Friday, July 24, 2015

How to Deal With Oil Tanks When Buying a Home

When buying a home, one of the first actions after the attorney review has concluded is having an inspection done on the house. Inspection reports help a person determine the possible defects that may come along with their new purchase. In addition to having the house inspection, an inspection on the property should be done.

In New Jersey, one of the main issues that arise during the home inspection is the detection of underground oil tanks or storage tanks. The leading use for oil tanks on residential properties is heating oil. Although oil tanks are used for storage to help properly heat a home, they come with a price. Oil tanks frequently leak, and the hazardous materials contained in the tank are detrimental to our environment and our water. Not only does leakage damage the environment, the clean-up of any leak can be quite costly.

If an underground tank is discovered on a property you plan to buy, there are multiple measures you can take to prevent a future problem. The most common procedures when dealing with an oil tank are removing the tank or decommissioning it. Removal of an underground tank is simply physically taking the tank out of the ground. Decommissioning it, however, is when the tank remains in the ground but is completely cleaned out and refilled with sand or some other solid material.

Most people would believe each option prevents any future problem, but many studies show a different story. In New Jersey, it is proved many decommissioned oil tanks, although they have been cleaned, still may contain hazardous materials. These hazardous materials can still leak and contaminate our environment because the tank is still physically in the ground. The best way to deal with an oil tank problem is to completely remove the tank itself.

This solution is the only way to truly know there can be no future environmental issues because the entire problem has been removed. When buying a house, removing any underground tank is the best way to help the new owner sleep soundly at night.