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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dealing With a Puffback

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

You had a puff back in your Staten Island home, now what?

A puff normally occurs when an oil burner doesn't ignite immediately, causing oil fumes to build up before ignition, resulting in an explosion similar to the backfiring of a car. This can also occur from a lack of maintenance, a buildup of debris can also create an excessive explosion upon ignition. In either case, it will spray soot and debris through the furnace or boiler's exhaust system all through your home/property… creating a serious mess

If you have a forced air system the problem will be worse, the heating ducts spread soot into every corner of your home in a fine layer that seems impossible to remove, this occurs the same way the vents spread heat.  A puff back can be a serious problem, with each ignition sending varying amounts of soot, it makes its way into heating vents, ceilings, carpets, baseboards, etc. Or sometimes is a single sudden event that shoots out a large amount of soot into the heating system causing just as much of a mess.

What Should You Do Now?

It is quite problematic how much area soot can cover, it goes everywhere, and into places you wouldn't expect. It can even force you out of your home in bad cases. This soot is not just a powdery substance, but it is also black and sticky because it is a mixture of oil and debris that becomes difficult to clean without proper equipment. This dirty residue must to be cleaned as soon as possible or staining and odor can become much worse. In addition to the debris the soot leaves behind, a puff back will create an odor that will seep through your home.  So, what should you do now?

Assess the situation and the amount of damage that was done

  • Wash all affected clothing and fabrics in the house - some may require professional dry cleaning
  • Throw away all exposed food
  • Call a repairman to fix the malfunctioning oil furnace
  • Call a cleaning service to take care of the soot and chemicals
    • And that's where you need a puffback specialist to thoroughly clean and deodorize all affected items and SERVPRO is available 24/7 to assist!

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