Original post: 11/06/2013
If your home has an oil-burning furnace, there are several dangers to know. Any furnace can experience a puff back. While puff backs are more common with oil systems, a furnace puff back can also occur with forced air, gas, and hot water heating systems. A puff back in a furnace is a volatile explosion that occurs inside your furnace. The result of this explosion is fire and smoke being spewed out from your furnace.
This article is all about puff backs and what you need to watch out for so you, your family, or anyone else who uses the building will be safe.
Background on Puff Backs
This fire, smoke, and soot will damage your home’s building materials and contents. This explosion will not be lethal, but can cause thousands of dollars in costly repairs and damage restoration, and can also cause health problems for you and your family. The explosions are caused by a build-up of vapor inside your furnace.
This build-up can occur with furnaces that have not been maintained properly. Parts sometimes need to be replaced, and bi-yearly cleaning of your furnace and heating system will help prevent puff backs. Conducting a yearly exam of your heating system or having a professional check your heating system yearly will often times fully prevent a puff back from ever occurring.
If you have experienced a puff back avoid doing the following:
- Try to clean or wash away soot residue yourself. This soot and smoke residue need special cleaning methods, as it spreads easily. Soot stains can also set very quickly, making soot damage especially trick to clean if you should do it wrong.
- Use furniture or walk on carpeting affected by the fire or puff back.
- Do not use furniture that has been exposed to heat, soot, or smoke. You can cause further damage to your furniture until it is professionally cleaned and restored.
- Do not turn on any electronics such as computers, stereos, and TVs until you have had them checked for soot damaged. Computers can be especially vulnerable and ruined as soon as they are turned on if soot has made its way inside them.
Watch Out for Corrosive Soot
Soot is black carbon, and black carbon will stain extremely quickly when mixed with water and common household liquid cleaners. Should you attempt to remove the soot yourself and end up staining something with soot in your home, a professional cleaner may be required to remove the stain, however may not be able to be removed at all.
This soot also contains a corrosive element, which will damage the home’s building materials, and contents such as your electronics, furniture, clothing, and more. Not only can this soot damage your property, but it can also affect the health of your loved ones by causing respiratory problems. Soot will often have a very terrible odor that will swiftly travel throughout your home and will need to be cleaned and deodorized in order to remove the offensive odor from your home.
Soot Spreads Throughout Your Property
If the soot and smoke travel through your home’s ductwork, it will need to be cleaned and deodorized as well. You also need to have a professional check your furnace following a puff back, to avoid further incidents. You may have a faulty part or an oil burner that may need replacing. If the problem is ignored, it can cause repeated and long-lasting effects to your home. Should you have experienced a furnace puff back, you should seek professional help for the cleanup and any damage restoration that needs to be done.
Get Professional Help Cleaning Your Home or Business.