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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Fire puff back

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

A puff back is the puff of smoke and soot from a malfunctioning heating unit inside your furnace that brings gunk into your home. When a furnace works properly, it combines fuel and oxygen in balanced amounts for good, controlled combustion. The correct mix produces a steady flame and burns the fuel almost completely. The puff back happens when the mix is unbalanced. For example, when the rate of combustion in your furnace slows, but the fuel injected into the heating system remains constant, a sudden combustion may occur.

For example when a car backfires, a puff back can cause a “boom” and a big vibration. This vibration shakes loose  soot in the heating system as well as the duct work. The air stream of forced air that normally brings heat into your home instead brings these soot particles. Think of how the heat moves into all the areas of your home. The soot from a puff back will take the same path.

Residue from a puff back is usually an oily, sticky film whose base is petroleum. It has a strong distinct smell and makes a mess that permeates everything. Because the puff back is backed up by a little explosion, these soot particles get a boost getting into the combination of nooks and small crevices, propulsion and a petroleum base makes the mess caused by a puff back so difficult to tackle. Often traditional cleaning methods make the mess even worse than when you started. In some cases they also use sealants to preventing re-contamination.In most cases, an immediate response by a trained professional from SERVPRO is recommended.

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