Soot Damage

Soot Damage

Soot Damage is generally referred to as Furnace "Puffback". Most people have never heard of a puffback. A puffback, or delayed ignition, occurs when your furnace or oil burner malfunctions. Atomized oil is delivered to the combustion chamber but is not immediately ignited. In the more severe cases, when the oil finally does ignite, it causes an "explosion" in the firebox, which rapidly fills up your basement with smoke. The color of the smoke can range from dark gray to black, depending on how much soot has been shaken loose from the burner. If it is not attended to quickly, the smoke and soot can spread throughout your entire home or building. More often than not, however, a puffback occurs gradually, over time, before you ever realize your furnace or burner is malfunctioning.

Determining if a puffback has occurred:

A puffback can display itself in various ways – some are easier to detect than others. In the more serious cases, soot will cover a majority or all of your home or business and may range from light to very heavy. If the soot is light and fine, you may at first think it is just ordinary dust. However, this "dust" reappears hours after being cleaned. Or you may notice "soot webs" - these look a lot like cobwebs, but are darker in color. And there may be a strong odor of oil present. In other instances, the contamination may be very subtle and occur over an extended period of time. These types of puffbacks are not immediately detectable. You may start to notice soot on your hands after touching walls or flat surfaces, or see streaking after cleaning an area. Either way, the longer the soot is left on surfaces or furnishings, the greater the damage, resulting in a more expensive insurance claim and more extensive clean-up procedures.

Basic "Do's and Don'ts" in the Event of Soot Damage (Furnace Puffback):

  • DO call your furnace/boiler repair service to check that your heating unit is operating correctly.
  • DO change the furnace filter. DO cover upholstered items with clean sheets before use.
  • DO tape doubled pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape; be careful not to adhere tape to walls as it may peel paint.
  • DO blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpet.

  • DON'T attempt to clean or wash walls, ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
  • DON'T use "do-it-yourself" home carpet or upholstery cleaners.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

Mark recently helped my sons and I through a devastating house flood. His professionalism and compassion helped us in a very difficult time and we'd like to see efforts applauded and recognized by his superiors. This was our first experience with Crystal Restoration and we would highly recommend your company in the future. Mark's human element to a crisis should the standard all employees strive to achieve. He helped ease our stress through the entire process and we are so grateful. All to often, the only feedback service companies receive is with regard to negativity. This is a glowing testimony to what we hope is a valued employee. Thank you.
Mary Schmidt, home owner
I am writing to you because I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the cleaning job Mark did for me. From the moment he stepped into my house for the first appointment I felt very comfortable. He was very professional, kind and sympathetic. He took the time to explain everything and answer al of my questions. Additionally, he was reliable and always answered my phone calls promptly! He and his staff did a beautiful job, and I could not be happier with the results!
Karen Mancuso, home owner
I write this in reference to Craig Collins who has done one great job for our client, Torrington Country Club. From the phone call I made to Craig the morning of the fire, his attitude and work ethic has been one of "can do". What a job he and the employees of Crystal Restoration Services have done and continue to do for our client's loss. Please thank Craig and your employees for all that each had one for us.
T.J. McKiernan, Director Abercrombie, Burns, McKiernan & Company Insurance, Inc.
WE OFFICIALLY LOVE YOU ALL!!! We discovered several inches of water filling our entire basement! We've made many phone calls to address the many issues involved here. Our Public Adjuster, Allen Sabel, highly recommended that we call Crystal Restoration. We are so happy that we took his advice! Within maybe two hours of our initial call to your office, we were blessed to meet Mark. It was Mark's professionalism, mixed with his kind, calming personality, that made us know that Crystal Restoration was the way to go! We just called to cancel all the other restoration companies who gave us estimates! We're looking forward to meeting more of your crew tomorrow morning.
Peggy Zabol Schwarzmer
I wanted to let you know how happy my family and I are with your recommendation of Crystal Remediation! We called you early on New Year’s Eve day explaining what had happened in our home. You recommended Crystal and said you would have them at the house by 1:30. Really, I thought. 1:30 on NYE? I honestly figured it would be Tuesday after the holiday before anyone would be out. But lo and behold, at 1:30 PM on Sunday, there was Steve and his crew from Crystal at the door. Led by Steve, these men were courteous, kind and genuinely concerned for our well being. Steve immediately set out assessing the damage. His crew stayed until nearly 5pm, setting up the giant dehumidifier and fans throughout the house and said they would be back first thing Tuesday morning to “clean things up”. I put that in quotes because, while the house was a disaster because of the flood, they made it clean and livable! On behalf of my entire family, Thank you.
PJ. A., Suffield, CT

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