Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:40 pm
It can be easy to forget that your clothes washer and dryer are big, complicated machines that need regular maintenance. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires is not cleaning them.
Water damage can take a toll, too. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety found that more than half of cases it reviewed in a study of water damage insurance claims were from washing machine hose failures.
Keeping your machines in good working order helps you to protect your home from unintentional damage. If you’re not conformable with your ability to maintain your machines yourself, call a professional for service. Here are a few DIY laundry room maintenance tips:
Replace Your Washing Machine Hoses
Inspect your washing machine water hoses on a regular basis. They’re constantly in use and are vulnerable to wear-and-tear damage. A burst hose could lead to substantial flooding inside your home. Replace your hoses if there’s any sign of wear. Keep in mind that rubber hoses may be a bit cheaper, but braided stainless steel hoses are typically more durable.
Clean Your Ducting
You may already clean the lint trap before each use (this is important!), but you should also consider vacuuming the lint trap area from time to time to remove excess or stubborn lint buildup. You should also clear any lint buildup in the exhaust ducting on the back of the dryer (typically rigid or flexible metal ducting) by simply removing the ducting. When you’re finished, make sure the ducting is completely reattached and sealed.
Keep Your Outside Vent Clear
Make sure your dryer is properly venting outside. The NFPA recommends checking the exhaust pipe vent flap to make sure it’s working freely and not blocked by other objects.
Wash the Washing Machine
Many newer washing machines have a self-cleaning cycle. Check your owner’s manual for recommended regular cleanings, and stick to the schedule. Some washers also have filters that need to be drained and cleaned on a regular basis – again, check your owner’s manual for specifics about your model.
Plymouth Rock Assurance wants to hear your other laundry room maintenance tips — share them in the comments.
Click here for more information about insurance in your state.