Due Diligence = Tank Sweeps with GPR
Was your home built before 1990?
Do you have a house that had coal heat (home built 1800 to 1940’s used coal for fuel).
Do you know that natural gas become popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s?
Many people are surprised that homes built from early 1900 to 1980’s used oil for a heat source. People think that natural gas was prevalent everywhere, when in reality natural gas was not available in many areas when homes were initially built. Many residential developments were built where natural gas lines were not in place and developers did not always wait for the natural gas utility to run lines for new developments so oil was the easiest option. Levittown is a prime example of land being developed into thousands of homes, all with oil heat.
Have you noticed a pair of pipes coming from either your foundation or the ground next to your home, one with a curved end and the other blunt and capped but never knew what they were?
If you see evidence of these pipes on your property or the property you are buying, you are observing signs that there is a buried oil tank. These pipes were likely once used for venting and filling underground oil tanks, and if they are present, chances are good that a tank is buried on the property.
If you find evidence of an oi tank, your first inclination maybe to ignore it (hey you bought the house not knowing). Maybe when you sell the property the buyer will not care. Maybe you google buried oil tank and find some seriously scary pages on how these tanks leaks and remediation can run thousands of dollars. Now you are thinking the tank could lower the value of your property. What do you do? Call an expert, at Curren Environmental we have been dealing with oil tanks for over 20 years, we are expert bar none.
Ok maybe you do not want to deal with the tank, maybe you want to hide it further and hope no one asks. Then you google more about tanks and realize that homebuyers commonly have tank scans performed to evaluate properties for hidden oil tanks.
Tank scans or sweeps are performed as part of normal buyer due diligence during a real estate transaction. Due diligence is what a buyer perform prior to purchase to protect themselves from liability. A home inspection is a form of due diligence, but most all home inspection exclude oil tank scans.
The benefit of finding an underground tank before purchasing a property is to avoid the cost of cleaning up a leak caused from the tank. If you buy the property, you buy the problem. Tank scans have exponentially increased as part of a typical residential purchase in the last 10 years. What buyer and sellers are finding is that tanks are present that owners never addressed. Some sites we find tanks that had been previously filled in place in place with sand or foam. Some sites even have paperwork.
What buyers and seller often fail to realize is that the most important question about any oil tank is if it leaked. What most homebuyers do not know is that thousands of properties in NJ have undergone oil tank removals where the tank leaked and the contamination was never cleaned up.