As a homeowner, knowing what could be hidden beneath your home is just as important as what you can see on the surface. What many new property owners often don’t realize, however, is that there could be an old oil tank still buried underground, which could pose a serious hazard to the environment and their family’s safety. Take a look at just some of the dangers of hidden oil tanks and what you can do to make sure there’s not one buried underneath your home.
The biggest concern with oil tanks that are buried underground is that they have the potential to leak into the surrounding soil. Not only is this soil contamination a major environmental and public health issue, but it could also put your health at risk by contaminating the groundwater that may feed your well or even the public water system.
When an oil leak or spill reaches a certain level of soil contamination, it is required by law to be reported to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This will begin a drawn-out cleanup process that is not only very costly but could also hinder the selling process if you’re in the middle of trying to sell your home. In addition, depending on your location, you may be responsible for the cost of damage repairs and cleanup of surrounding properties if they were directly affected by an oil tank leak on your property.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies have found a way around having to pay for the cost of damages caused by underground oil spills. In New Jersey, for instance, insurance companies are not required to cover the cost of damages caused by oil tanks unless the homeowner can prove that the leak happened before the New Jersey Fuel Oil Tank Exclusion Policy was passed in 2005.
Thus, you could be held accountable for the full cost of cleanup, should a hidden oil tank on your property burst or even gradually leak.
How an Oil Tank Remediation Company Can Help
If you’re considering buying or have recently purchased a home, it’s a good idea to call in a certified professional to perform an oil tank sweep of the property. That way, you can know for sure whether or not there is an underground oil tank that could potentially cause you problems, headaches, and financial burdens down the road.
If an oil tank is detected, a team of professionals can then perform an oil tank remediation, meaning they will safely and properly remove the oil tank from your property, thus eliminating these risks.
Oil tank sweeps and remediation are quickly becoming an important part of the home buying process, along with more familiar things like mold and asbestos testing. Although assessing these risks prior to the purchase or sale of your home might seem like an extra step at first, they will be absolutely worth it in the long run if it means keeping your family and community safe and potentially saving thousands of dollars in cleanup costs later.
For more information on Oil Tanks, reach out to Bioterra Solutions so we can help get you some answers!