Top 5 Reasons Why Oil Tank Abandonment is Essential For Your Property

Many older homes had oil tanks buried underground. When these tanks were abandoned in place, they often did not receive any documentation stating they were clean and leaked-free or had leak tests performed.

This can cause issues when attempting to sell the property in the future. Mortgage companies are wary of homes with buried tanks that need better documentation and leak tests.

Environmental Issues

Homeowners often need to abandon their oil tanks properly, which can lead to soil contamination. This problem can cause problems when it comes time to sell the property because savvy home buyers will have the soil tested and want proof that the tank has been properly abandoned.

During oil tank abandonment, soils overlying the tank are hand excavated, and the tank itself is drilled and filled with an excavatable flowable fill (a mix of sandy cement slurry that fills the hole without leaving air pockets). Then the land is restored.

Homeowners that don’t have their old buried oil tanks abandoned and filled in place run the risk of spending thousands cleaning up contaminated soils should a leak occur. And this is not something that homeowner’s insurance typically covers.

Health Issues

If an underground oil tank leaks, it can contaminate the soil and groundwater. This contamination can spread and affect neighboring properties as well as wildlife. Cleaning contaminated soil and water can be expensive and usually not covered by homeowners insurance.

There are different methods to decommission a buried oil tank. One way is to remove the tank, which can be costly and time-consuming. Another way is to have the oil tank filled in place with foam or sand. This can be cheaper and time-consuming, but it does not prove that all the oil and oily sludge has been removed from the tank.

Many recommend using a method that includes opening the tank, cleaning it, and having it tested. They then provide a report and documentation signed by a licensed geologist stating that the tank has been abandoned.

Insurance Issues

When a property has an underground oil tank, the new homeowners may face problems when it comes time to apply for homeowner’s insurance. Mortgage companies often hesitate to fund homes with tanks because the liability and cleanup costs associated with a leak are costly.

Some homeowners try to save money by “abandoning” an old buried oil tank. This is not recommended. Proper oil tank abandonment requires that the tank be opened, cleaned, inspected, and filled in place with sand or foam by a licensed oil tank abandonment Westchester County NY, contractor.

This process also includes performing soil tests close to and at the tank depth. These tests are critical because they prove that the tank has been dealt with legally.

Property Value Issues

Selling the property can be challenging if a home has an underground oil tank that needs to be adequately abandoned. Mortgage companies are wary of lending to homeowners with old buried tanks and require the property to be tested for contaminated soil before closing on a home.

A reputable company that handles oil tank abandonment will remove the underground oil tank and perform soil tests around the site and at the depth of the tank. During this process, the fill and vent pipes are removed as well.

As a result, the property value of your home will increase because the house will be more attractive to prospective buyers. It also allows you to qualify for lower insurance premiums.

Legal Issues

When oil was phased out, many homeowners needed clear instructions on what to do with their underground tanks. Unfortunately, many of these tanks were left in place and abandoned. These buried tanks are now leaking and creating environmental issues that are difficult to resolve.

A reputable company will test for soil contamination, clean and fill the tank (sand, stone, or concrete) and disconnect any pipes from the tank. They will then file a notarized Certificate of Abandonment with the Town. This is a crucial step, especially when it comes time to sell your home. Mortgage companies are wary of leaking tanks and will require proof that your tank was properly decommissioned and abandoned before they will approve a mortgage.

Even if you have documentation that your tank was abandoned correctly, many home buyers will make their offer contingent upon removing it.

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