Puff Back

Puff Back Services, Boston, MA

Additional Services

What causes puff backs?

The most common cause for puff back is excess fuel in the bottom of the furnace and firebox, clogged orifices in the furnace burner nozzle that results in delayed ignition or a heavy build-up of soot within the burner. Puff backs happen most frequently in old oil-fired furnaces and can also occur in a gas heating system. Additionally, in a forced hot air system, the ignition explosion can shake loose and blow out any soot or soil that has accumulated in the ductwork, further contributing to the severity of the loss. Puff back usually occurs when the furnace is turned on for the first time in the fall or during the start of cold weather.

What kind of damage can it do?

Damage from puff back can appear in a wide variety of ways, for example, the damage may look like dust that reappears after cleaning or smearing on various surfaces, dark fingerprints that appear on almost every surface along with soot webs that look like regular cobwebs, but are darker and soot around heating ducks and electrical circuits.

It is important that the cleaning process begins immediately to prevent further damage and limit insurance claim amounts. Within hours, acid residue will stain grout, fiberglass fixtures and Formica countertops. Appliances and vinyl windows will begin to discolor as well as finishes on furniture. Within days, metals will become corroded and pitted; walls yellow permanently. Within weeks crystal, glass and china may become permanently damaged from etching. Carpet fibers yellow permanently.

How do we clean it up?

When you think a puff back has occurred, don�t attempt to clean carpets, upholstered furniture, wallpaper or flat-painted walls. The incorrect cleaning from damage do to a puff back will compound the problem. The best cause of action is to avoid touching anything, as the soot on your hands can further stain upholstery, walls, and woodwork and make things much worse. We recommend that home and business owners consider calling Newton Fire & Flood for an immediate response.

We do all of our cleaning for soot and smoke mitigation with natural, non toxic cleaners. We use a line of industrial cleaning solutions that are EPA approved, are effective and are non-toxic.

What kind of products do you use?

We use these products in our own home and strive to educate our customers about the benefits of cleaning with non toxic solutions for puff back damage and other restoration and cleaning services.

Our full-time staff is all certified from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in water, mold and fire.