Much like dryer vent caps, other exhaust fan vent caps need to be properly maintained as well. These caps can suffer from mechanical damage and can be points of entry to the structure for vermin—birds, bees, squirrels and rats.
The single most common issue I find with these vents is that stinging insects love to build nests in them. This can prevent proper operation/opening of the vent flap leading to reduced ventilation. These stinging insects also represent a safety hazard when inspecting and/or cleaning the vents—–so “bee” careful. Because these vents are often located on roofs they are less likely to be part of routine maintenance.
I recommend that these vents be properly cleaned every fall after the insects are likely to be dormant. It is very important that exhaust fans be able to function properly during the winter to help maintain proper moisture levels in the home.
Who will clean these vents for you?
It can sometimes be very difficult to find a person qualified and willing to clean these vent caps for liability reasons. Many Pest Control Operators won’t go on roofs because there insurance doesn’t cover them to go on roofs. Some roofing companies will perform this service—some won’t because they are not Pest Control Operators. Some Home Inspectors will do it as an ancillary service. (If this issue is discovered in the course of the Home Inspection most inspectors are prevented by their code of ethics from making repairs on the home related to issues found at the time of inspection.)
Roofs and/or stinging insects can represent serious safety concerns and should always be handled by persons qualified to do the work.
Who is building houses in your exhaust vents?
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