I am pretty good about looking at a situation and knowing if it is good or not good. As a REALTOR my job is to assist clients in the home buying process. I am a BIG FAN of getting a home-inspection. My good friend and peer Charles has shared a situation that I found worthy of re-blogging.-
Remember to not only check your clearance but clean out the vent! Make sure you hire a good inspector to find the 'hidden' just didn't know betters. -cw
One thing that is universal about laundry rooms is that the walls behind washers and dryers are often trashed either from mechanical damage or hidden leaks----both past and present. I can imagine what many buyers must think when they start to move in and find these conditions when they go to install their own washer and dryer. The walls weren't visible when they looked at the property initially because the sellers appliances where installed and the inspector didn't notice (or couldn't see) the damage either.
It is not too hard to understand the need for fire-rated walls between attached dwellings like condos and townhouses. While the requirements have changed over the years and there are variations in the requirements from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is a good idea to look for problems related to the walls between these types of structures. So, it is only logical that a possible place for the firewall to be compromised would be behind the washer dryer.
These areas are very difficult to visually inspect unless you are fortunate enough to be 7 feet tall and can adequately lean over the units to have a look see. Even that doesn't help if shelving is installed in the way above them. I can usually get my camera in a position to shoot some "hail-Mary" photos of the area---often revealing all kinds of funs stuff from missing underwear to ruptured supply hoses and bad electrical connections. Also, any damage to walls might be visible.
This was the case in a Condo I inspected the other day. Apparently in order for the appliances to be installed, and still allow for the bi-fold doors to close, there wasn't quite enough room behind the dryer to run the vent pipe. The installer just cut away some of the drywall of the fire-wall between the two units. Probably not the best solution, and it is another example of the breakdown that happens with overspecialization and/or lack of knowledge about the requirements of other trades. (Translates to "job security" for me)
A large percentage of house fires are involved with dryer venting. For more information on this particular type of dryer foil vent pipe please visit my post: Slay the "Fire-Breathing Dryer!"
PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)all pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.