How can I modify and correct a dryer vent that comes up through the ground as shown? It goes straight down, turns horizontal into the basement laundry room, then down again into the gas dryer. Rerouting through the brick is not an option. Should I angle it 90 degrees and add a traditional vent, or try to cap it with one of those "floating cup" vents that works vertically?

I'm in northeast US, so we get some snow. And judging by the chiseled hole in the basement wall, this was an afterthought. House was built in 1959, we bought it with this configuration in 2003.

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  • @isherwood I think you can guess.It goes straight down, turns horizontal into the basement laundry room, then down again into the gas dryer. Not ideal. Looking to fix it right once and for all.
    – bvy
    Jul 21, 2020 at 15:14
  • Well, fixing it right involves bringing it out of the building above ground. There's no appropriate way to cap a sieve.
    – isherwood
    Jul 21, 2020 at 15:16
  • I need Plan B then.Working with the existing configuration and minimizing exposure to the elements as much as possible. The main floor of the house is at ground level.
    – bvy
    Jul 21, 2020 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


You need to accomplish three things.

Weatherproof the duct

  • Make sure no soil is in contact with the duct
  • Seal the duct seams with foil tape and/or silicone caulk
  • Provide a drain path for rain and groundwater falling into the well, such as a pea-gravel basin or a French drain
  • Provide rain protection with some sort of cover or roof

Insulate the duct
You want as little exposure to cold air as possible to prevent heat from flowing out through the metal. Wrap the duct with foil-faced insulation sleeve.

Cap the duct with a louver
Your idea to use an elbow and a new vent louver is reasonable. You could possibly reduce the profile depth of the assembly by using a duct box and mounting the louver to that, rather than an elbow. Any dryer vent louver that fits the box or elbow should work. The critical goals are to keep cold air from dropping in during winter, and to keep pests out.

  • Thank you. Is the foil-faced insulation sleeve good for outdoor/exterior use? Especially in a basin backfilled with pea gravel. Any potential issues there? Trying to find the right product.
    – bvy
    Jul 22, 2020 at 14:50
  • No, but none of this is. And you should not be backfilling anything. I mentioned no soil contact.
    – isherwood
    Jul 22, 2020 at 15:52
  • Okay but pea gravel isn't soil. Sounds like you're talking about leaving the sub-grade duct exposed somehow.
    – bvy
    Jul 22, 2020 at 17:35

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