By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Other | Issue: July 2011
Local firefighter and business owner Joey Wiedel can help avoid the hazard of dryer vent fires.
There’s a fire hazard lurking within the walls of some of
the area’s newest and most expensive homes.
Joey Wiedel, owner of First Class Bath and a local firefighter, says he recently noticed an uptick in fires related to dryer vents. He has even seen them in million-dollar houses. Closer to home, his mother-in-law burned up two dryer motors in the new home she moved into just three years ago. The problem wasn’t a faulty dryer. It was an obstructed vent – but not the kind that immediately comes to mind.
According to Joey, new home construction trends have led to this fire hazard that was not nearly as prevalent a few years ago. The once standard short dryer vent on an outside wall has been replaced with a long vent that goes through an inside wall, up a ceiling and through an attic. This sometimes 18 to 20 foot configuration requires angles. And this is where the lint and debris becomes trapped. Cleaning a lint trap, alone, does not solve the problem.
Some new dryers have air flow detectors that shut off the machine when the flow is inadequate. But most homes don’t have these dryers.
“Keeping people safe is my passion,” says Joey. For the past eight years he has helped many families not only remodel their bathrooms, but make them safe and comfortable for family members of all ages. Now he has taken those concerns to a new level by providing both dryer vent and duct cleaning services.
First Class Bath isn’t just about baths any more. “I’ll come into your home and check your dryer vent and literally show you whether or not it needs to be cleaned,” he says. Unlike other companies that provide inspections with an opinion, Joey will provide an inspection with visual proof.
He’ll run a highly specialized camera into the vent to record a video so homeowners can see what is moving around when air is flowing and identify any obstruction. “If the vent is clear, they don’t have to spend any money. There is no charge for the inspection,” adds Joey. Cleaning the vent costs less than most evenings out to dinner and a movie.
Blockages are removed with specialized brushes and a suction device that captures even the smallest particles. Then the camera makes another trip through the vent as proof that the vent is clear. If a homeowner is at work, the before and after DVD can be emailed. “It’s a comfort to let people know the job was done, and done right.”
Although it’s not easy to recognize a clogged vent, Joey offers several warning signs:
Any one of these signs warrants a call to First Class Bath for a no-obligation inspection.
The same care and attention applies to First Class Bath’s duct cleaning service. National statistics indicate that as many as 98 percent of homes have poorer indoor air quality than outdoors. Considering Tulsa’s infamous designations as “Sinus Belt” and “Allergy Capital,” cleaning air ducts seems to be a no brainer.
Many doctors recommend duct cleaning to patients with newborns or elderly family members as a way to reduce or eliminate smoke, pet dander or allergens. People moving into houses whose history is unknown can also breathe a deeper sigh of relief by having the air ducts cleaned.
Each duct cleaning service call includes registers, supply vents, return vents, as well as inspecting the duct seals, attic insulation and radiant barriers. They also check each cover and line, drain pan, replace the air filter and spray an EPA-compliant disinfectant that kills dust mites and mold in the ducts. This time of year, cleaning the air ducts will significantly reduce the load on already overworked air conditioning units.
Now there are more reasons to call First Class Bath – remodeling, dryer vent cleaning, and air duct cleaning.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.