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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Ho! Ho! Puff?: A Cold Weather Dilemma

9/27/2016 (Permalink)

Puff Back

Crank up the heat! The colder weather is upon us and your heaters are soon going to be roaring back to life. For many of us, our heating systems will turn on flawlessly and get to work toasting our freezing feet. But for many others, the consequences of having left your heater sit unattended and inactive throughout the warm-weather months; can leave you with a costly and time-consuming mess.

Puff Backs are a result of a misfiring in your furnace. This misfire causes an explosion of soot and debris that shoot back into your home leaving your walls, furnishings, carpets and many other household items, coated in a difficult-to-remove film. The explosion of soot brings to the forefront an underlying, usually simple, problem with the mechanics of your furnace such as a valve or filter in need of replacement.

However, even though the mechanical fix may be relatively simple, you won’t realize just how many things can be affected in your home by a puff back until you have one happen. The soot somehow finds a way into the smallest nooks and spaces of your home leaving you with a very difficult mess to clean up.

The best thing for you to do in this situation is to call in the professionals. The soot and debris are not only hard to clean up but may be dangerous without the proper knowledge due to the chemicals released during the explosion.

SERVPRO has a very unique, hands-on approach to dealing with puff backs which we tailor to every incident. If a puff back occurs on a porous material/surface, for example, then we are able to perform a more abrasive wet-cleaning process. However, if the soot has landed on a non-porous material/surface, then our highly-trained techs will spend the time strenuously cleaning your walls and surfaces with a dry sponge ensuring that everything in your home returns to its pre-damage condition.

Some things you may be able to do to prevent a puff back include;

  1. Ensuring your oil-heating system is free of dust and debris
  2. Inspect and provide service to your heating system before you need to use it
  3. If you hear strange noises or begin to see any soot residue around your furnace, call your heating company immediately

If you are unable to perform those steps or if you find yourself standing in an inch-deep pile of soot and debris, call SERVPRO today and we’ll send our crews out to make it, “like it never even happened!”

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