Puffback Cleanup

A puffback occurs when an oil-fueled furnace breaks down and causes a sudden “puff” of oily dust particles that settle everywhere. The soot residue from a puffback has different binders. It is bound by hot oils that burst out of the house registers, leaving oily soot everywhere. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including respirators, during this cleanup job.

Basic Method

  1. Remove all debris.
  2. Using a pump-up sprayer, spray all horizontal surfaces with OdorX 9-D-9 diluted at 3-6 ounces per gallon of water.
  3. Place OdorX Crystal Odor Counteractants (C.O.C.) in small containers in the duct system. They usually work at 2 oz per 100 square feet.
  4. Thermal Fog using OdorX Thermal 55 Bluegrass undiluted in your thermal fogger.
  5. Using a duct cleaning system, clean the ducting out completely and seal before the heating system can be turned back on.
  6. Using UnSmoke Degrease-All (diluted per label instruction), clean all surfaces using rags.  It is not recommended to use dry cleaning sponges on puffbacks as the soot residue is very oily and this can push the oil into the pores of the material being cleaned.
  7. After cleaning, seal all affected surfaces with BIN and repaint.