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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How does a puff back happen?

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Green and white sign stating we are open and here to help. SERVPRO of North Huntington is open and here to help with your puff back cleanup 24/7! Call us today, 631-423-1734

How Does a Puff Back Happen?

A puff back happens when an oil burner doesn't immediately ignite and oil fumes are allowed to build up before ignition. This results in an explosion similar to what happens when a car backfires.  It may also occur from a buildup of debris, causing an explosion when the furnace turns on.  In either case, the explosion forces soot and debris through the furnace or the boiler's exhaust system and into your home or business.  The problem is worse with forced hot air systems as the heating ducts spread black soot into every corner of your home, with the same efficiency that they spread heat throughout your property.

Fact #1: Most puff back cleanups are covered by insurance. The professionals at SERVPRO of North Huntington can walk you through the claim process step by step and make it "Like it never even happened.” In fact, our customers often tell us that their properties look and smell cleaner than it ever did before!

During a puff back event, oil based soot typically covers all areas of the property including drapes, bedding, furniture, clothing, cabinetry, ceilings, walls and floors, all of which is extremely difficult to remove. In most instances, you will know that you’ve had a puff back! But there may be times when it is harder to detect because the soot coverage can range from a light dusting to a concentrated dark appearance especially on flat surfaces like counter tops. While you may be tempted to clean the affected area yourself, we don’t recommend you do that as the "dust" will likely re-appear hours afterwards. There may or may be a strong odor in the affected rooms.  Don’t be fooled that the dust is only where you see it. It travels everywhere that the air does—into every nook and cranny. Sometimes you will find what you think are black “spider webs” in the corners of a room. These marks are actually a collection of the sticky soot. At SERVPRO of North Huntington, we have the appropriate equipment, knowledge, experience and training to properly get the job done.

Fact # 2: The cost to repair a furnace will NOT likely be covered by insurance. 

Puff backs create an unhealthy environment for everyone and you should not touch or breathe the soot or particles that are floating through the air and landing on the surfaces of your property. 

Fact #3: Most oil companies can inspect and service the boiler at your property, which greatly reduces the chances of a puff back. However, there is no guarantee against such an occurrence.

If you have experienced a puff back in your home or business, contact SERVPRO of North Huntington today, 631-423-1734.

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