WHAT IS A PUFFBACK?
Most of us have never heard of a puff back. A puff back occurs when an oil burner backfires sending soot throughout your home or business. It can happen all at once, (like a balloon popping), or more slowly, (as if someone was holding the end of a balloon and letting the air seep out a little at a time).
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE HAD A PUFF BACK?
It’s usually quite easy to tell when a puff back has happened. Soot covers all areas of the home or business and may range in severity from light to very heavy. Sometimes the disbursement of soot is so light and fine it appears to be ordinary dust. This “dust” however, reappears hours after being cleaned. There is often a strong smell of oil accompanying a puff back.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT PUFF BACKS?
The best defense against a puff back is to have your oil burner inspected annually and kept in good repair. This is no guarantee against having a puff back, but it greatly reduces your risk. Keep debris, animal hair or anything that could interfere with proper functioning away from the oil burner.
WHAT TO AVOID
Do not attempt to wash wallpapered or flat painted walls.
(Incorrect cleaning will compound the soot residue problem)
Do not try to clean carpets and upholstered furniture.
Avoid touching things.
(Soot on your hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork causing further damage)
WHAT TO DO IF A PUFF BACK OCCURS
Notify your insurance agent or company immediately and have a qualified disaster restoration specialist begin cleaning affected areas immediately- soot travels and will reappear if not completely removed.