As a Seattle Home Inspector, a very common issue I report on has to do with exhaust fan vent caps. For such a simple thing, there can be lots of things wrong with them. Fortunately, no matter what the problem is, the repair is not likely to be a deal breaker.
They can be missing, wrong size, wrong type, damaged, screens clogged, screens present, screens missing (although I would argue this is rarely a “defect”), missing back draft dampers, dampers damaged, dampers stuck open, dampers stuck closed, louvers missing, louvers damaged, louvers warped, too close to the ground, not accessible—-I think you get the idea.
Today I am going to discuss metal, round, louver type vent caps that have absolutely no business being used on exhaust fans. The following picture is an excellent example of what happens when one of these caps is used on an exhaust fan. In a relatively short period of time the louvers (and sometimes they have screens behind the louvers too) become clogged with lint or they get painted over on the outside.
How is this cap going to get cleaned? Well it is not, and thus the exhaust fan is not going to do its job—-and thus we have another possible “conducive condition.” A conducive condition is defined as just about anything that when not functioning properly can contribute to moisture issues in the home.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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