I recently bought a townhouse which has laundry in the finished basement. I noticed that our clothes took a bit more than an hour to dry in the dryer, so I wondered if there were any lint blockages. I also noticed that when the dryer is running, the flaps on the dryer exhaust on the exterior are barely moving.

I bought one of those 30 foot DIY lint brushes on Amazon and got to work. I actually got a pretty decent amount of lint out from brushing from the inside, even though I eventually hit a snag in the ducting with about 8' left. I intend to brush from the outside in to get the remaining lint.

When I removed the caulking and the vent cover however, I noticed a quite a bit of lint along with insulation in the wall cavity. It seems like the duct from the dryer does not fully connect to the piece of duct on the exterior vent.

duct piece circled here

dryer run...at least 3 turns

this is the vent cover and pipe, not connected to the dryer duct

My question is, am I good to add a couple more 4 inch sheet metal elbows to this duct to make sure it fully vents to the outside? I heard this will weaken the power of the dryer vent so not sure if I should do this or leave it as is.

Thanks.enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Try a leafblower first.

Leafblower did wonders for my dryer vent. It is actually time for me to do it again. Put the snout on the dryer side and blow!

This will also test your theory of why flaps are barely moving. You will need an assistant. Leafblower applied to dryer side of vent should move flaps. If they still barely move then you are losing power along the way somewhere and back to your original scheming about a discontinuous duct. If great gouts of ancient lint emerge amid great flappage then you have your answer and your maintenance plan.

I think I would station my assistant by the outside part of the vent, with her cell phone recording video. I will be inside with the leafblower, away from the possible great gouts of lint.

  • 1
    thanks! I actually ran the dryer and put my hand against that discontinued duct circled there, and it definitely does feel as though the pressure is strong and hot enough. I think the only issue might be that this air is exhausting into the wall cavity, which is why the flaps aren't moving when I have the vent on there.
    – Errjm
    Jul 14, 2021 at 1:10
  • Leaf blower is a neat idea. But if you don't have one, a decent Shopvac in blower mode should work too. Jul 14, 2021 at 3:07

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