Puff Backs: A Clean Home’s Worse Nightmare
Puffback | Peak Construction | Soot | Hudson Valley

If you were to ask a homeowner what problems they could foresee in their home, most would answer with water damage.  What most don’t think about or even know about is puff backs.

Puff Backs and What Causes It

When thinking of a puff back, think of when a car backfires.  It makes a loud sound and lets out smoke from the tailpipe along with causing vibration. Like when a car backfires, a puff back is an unwanted combustion within your furnace caused when the heating unit malfunctions.  If the mixture of fuel and oxygen creates a flame that burns the fuel heating your home is unbalanced, it can create a sudden combustion.  This combustion will cause a loud sound and let out a vibration that will loosen any debris in your furnace causing soot and gunk to into your home.

The Effect of Puff Backs

When a puff back happens, soot will work itself through your heating system and into the ductwork meaning the air stream bringing heat into your home is also bringing soot particles with it. The particles will get everywhere leaving a strong smell and an oily mess. The residue from puff back is usually a sticky petroleum base meaning it will cling to fabrics like your furniture, your blankets, and even your clothes. It will stick to exposed food even if it’s behind a cabinet door, same with clothes in drawers or closets. A puff back can cause a huge mess that if not cleaned correctly can make the mess so much worse.

How to Clean up Puff Backs

A puff back is a difficult mess to clean up.  Trying to clean it up like you would a regular mess can make it that much harder to eliminate the effects of a puff back.  Aggressive measures should be taken to get rid of a puff back mess, thoroughly cleaning including nooks and crannies, throw out all exposed foods and wash all clothing and fabrics.  Deodorizing your house to get rid of the smell would be a good decision along with a fresh coat of paint depending on how bad the puff back was at the time. The main thing you should do when a puff back occurs is call a professional restoration company that is trained to provide the cleaning necessary. When looking for a company to hire, make sure they have certified technicians who specialize in cleaning collectibles or certain fabrics, if needed.

Peak Construction is here to help you in dealing with the effects of puff back in your home along with any other restoration, smoke or water damage you might experience.