Dryer venting codes for a 1999 home in Texas

005 This dryer vent was dumping lint into the attic and I dont believe it is installed properly. I am looking for the code in 1999 for roof exit venting as the seller is quoting it was ok by code when the house was built and I have not been able to find any references.

First off it is not a good idea to quote any codes on an existing home unless you know for a fact when that item was installed, modified, replaced, etc. Even then you risk the chance of being called out because you did not do that for everything. BTW when was the last time the roof was replaced and that vent cover replaced? When was the last time that the vent cover or venting components were replaced? I’ll bet you don’t know and have no way to know or verify whatever you are told? In other words who cares that it was supposedly installed that way in 1999 since no matter when it is wrong.

Secondly it does not matter what the building code says. If you want a reference then provide them SOP 535.232(i)(3). Are you familiar with that one?

If you believe it is a “fire Hazard” , for instance, and the seller says it was OK in 1999, put the onus on him to prove you wrong. We are hired, in most cases, for our opinions. Battling codes gets complicated.

Texas may be different. I’m in N. MI.

Don’t have a date on this stuff but it’s pretty obvious the exhaust does not terminate to the outside properly. Lint, excess moisture/humidity are in the attic that can cause various problems/damage thru time.

**I don’t care what the seller has to say, this is NOT a debate after your written opinion. His opinion does NOT count or matter. Most contracts will call for a 2nd opinion by a licensed inspector or contractor in the discipline, if the seller wants to dispute he can pay for the 2nd.
If it differs from yours, a 3rd & tie-breaking opinion can be done. The two parties agree on who will do it & share the expense equally. The 3rd is binding on all - it’s over.
So… … … tell 'em to stop the blah~blah~blah & let’s get on with it fairly… … … or accept your opinion as it stands. :cowboy_hat_face:
Most times it never goes that far so shut up & put on an extension already. Might need a back-draft device on the roof vent but don’t know. I’m pretty sure it’s required if it was thru a side wall or gable.

Keep in mind, a home inspection is not a code compliance inspection and that the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is the responsible party for determining/verifying code compliance. The home inspector is using these standards, however, as a reference to help protect his or her client from possible future hazards, such as a house fire.

Forget Code. Lot of things met code in 1964 that we call out as safety concerns today. If THEY say it was OK … LET them produce a reference saying so.

Look at it … You know its wrong and so does everyone seeing the Pic

Every reply is correct. The problem you face is arguing with the seller (or agent). When I am confident on a matter I politely tell them “Show the picture to the city inspector and have them say it is OK on city letterhead and I will be glad to refer to it in my report”. Now that ain’t saying I’ll approve it. :> As long as your buyer understands that’s what counts.

If your not sure then research it as you did on this great forum and you will always learn.

Be careful about making a seller unnecessarily angry. A large percentage of TREC complaints are from sellers and agents (about half I seem to recall). TREC dismisses most of them however keep in mind TREC looks at almost every complaint as a way of finding “something” wrong with your report.

The GOOD news is that there were about 380,000 houses sold in Texas and less than 120 TREC complaints. 80 or 90 percent of those were dismissed. Last time I ran the numbers I told the Commissioners in a public meeting that an inspector has a higher chance of committing suicide with poison than getting a TREC complaint (about 1 out of 58,000). Then I asked if they wanted to know the odds of complaints against real estate agents. Crickets chirping.

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I would go by what the dryer`s manufacturer recommends.
Below copied from: http://www.appliance411.com/faq/dryer-vent-length.shtml
Venting Through Roof
I do not know any dryer manufacturer that recommends venting a dryer through the roof. They do not even provide any vent length data for such an installation. Because the weight of the moist dryer air is much heavier than ambient air, I would think the maximum vent length would be less than 1/2 or 1/4 of the acceptable length of a horizontal vent run.

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Dryer vent termination on the roof is a bad idea.
Dryer lint will accumulate on the roof, could possibly get back-draft problems and in cold climate will cause and contribute to ice dams.
If the vent is not insulated in the attic, the vent will act as a moisture condenser and get leaks in the seams and the possibility of mold at the ceiling line.

Check out the photos in this link to see more of the problems incurred with this type of installation.

We are not code inspectors. Knowing what is in code is one thing. I would not refer to it in a report. Give your statement in the report “Improperly vented into the attic…This is a fire hazard” or something to that effect.

You shouldn’t be arguing with sellers or their representatives. Let the agents argue among themselves. once you write your report your job is done.

Thank you for the replies everyone. I have no intention on using the code, I was merely looking for a reference as knowledge to avoid making a improper statement. I definitely agree that a dryer vent should not exit through the roof but it seems to be common in Texas, they put the laundry rooms in the middle of the house then go straight up.This particular house goes up 2 stories and the attic bordering the 25’ rule.

Just knowing the code for self justification is not enough for a home inspector. Codes do not give the reasons why it is in there. As others said. report what you see and how you think it will impact the house and its occupants.

John … Out of curiosity ABOUT how may houses are sold in Texas in the average year and since TREC keeps track have you seen how many complaints there are against HI’s versus REA’s??

There is no reason that dryers should not vent through the roof. They just need to do so properly.

The seller’s statement about it being compliant when built is false. It doesn’t exhaust fully to the exterior and there is no backdraft damper at the termination.

Finally, you don’t give a crap whether it met code back in the day or not. Code grandfathering has no relevance to home inspections. It’s only relevant for code enforcement and your inspection has nothing to do with code enforcement. Your inspection has everything to do with the TREC SOP and current accepted practices, both of which dictate that you report it as deficient.

I’ll check and get back to you. J

I took this off TREC web site. https://www.trec.texas.gov/apps/disciplinary-actions/?is=INSI&sd=01%2F01%2F2017&ed=12%2F31%2F2017&page=1

344,000 homes sold in 2018 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/texas-housing-market-breaks-record-for-home-sales-median-price-in-2018-300799910.html Did not extrapolate for second or third inspection numbers.

Jan 1 to Dec 31 2018 Numbers rounded,

43,000 brokers

139,000 agents

Total 182,000

4561 total complaints 2018

236 enforcement actions

1 action for every 771 agents

1 action for every 1,457 homes sold


3500 Inspectors

81 total complaints 2018

23 enforcement actions

1 action for every 152 inspectors

1 action for 14,946 homes sold

November 2018 report shows total complaints. The number of complaints, justified or not is far greater for agents. https://www.trec.texas.gov/apps/meetings/view.php?meeting_id=263

Out of 84 complaints in 2018 23 resulted in enforcement actions. Many of those were for using the wrong report form. One was for failing to report a missing interior door (we all know there is no requirement for that).

A few years ago someone did open records request on an active complaint. It caused TREC lawyers to retreat from their opinion on the case. Soon after a statute was passed to prevent open records request on open cases. In the last session, a statute was passed to make the identity of the complainant hidden. TREC responding to people judging them or the accusers.

The right to face your accuser only applies to criminal cases, not civil cases (6th amendment). Not sure but I think a TREC violation is a Class C misdemeanor and exempt from 6th amendment. It’s fair to assume an inspector will find out who complained one way of the other.

Keep in mind that these numbers do not include the number of claims paid by professional liability providers. If a lawyer thinks they can get money from an insurance provider they are not likely to file a complaint with TREC.

Distribute as you please. Data subject to verification.