

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