PHC Restoration received a call last week from a homeowner who had experienced what the homeowner referred to as a fireplace fire.  After speaking with the homeowner for a few minutes, we learned that there hadn’t been any structural fire damage, instead there was a lot of soot covering the rooms and contents.  The homeowner wasn’t able to clean the soot himself, so he wanted to know what he needed to do.

The homeowner had not experienced a fire; instead he had experienced a Puff Back.  Puff backs occur as a result of a faulty ignition switch when using oil heat.  It is a little explosion that will blow dust and soot from the duct system in your home leaving a black sticky substance on everything and leaves an odor behind.  Homeowners are strongly discouraged from trying to clean up after a puff back.  It is recommended to hire a certified professional restoration company to come in and clean after puff backs, as they know the right cleaning tools and procedures to not only remove the soot, but also what is needed to remove the odor from your home.

Regularly scheduled maintenance for your oil furnace and help prevent most puff backs, but if you do experience this smelly, sticky mess, feel free to call PHC Restoration and let our fire/smoke and odor restoration technicians come out and take care of the mess.