Oil heat is a warm, efficient way to heat a home, especially if you live in a colder climate. This was the primary source of heating for decades. From around 1930 to 1975 most residential oil tanks were buried. At the time, homeowners were happy to hide the big eye soar. Now we know that a buried oil tank is an accident waiting to happen.
Removing the tank from the ground, or leaving it in place through oil tank abandonment Westchester County NY, should be a priority on your to-do list. If a tank is buried on your property, then it is important to know its condition. Here are some of the risks of leaving it below ground.
Oil tanks are built to last around 20 years, but leaks regularly happen. Shifts in the ground due to environmental factors can weaken the integrity of the tank just enough to cause a leak. When your tank is buried, there is no way to tell if it’s leaking. Small leaks could go on for years before they are discovered. If there is a leak, clean-up costs start in the thousands. The soil will need to be excavated and replaced everywhere oil spreads. If it reached the groundwater, the cost of remediation skyrockets.
If you’ve been exposed to oil fumes you may experience nausea, headaches and dizziness. Often, these symptoms appear before you know there is a leak. If you smell oil around the tank, then you should immediately leave your home.
After you are done paying to clean up and repair an oil leak on your property, there may still be more costs to come. Remember, everywhere the oil leak traveled needs environmental remediation. It is unlikely the oil stuck to your property line, so often neighbors end up getting involved. Homeowners have been sued by HOA’s and even nearby businesses if a leak contaminated wells and groundwater.