How to Clean a Dryer Vent on the Roof

A close up on a dryer.
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner attachment
Clean cloth

It is important to always maintain a clean dryer vent. Dryer vents clogged with lint, dust, and dirt are not only less aesthetically pleasing, but can actually cause serious problems for your dryer and your home. Luckily, cleaning out a dryer vent is relatively simple if you follow the steps below.

    Step 1 - Disconnect the Dryer

    The first thing you must do is completely shut down your dryer and disconnect it from all power sources.

    First, switch off your dryer. Then, unplug it from its electrical socket. Finally, use the gas shutoff valve to disconnect your dryer from its supply of gas, if it is a gas dryer. At this point, now that your dryer is not connected to any power sources, it is safe to work on your dryer vent.

    Step 2 - Remove the Dryer Vent Cover

    Now it is time to remove the vent cover near your dryer so that you can clean out any debris that has accumulated inside. Go to the back of your dryer, moving it if necessary. You should be able to use your screwdriver to remove the screws holding the vent in place. Once you have done this, the vent cover should come off easily.

    Go over the vent cover with your clean cloth to remove any lint or other materials that have accumulated there.

    Step 3 - Clean the Inside

    An open dryer.

    Once you remove the vent cover and disconnect your dryer from the outside of your home, you should be able to see inside the vent. Get out your clean cloth and use it to remove any debris that has built up on the edge of the vent. Once you have done this, use your vacuum cleaner attachment to reach inside and vacuum out any materials that are too deep to remove by hand.

    Once you have done this, re-attach the vent and use your screwdriver to re-attach the screws. Put everything back where you found it.

    Step 4 - Open the Outer Vent

    Next, you must access the inside of the vent on the outside of your house. If it is on your roof, this can be a tricky step. In fact, if it is not easily accessible, you are probably better off simply hiring a professional.

    If you can access the vent from a ladder safely, detach the vent cover by unscrewing it and using your knife to remove the caulk.

    Step 5 - Clean the Outer Vent

    Remove as much built up material as you can by hand using your cloth, then vacuum out the vent as well as you can.

    Step 6 - Test the Vent

    A dryer with clothes in it.

    It is important to finish up by testing your vent and making sure that you have not dislodged any material that will clog it. Connect your dryer to its power sources and turn it on. Run your dryer until no debris comes out of the outer vent, making sure that the air flow is not restricted. Once you have done this, turn off your dryer. You can now replace the outer vent cover.