Replace a Broken Dryer Vent Cap

Updated: Nov. 30, 2018

Install a new dryer vent cover in about 30 minutes

Replace-a-Broken-Dryer-Vent-Cover metal dryer vent coverFamily Handyman
Replace a broken dryer vent cap simply and quickly. Disconnect the through-wall duct and replace the duct and cap together.

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Replace a dryer vent cover

exterior vent covers

Photo 1: Disconnect the old dryer vent cap

Cut the old caulk with a utility knife and pull out the outdoor vent covers from the outside.

outdoor vent covers exterior vent covers

Photo 2: Install the new dryer vent cap

Insert the duct from the dryer into the new vent duct and wrap the joint with metal tape.

A metal dryer vent cover is deliberately lightweight so they’ll open easily, but this flimsiness also means they’ll break easily. The caps, especially the type with multiple small flaps, also clog easily with lint. (Avoid this type unless you’re conscientious about cleaning it.)

To replace old outdoor vent covers, first pull apart the duct at the last joint inside the house. If they don’t pull apart easily, look for small screws holding the sections of pipe together. Next, remove the screws or nails used to attach the cap to the siding and cut through the caulk around the edges (Photo 1). Pull out the dryer vent cover, scrape away old caulk and dirt, and then wipe the siding clean so new caulk will stick.

Cut the new vent pipe to the same length as the old one, then slide it through the wall. Screw the cap to the siding and caulk around the edges with paintable caulk.

Finally, join the old duct inside the house to the new metal dryer vent cover (Photo 2). Vent caps are available at home centers.

Video: Why You Should Upgrade Your Dryer Vent

Required Tools for this Dryer Vent Cap Replacement Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY dryer vent cap replacement project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Caulk gun
  • Tin snips
  • Utility knife

Required Materials for this Dryer Vent Cap Replacement Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Acrylic caulk
  • Metal tape
  • New vent cap