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Call Today! (501) 200-1600
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What Is A Puff Back? How To Clean And Prevent Puff Backs

Published by 911 Restoration Central Arkansas on October 11, 2022 in category: Blog

What is a puff back?
An oil burner that doesn’t ignite immediately can puff back, which causes fumes to build up inside the furnace. The explosion in the burner chamber causes soot to vaporize and escape from the home or business. It covers walls, baseboards and furniture with oily toxic soot.
Puff backs may be small, frequent events that send a small amount soot out of the heating vents. Or a single explosion that can send a lot of soot through your heating system. These events can often lead to extensive cleanup and restoration, as well as repairs to your heating system.

How to Prevent Furnace Puffer Backs

  1. Service all oil-burning appliances at least once per year. Ask that the technician performs a thorough cleaning, inspection, and maintenance. You could be at risk if you don’t have an oil-fired heating system inspected annually.
  2. Be aware of any odors, sounds, or soot in the furnace room or boiler.
  3. Oil leaks near the oil burner and on the oil piping system should be avoided.
  4. Keep your eye out for debris. The heating system must be serviced and cleaned if you find soot, rustflakes or debris in the flue vent connector.


What do you do if your puff back occurs?

To prevent further damage, the first thing to do after a puffback is to turn off your heating system. You should immediately call the fire department if there is smoke, carbon monoxide, or a danger of a fire in your home. You should ensure that your heating system is turned off and that your home or building is safe. Next, follow these steps:

  1. Photographs and/or videos of any damage should be taken to help your insurance company.
  2. A full-service restoration company is recommended. They will be able to assess your heating system and make any necessary repairs before you turn on the heat. The restoration companies will professionally clean your house or business to remove smoke and soot.
  3. Your belongings should be cleaned. Some fabrics may be washable and dry cleaned. You should dispose of any food that has been contaminated.

Professional Puff Back Cleaning

You don’t want your home to suffer a puffback. Puff backs could affect every part of your home. Calling a puffback specialist is the best choice. A puff back’s soot is greasy, toxic, and can cause cancer. It is very difficult to clean the soot particles as they are tiny. It is not enough to vacuum the carpet and wash the walls with soapy water. Many insurance companies won’t pay homeowners who clean the carpet themselves.

Puff Back Restoration Process

  1. You can rely on a professional fire restoration company to help you through the entire process. Many restoration companies like 911 Restoration of Central Arkansas will assist you in filing insurance claims.
  2. Complete cleaning of all surfaces that have been affected by smoke or soot, and setting up equipment to clean the air in your home.
  3. Companies that specialize in restoration can clean and restore your belongings, including clothes, dishes, electronics as well as curtains and decorations. These items are often packed up and cleaned in a facility that uses specialized cleaning equipment. All of your contents will be returned clean and free from soot or residue.
  4. Restoration companies are able to repair your heating system, boiler, or water heating, as well as determine the root cause of the problem, in order not to have it happen again.


For immediate assistance, call 911 Restoration of Central Arkansas if your oil fired furnace is puffing back.
We can quickly clean up oily soot from your furnace and get it working again. We are experts in smoke and fire damage cleanup. You can get professional help dealing with a fire damage restoration in Little Rock 24/7/365 at 501-200-1600. Our team can reach homes and businesses around Conway, Benton, Sherwood, and the Little Rock area within 45 minutes of an emergency call. Technicians can provide a free visual mold inspection for property owners only once they arrive.


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