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Puff-Back & CO2 Danger


Gas and oil-fired boilers, furnaces, fireplaces, and their exhaust ventilation stacks/chimneys can seriously contaminate your property and endanger your life if you fail to service them.  Depending on your usage, maintaining your equipment on a schedule can save you from a dirty time consuming clean-up.


Unlike smoke detectors that have been affordably available since the early ’70s, CO2 detectors only became common in the early ’90s, and since then they saved thousands of lives from the deadly colorless, odorless poison gas called CO2, produced by several different fuels.

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Insurance carriers have been changing the way they pay claims, and more than ever are shifting the burden onto policyholders when using the “failing to maintain”policy clause. For years, the “failing to maintain”exclusion clause applied to policyholder damages resulting from issues of utility service termination (non-payment), running out of oil and similar situations; however, in recent years carriers are targeting policyholders who they believe did not reasonably service their equipment thereby exposing the carrier to an “increased hazard”, which theory requires a high standard of proof; however, it doesn’t stop carrier adjusters from limiting or altogether denying claims.


Although there is a substantial difference between fireplace soot and oil puff backs, these perils are difficult to detect and clean. By far, oil is the most difficult to clean, and the damages can occur gradually. We can recommend the experts that will conduct thorough decontamination of your property.

Every surface in your home or business can become contaminated with a fine layer of a black oily substance (partly-burnt) number two fuel oil before you notice the damages.

Depending on the type of heating system you have, black soot can travel throughout your structure in a matter of minutes, if it originates from a hot-water heater during the summer months your air conditioning system can also spread contaminants.

Even a light puff back can bring out normally undetectable cobwebs in areas furthest away from the source of the problem.


Oil puff-backs are impossible to completely clean.  You may feel that this is a bold statement; however, if you are a professional cleaning company or previously suffered a severe puff-back, you will agree that short of disassembling your entire building and its property, you will always find residual oil deposits well after your clean-up. Additionally, in some cases, carrier adjusters put unreasonable time constraints and labor dollar limits on their preferred vendors, which can be disastrous for your property and environment.  The trick is to find a dedicated cleaning company that will not be afraid to bill your carrier for the time needed to extract as much of the contaminant from your property as they are able.  A public adjuster will work to protect your interest to stop carrier bullying.

You don’t have to go it alone. CPAC is here to help!




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