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WHAT IS A PUFF BACK?
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 gradually (as if someone was holding the end of a balloon and letting the air seep out slowly).
HOW DO I KNOW IF A PUFF BACK HAS OCCURRED?
It is usually quite easy to tell when one has happened. Soot covers all areas of the home or business and may range 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 odor of oil accompanying a puff back.
CAN I PREVENT A PUFF BACK FROM OCCURRING?
The best defense against a puff back is to have your oil burner inspected annualIy 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 your oil burner. You should also observe the following "Dos" and "Don'ts":
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 imediately.
Have a qualified disaster restoration specialist begin cleaning all affected areas immediately - soot travels and will reappear if not immediately removed.
Washing Machine Hose Breaks
Wintertime Safety Tips
Furnace "Puff Backs"
Recovering From Water Damage
Recovering From Fire
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