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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

SERVPRO provides emergency response service and effective remediation for furnace puff backs in Manhattan

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

soot and smoke removal services after a commercial puffback SERVPRO restoration professionals have extensive training and experience to clean and remediate the damages your property is facing.

The cold temperatures have officially come, furnaces across the Northeast are getting turned on for the first time as the colder weather descends. When an oil or gas furnace is operating properly, there is little to no soot generated as the fuel is burned to create the heat you need to warm your home or business. Unfortunately, it only takes one leaky or clogged burner to create a dangerous situation leading to an explosion known as a puff back. SERVPRO of Central Manhattan has helped countless residential and commercial owner’s cleanup, remediate and restore smoke and soot property damage caused from an oil or gas furnace puffback or fireplace puffback.

A residential or commercial furnace malfunction causes a puffback, when an oil or gas burner backfires, sending black, sticky soot and debris through the furnace or boiler's exhaust system, and throughout your home or business you’ve experienced a puff back. There are two types of puff backs, one type happens all at once, like a balloon popping, emitting soot, smoke and debris throughout your property. A puff back can also happen more gradually, as if someone was holding the end of a balloon and letting the air seep out slowly. If you have a forced air system, the problem can worsen as your heating ducts can spread the soot into every corner of your home, with the same efficiency that they spread heat. Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent a puffback, annual inspection and maintenance of your oil burner or furnace can greatly reduce your risk.

Once a Puff back occurs soot spreads throughout your home, covering your furniture, drapery, wall, ceilings, and other property and possessions. The soot coverage may range from a light dusting to a more concentrated ash. Soot is black and sticky and brings some major cleaning and deodorizing challenges and concerns. Though, it may look like a DIY project, it’s best left to professionals to handle soot removal and cleaning because it has the potential to spread easily and become an even bigger concern. Soot is not only extremely messy and pungent, it may contain be carcinogenic, and needs to be cleaning and deodorized properly to avoid secondary damages to your property and your family.

Manhattan chooses SERVPRO for professional disaster restoration services after a furnace puffback

Our restoration process begins with a thorough inspection of your Manhattan property, assessing the damage and determining which equipment and services are necessary. Our Emergency response crews are available right away to begin the most effective techniques for cleaning and restoring your property and possessions, including soot, smoke and stain removal, odor removal and deodorizing, our restoration professionals are here to help with all the recovery solutions you need to restore your property just like before.


  • Immediate placement of HEPA air scrubbers and hydroxyls to begin soot and odor mitigation
  • Contact insurance carrier/adjuster to give them the size and scope of the project
  • Clean the ash and soot residue that builds up on surfaces, including walls, cabinets and furniture
  • Coordinate the cleaning of soft goods, such as clothing, bedding, draperies, furniture, etc.

Quick action is necessary to minimize property damages after a fire or furnace puff back, smoke and soot are easily absorbed by many materials within your property and can have a lasting effect. Smoke and soot can be absorbed by almost all your possessions including, furniture and building materials, especially porous materials and surfaces. Soot’s chemical composition is a major challenge for post puff back recovery, secondary damages can start to occur immediately. Puff back cleanup experts will assist you during your puff back event, providing you services and solutions every step of the cleanup and restoration process. Puff back cleaning services can include; odor removal from your structure and contents, structural soot cleanup and smoke damage cleanup, pack-out and claim assistance, contents cleanup and smoke damage mitigation.

After your apartment or office building suffers a puff back, the spread of soot can cause wide-spread damages throughout your home and can feel especially overwhelming and discouraging. SERVPRO restoration professionals have extensive training and experience to clean and remediate the damages your property is facing.

If your home or business experiences a puffback, you should:

  • Notify your insurance agent immediately
  • Throw away all exposed food
  • Call a repairman to fix the malfunctioning oil furnace
  • Call SERVPRO to begin cleaning and deodorizing all affected areas immediately

Our team will perform a complete smoke and soot damage cleanup, loss documentation, oil smoke odor removal, property recovery and disposal of non-recoverable items, and a tailored solution to return your building and contents to preloss condition and reverse the signs of your oil burner property damage event. Calling SERVPRO of Central Manhattan after a home or business puffback provides an advanced cleanup and restoration solution complete with advanced equipment, expert knowledge and experience that you can trust to restore your home and possessions, “Like it never even happened.”

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