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How Do You Clean a Dryer Vent That Goes to The Roof

By July 16, 2021June 16th, 2022Home Maintenance
Clogged Dryer Vent

Laundry is a huge hassle no matter the size of the family in your home. Some want clothes dried while some like to hang their clothes. While we often clean the dryer lint filter, homeowners often forget to clean the actual vent after the filter. Some homes have a laundry vent that goes out the wall to the outside, while some have one that goes to the roof.

How do you clean the dryer vent that goes to the roof? There are a few ways. You can use a plastic garbage bag, go on the ladder to the roof and remove the dryer vent screen. You can also pull the dryer away from the wall and vacuum it and use a specific type of brush. It is a multi-step process that you may be able to do on your own or need to call a professional for assistance.

Let’s take a look at signs your dryer vent needs maintenance, how to clean the vent to the roof, using a brush to clean, and the difficulties and maintenance associated with it.


When drying clothes, cleaning out the lint filter is important in order to have a clean filter for the drying of clothes. However, there is also other things you must do like checking the duct work and hoses and cleaning those out. At least once a year is important.

However, if you don’t clean it out, then they become clogged and the air does not flow well. Essentially, this leads to a higher electric bill and can also be a fire hazard that you don’t want to deal with in your home. Safety is important.


Signs That Maintenance is Needed

There are a few signs that maintenance is needed for the dryer.

  1. Clothes take longer to dry or you have to run more than one drying cycle.
  2. The dryer is very warm and hotter temperature than usual.
  3. Cleaning the dryer should be on your to-do list at least once a year. If you have animals, you may need to clean it more often.

DIY On How to Clean a Dryer Vent That Goes to the Roof

Here is a great video about cleaning the dryer vent with a leaf blower:

Here are the directions to clean the vent using a leaf blower:

  • First, pull the dryer away from the wall
  • Then, turn off the electricity to that room
  • Remove the vent tube from the dryer and the wall
  • Vacuum the inside of the dryer and the inside of the tube
  • Using a leaf blower, stick it in the hole in the wall
  • Wrap a towel around the hole and the leaf blower to keep lint from coming back into the home
  • Turn the leaf blower on and run it for about 40 seconds
  • Have someone with you that can go outside and make sure the lint is coming out of the vent.  If you don’t have anyone, turn off the leaf blower and go outside.  You should be able to see lint all over the roof and ground.
  • When you are done, put the dryer vent hose back together
  • Then, turn the electricity back on
  • Finally, plug in the dryer and move it back against the wall.

Using a Brush to Clean a Dryer Vent That Goes to the Roof

Using a wire brush to clean out the dryer vent can be challenging. However, it can also provide you with instant benefits of a clean vent. Some of the brushes even have drill attachments to make it mechanical rather than you struggling to get the brush all the way through the vent successfully.

The positives of using a wire brush with extension rods are two fold. You get the lint out fairly easily and successfully, and they are easy to use. The only drawback for using the wire brush with extensions is they can get stuck. Fortunately, using some common sense and not jamming the brush and extensions into the vent should allow you great success.

Difficulty With a Dryer Vent That Goes to the Roof

One of the biggest issues with a dryer vent going to the roof is that forcing lint from the base of the foundation out through a tube attached to the roof can be challenging. It is a long distance for the lint to travel and can make a mess of the roof.

The other difficulty is that the vents are multi-functional. The vents are meant to allow air to escape from your bathrooms and smaller areas of your house. So the lint gets stuck in the air vents as it travels upward and out to the roof vents.

dryer lint

Maintenance of the Dryer Vent

There has always been a recommended step by step process for maintaining your dryer vent. As with anything in your home, it is important to be proactive in your maintenance on a daily basis. This will reduce any future issues that might arise.

The most important thing that you can do is to check the lint grate on your dryer. Do this before you run any laundry to dry. You can clear this lint trap very easily and it will save you a huge headache moving forward.

It’s also important to vacuum around the dryer to make sure no extra particles can get into the vent or potentially start a fire. If you notice a fire starts, shut off the electricity immediately.

Use one dryer sheet at a time, as they release chemicals into the dryer vent. Lastly, it is recommended that you air dry sheets and pillows so that they don’t produce more lint that can attach to the dryer vents.

tile roof

When to Call a Professional

If you are not comfortable cleaning the dryer vent all the way through the roof piping, then you should call a professional. Secondly, if you have a slate or tile roof, you should call a professional as this presents a slip and fall hazard. Lastly, it is recommended that if you have a furnace in your home ask the professional to check your dryer vent when they come to inspect your furnace or fresh air intake vent.


Dryer vents that go to the roof can have problems with clogging. As mentioned above, it is difficult to push the air up and out of the vents so keeping an eye on how the dryer is working on its cycle is important. Boggs Inspection Services can check your dryer vent when conducting a home inspection in Olympia, Lacey, Tacoma, WA. and surrounding areas.

Thank you to Cornerstone Home Inspection Group for sharing the featured image of this post.

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