Curren Environmental Blog

Why do I have mold?  Will mold come back after remediation?

Posted by David C Sulock on Nov 25, 2019 10:51:00 AM

"Why do I have mold?", is a common question we get from people who discover mold in their homes.   The short answer is that 95% of the time it is a moisture or a water problem.   Yes, mold can come back after remediation if you do not fix what caused the mold.  It can also come back if the mold was not properly remediated (wiping with bleach is not mold remediation).

Thousands of mold inspections and remediations have allowed a broad evaluation of mold growth patterns.  You can't be a good mold inspector if you are not accomplished in mold remediation.  Getting down and dirty remediating mold allows you to witness first hand how mold growth has occurred.  Remediating often times requires you to open up walls to get at the mold growth and you obtain a perspective as to how/why mold grows. 

Photo Oct 09, 9 43 30 AM-1   2018.10.26 12.06.31.535-2

Photo Nov 02, 12 47 54 PM

For instance, wood studs allow mold to grow more aggressively than metal studs when you have a wet area.   Floating concrete slabs can enhance mold growth on ceilings. When there are areas of termite damage you should expect to find mold growth as termites like a moist environment, like mold.   Did you know that your beloved mulch beds around your home can aid in humidity in a basement and crawlspace? Thus, creating an ideal environment for mold growth.  Also, the dehumidifier bucket that you got sick of emptying (filled with water every 2 days) now sits unplugged in the basement, ruining your line of defense in controlling moisture and keeping mold at bay. These factors as well as a host of other environmental and degrading building in fracture are the common culprits that cause mold to grow in a home.

(For example, lack of drainage and added mulch beds led to mold growth)

Curren Environmental does mold remediation to homes that have had mold remediation previously and the mold grew back, meaning remediation was not successful.  This happens due to top lack of following proper mold remediation protocols, using inferiors products to prevent mold growth from reoccurring and lastly removing the moisture source (many times there are more than one source) identification.  (Curren had one project where there for four sources of moisture that fueled the mold growth.)

Mold growth is typically found in homes when the property is being sold.  It may not be bothering the seller, but it may affect the buyer.  Everyone has different intolerance and tolerances to mold growth, one of the reasons there are no federal regulations governing mold growth. Mold growth can be a huge real estate deal breaker. If it wasn't it would be on the sale sheet, showing the moisture or water issue and where the area of mold growth. 

No, mold growth will not be on the sale sheet.  It is best to remediate the mold growth before the property is on the market, removing the issue in its entirety. 

Questions on mold remediation? Follow this link or call Curren Environmental today. 

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Tags: mold assessments, mold consultant, professional mold remediation

Why every home should have a tank sweep?

Posted by david sulock on Nov 18, 2019 9:15:00 AM

Curren Environmental has been solving tank related issues for over 20 years.   Oil tanks were like cell phones, they were ubiquitous in homes in the Northeastern United States.  Oil was king as the graph shows:

 

Does my home have an oil tank?

Oil heat was more popular than natural gas up until 1980!

In 1950 43.9% of homes had oil heat

In 1960 62.9% of homes had oil heat

In 1970 52.6% of homes had oil heat

 

So in 2019, what are the odds the home your buying has or had an oil tank? Pretty high for sure.   

 

oil tank leak and remediation

 

Tank Scans with GPR = Buyer Due Diligence

 

Scan for oil tanks before you buy a home

 

A tank scan found this tank.  You can see from the many holes in the tank, that the tank leaked.   Thankfully the home buyer had a tank sweep completed and found the tank.  The homeowner had to remove and remediate the oil tank.   

 

Oil Tank sweep found a leaking oil tank

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Tags: Due Diligence, underground oil tanks, tank sweep with gpr, tank sweeps with GPR, tank sweep, gpr tank swep

Top 8 Reasons Why You Need a Tank Scan.

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Nov 11, 2019 11:45:00 AM

Buying a home is one of the top ten most stressful situations in an adult’s life. The stress of the inspections, cost of inspections, time and effort put into buying the home is extensive. The amount of inspections one will go through to buy a property could be, at least, totaling six (6). One of those inspections should include searching for an underground oil tank.

Underground oil tanks have a finite life span and were not built to last forever. If you forego the tank scan, you may have just bought yourself an underground oil tank. If the tank leaks you could be faced with a large and pricey problem. Not all recent homeowners are even aware that they bought a home with an underground oil tank.

Top 8 Reasons for a Tank Scan:

1. House built before 1980.
2. Above Ground Oil Tank.
3. Fill Pipes.
4. Vent Pipes.
5. Copper lines are visible.
6. Neighborhood that typically has Underground Storage Tanks
7. Furnace Chimney.
8. Previous tank scan was done with a magnetometer.

House built before 1980
If the house was built before 1980 you should presume that there could be an underground oil tank unless the seller provides you information otherwise. But beware, if a tank scan was done with a magnetometer, the scan may not have been enough to identify an underground oil tank. Ground Penetrating Radar is the most advanced technology used in today’s market to identify buried tanks.

IMG_4352

Above Ground Oil Tank
Prior to oil used as the main heating source, coal was providing the heat in the home. Coal was difficult on the homeowner, as you would have to shovel coal every 4-8 hours to keep the heat on. After coal, oil tanks became a popular heating source. The tank was buried as it was not an added value in the property aesthetics. When homeowners believed that the underground oil tank was no longer working, or it was time for a new tank an aboveground oil tank was installed. In essence, if there is an aboveground oil tank than there is a possibility that an underground oil tank exists on the property.

Fill Pipe

Oil tanks have fill pipes where the oil is distributed to the vessel. The fill pipe is attached to the oil tank and is what the oil delivery company uses to fill the tank with oil. If the fill pipe is noticeable during the home inspection, then that is a sign of an underground oil tank.



Vent Pipe
The vent pipe on the oil tank allows air/fumes to escape from the tank when the fuel is being added. The vent pipe commonly has a mushroom like cap to keep water from entering the oil tank. If a vent pipe is visible than that is sign that there my have been an underground oil tank at the property. If only a vent pipe is found then that means the tank may have been abandoned in place, meaning filled with sand or another inert material.

Copper Lines in Basement Leading to underground oil tank-1

Copper Lines
The oil fuel lines are made of copper tubing (lines) that allow the fuel to move from the tank to the furnace and back to the tank. The supply line provides the fuel from the tank to the furnace and the return line supplies the fuel that was not used back to the tank. If there is any evidence of current lines or lines that were cut, then there may have been an underground oil tank.

 

 

Neighborhood
Neighborhoods start with one home, moving to many, many more homes. Each neighborhood has a timeline, starting with the first home built. If this home was built prior to the 80’s than there is a possibility that a tank was on the property. The neighborhood may not have had a gas hook up line till after the homes were built, meaning there needed to be another source of heat prior to gas. If the neighborhood homes were built prior to gas in the neighborhood that it is likely that there is another source of heat and that could mean an underground oil tank.

A Furnace Chimney
In many old homes the chimney was not just used for wood burning, it was used for coal or oil. Check the chimney and see how many flues there are.

Previous tank scan with a Magnetometer.
There have been many instances where Curren Environmental is called upon to determine whether what the previous metal detector tank scan found is an underground oil tank. Metal detectors find any metal in the structure or asphalt/concrete. A/C units, reinforced concrete and chain link fences all have metal. There have been water lines and sewer lines that have been thought to be underground oil tanks, or on the flip side they were thought to be sewer or water lines and not an underground oil tank. To save money on inspections, start with the Ground Penetrating Radar not with a metal detector.


More questions?  Call our office today and speak to someone in person.

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Tags: OIl Tank Sweeps, tank scans

Top 10 Green Practices you can do for home or work

Posted by david sulock on Nov 6, 2019 11:25:21 AM

Everyone wants to be green, but as  a famous frog once said its not easy being green.  Working in the environmental field we are exposed to some of the best green practices people can follow.  A sad truth of being green is people want to be green on the cheap. These ten green tips can be done free and at low cost, but you will be paying big dividends to the environment.

Here is a bonus tip, share this page,  If one person you share this page with does one of the green practices you have helped the environment. 

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Top 10 Green Practices You can do on the cheap!

1. Use your reusable shopping bags.   Usage rate is under 20%, the top reason, people forget them, 80% of people say they do own the bags.  The next time you go to the store, place a stack of bags on the car seat, so you won't forget. For extra measure place a purse or cell phone on top of the bags. Reusable Shopping Bags

Cost = Free (If you own these bags already)

image-1

2. Use reusable produce bags. Since your going shopping, why not bring your reusable produce bags?   Same as idea as shopping bags, except you realy get any free ones, you typically have to buy them.  Unfortunately you rarely see these bags for sale or get them given to you as a freebee, if you click the photo you can find some decent quality bags on Amazon.

Cost = $12.00  or Free (If you own these bags already), most people don't 

things to do to be green

3Buy reusable coffee pods Single serve coffee makers can actually be green, since you are not wasting water or coffe.  But when you use the single use coffe cups, you are not being green.  But reusable pods.

 

Cost = $15.00 for 12, split them with a friend and cost gets cut in half

4. Reusable Straws: Plastic straws and other items smaller than two by two inches, such as plastic utensils, fall through the machinery that sorts our recycling.Plastic straw Don’t Get Recycled.

Cost = $6.00

IMG_8332

5.  At restaurants ask for a straw free table.   What is a straw free table?   Any table you sit at that the server knows you don't want to use straws.   Be real, you are in that seat for a short while, you don't need a straw.  Oh and when the server places the straw on the table and you don't use it and think  it will get reused?  Think again, its gets thrown away of you use it or not. Go straw free.

Cost = Free

6 Insulate your hot water heater.   Mom always said to wear layers. So while your water heater has insulation, more is better and cheap. Insulating your water heater reduces standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save you about 7%–16% in water heating costs—and should pay for itself in about a year. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available from around $35.00. We like the blankets without fiberglass as the fiberglass jackets can tear when things bang into the jackets.  This one can also be reused when you replace the water heater if you are careful taking it off.  

Cost = $20.00 to $35.00

6. Wash 95% of your laundry in cold.  True only about 5% of clothing requires warm water: READ THE TAG. The average cost of water heating is $41.10 a month with three hours of use per day. People insist on using hot water for washing and cleaning because they believe it removes dirt, grease, and grime better, as well as disinfect the clothes. And that’s true, but hot water also ruins your clothes, causes the color to fade, and shrinks the fabric. You can save energy and money by  cutting back on the amount of hot water you use to do laundry. With cold-water detergents,  the cleansing enzymes are designed to work better in cold water.   Just look for COLD on the label, they are the same price as warm water, you just don't have to pay for hot water.

Cost = Free  * these are typically the same price as warm water detergent

7.  Stop using plastic water bottles.  Did you know in the 1980's, the big beverage companies saw the decline of carbonated soda?   Perrier became popular in the 1980's.   We have been slowly weaned onto using single serve water bottles, which we all know are terrible for the environment.  The two biggest reasons people bottled water is concerns about water quality and laziness.  I cant help about laziness, but if your home refrigerator dispenses water, it has an inline water filter, typically carbon filtration which is a universal filter.   You can fill up your REUSABLE water bottle from your refrigerator.  Fact, did you know many bottled waters are tap water? 

No doubt you have multiple bottles at home you can use. We particular like the Swell brand, liquids stay cold all day, this 25 ounce bottle is a bounty of a thirst quencher and the wood finish makes you look like a real tree hugger.

Cost = Free* to $31.00   *Odds are you already have a reusable bottle

 

8.  Go paperless billing.  Most all bills you receive can be converted into an electronic ebill (bill is emailed to you). Ebills, save postage, fossel fuel as no vehicle must transport the bill and lastly paper.  Most people pay bills online anyway saving postage, so why not receive your bill on,ine as well?   66% of bills are still mailed.  Lets get it below 50%.

Cost = Free

9.  Air seal your home.   You have air leaks for sure.  Every catch a mouse in the house?  They come through gaps.  Go in your basement during the day and turn off the lights.  Look for light shining through.  Common openings are where hose bibs exit the foundation, where the sill plates meets the foundation, holes where you may have drilled to run a pipe or cable.   Fill these gaps with foam.

Cost =  $6.00/can

10. Improve your windows.  Many windows leak air simple because the window is not 100% square in the frame.  Replacing windows is expensive.   Two simple things you can do.  One place foam insulating tape on the bottom of the window where the windows sits in the bottom of the frame.  This little trick can help seal the window by helping the window be square in the frame and having a tighter seal.  The 2nd tip is to have working locks on your windows and locking them, which further squares the window.    We do mold inspections and check windows.  On average 30% of windows are not locked, which allows air to leak in.   

Cost = $10.00 *   about 30 windows

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Tags: green practices, green tips, cheap green practices, being grren, green things we can do everyday, be greener, things to do to be green

Mold Testing & Mold Inspections

Posted by david sulock on Oct 3, 2019 10:19:27 AM

Mold is truly a four letter word and also a very misunderstood term.  You've heard of "Black Mold" (not a real mold term) or "Toxic Mold" (no such thing)? In the mold testing and mold inspection industry "black toxic mold" should not be used.  Misinformation abounds, so here are some important facts about mold, mold remediation and mold testing

when do you test mold?

Growing mold off-gases, causing that musty odor you smell, and if you think your basements smells that way because it is a basement, you're wrong,  it's not supposed to smell musty.  Mold growth stains surfaces and is visible if you understand where and what to identify as mold.  If you see mold growing inside a building, something is wrong, it is not normal or typical, even at the shore/beach.  Curren knows because we have inspected thousands of properties and, no, they all do not have mold growing.

Pertaining to mold testing, when obvious mold is present the EPA agrees testing is not necessary.

If you have discolored building materials and are not 100% if its mold, surface sampling can be performed for verification of questionable staining indicative of mold.

mold testing

Mold Testing can verify if a stained or discolored surface is impacted with mold growth, such as  surface sampling and/or air testing (non viable spore trap sampling). These mold tests quantify both mold spore count in a room and also evaluates for hidden mold in a complaint room where no visible mold is present.

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Pro Tip:  Buying a house that is being flipped and the basement is finished, get a mold inspection with mold testing.

Pro Tip:  Buying a home that was bank owned and rehabbed?  Get a mold inspection with mold testing.

mold air testing

Our ratio of finding hidden mold in both situations is around 90%, but 70% of the time we get called in AFTER someone has bought one of these types homes, in cases such as these, mold is found after you own the property.

Proper mold remediation is the removal of an unwanted condition, such as mold. This follows a multi-step process which typically entails containment of work area, followed by physical removal, cleaning and encapsulation of remaining organic surfaces and air scrubbing, all of which are appropriate and proposed for the subject site.

Curren Environmental has over 20 years’ experience in the environmental field and we provide Certified Education (CE) classes on environmental topics, including mold, so we know what we are talking about. There are only 11 states in the country that have mold regulations and licensing  programs and New Jersey is not one of them. Curren nor any other company in New Jersey holds a New Jersey license for mold remediation as the license does not exist. Generally speaking, mold remediation follows asbestos abatement guidelines to contain a workspace, establish air filtration and remove (remediate) mold. Curren has personnel that hold asbestos licensing and our personnel follow these procedures from independent training schools as well as in-house training program.

Expert advice from mold experts

888-301-1050

 

Tags: mold contractor, Mold Testing, mold inspections, mold survey, mold consultant

Does the Soil of a Previously Removed Oil Tank Need to be Tested?

Posted by david sulock on Sep 23, 2019 10:51:00 AM

The story goes, you have a property where an underground oil tank was removed by the previous owner. You as the current owner, didn’t question any environmental issues with the tank removal when you bought it, now you are selling the property and your buyer is asking for testing in the area where the tank was removed.

The previous owner supplied you, the current homeowner, with the following:

  1. Tank removal contract sating it was paid in full.
  2. A copy of the permit for removal from the town
  3. Approval sticker from the construction office

Why are the items above not enough for information regarding an underground oil tank removal to sell the house? In today's real estate market home buyers are more informed and they want iron clad data proving that the oil tank did not leak.

Those three pieces of information (contract, permit and approval sticker) does not prove the tank did or did not leak. The data set you have are just pieces of information, not a cohesive report with a narrative that ends with the conclusion that the tank did not leak. Environmental reports show the proper paperwork as appendices, but the actual report  details the work completed including  the evaluation and testing performed to confirm the tank did not leak. If you are an uninformed buyer, which 15-20 years ago is true, you assumed the tank didn’t leak. But again, in todays market buyers are assuming it did leak as you, the homeowner, have nothing saying to prove otherwise.

Example photos of soil sampling in a previously removed underground oil tank area.

Allow me to elaborate in greater detail - while the tank had a permit for removal and inspection, the construction official is not inspecting for leaks, they inspect if the tank was removed, as per the permit. I have had inspectors BOTH pass and fail removed tanks that did leak. A soil test for soil contamination is around $120.00, (Before 2005 the cost would have been $75.00), not performing soil testing is basically saying the owner does not want to find a problem, it’s not due to cost. 

You have no data from the day of removal that the tank did not leak, for example, a professional opinion from the tank removal company saying the tank did not leak. Don’t you think if it didn’t leak there would be something in writing? If it did leak, there is a high probability that they did receive the appropriate data from the removal company, but that piece of paper or email has been "lost".

There are laws regarding reporting an environmental leak from an oil tank when that leak is found. Prior to August of 2018, this law stated that a knowledgeable party was to report the leak, so a tank removal company telling a homeowner that the tank leaked and providing the NJDEP them the phone number to call, was very common. The question is if the homeowner actually reported the leak? Since August of 2018, the regulation requires the property owner to report the leak, but again, can you trust someone to report on themselves?

Call Curren TodayWe had a call recently from a home buyer on the same street and town where Curren Environmental previously removed an underground oil tank. The house the buyers found had an underground oil tank removed in 1995, the current homeowners had the removal permit and contract, but no soil testing data and no environmental report of removal, proving the tank did not leak. We provided compliance sampling for new buyer and found soil contamination. Thankfully for the buyers the property did not need remediation, but there was NJDEP reporting and further testing to close the environmental issue (about $4,500.00 in costs, also adding about two months to the settlement date). The tank did indeed leak, but no one reported it. If the buyer didn’t hire Curren they would have been sitting on a property with soil contamination they had neither created nor knew about but would have owned none the less, and no doubt a future buyer would have found.

Tags: tank leak, underground oil tanks

Oil Tank Removal New Jersey

Posted by David C Sulock on Sep 17, 2019 9:08:46 AM

You recently had your oil tank removed and there were holes in the tank. However, there are no indications of soil contamination but the company that removed the oil tank filed a report to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). You are unaware that you may have been naïve in choosing your oil tank removal company due to the fact that removing an oil tank hopefully would be a once in a lifetime event. At this point, you understand that clearly your tank removal contract should have included soil sampling, but it did not. You are also unaware that soil sampling must be completed, then the report is sent to NJDEP to close out the case number (assuming that it meets the state parameters for acceptable oil levels) and rescind the remedial action. 

residential oil tank removal

Regarding what soil sampling is and how it is performed, there are permissible levels of oil that can remain in the ground and conversely there are levels that would require remediation. New Jersey regulations require that upon removal of an oil tank that has evidence of a leak, you are to obtain a minimum of 5 soil samples from the tank excavation (5 for a 500 gallon tank and 6 for a 1000 gallon tank). This is relative to your contract for tank removal. If the contract did not reference soil sampling, you can’t guarantee soil samples would be obtained. Soil samples are critical to assess the tank excavation for petroleum levels. The testing is meant to inform the property owner if indeed oil levels are present and remediation is warranted or that levels are within permissible limits and can be left in place. Now, you, as the owner of the oil tank that leaks can make an informed decision regarding remediation. 

If your tank removal contract does not include costs for soil sampling or discusses the possibility of finding a tank leak, it is pretty safe to assume that the tank removal company is looking to find a leaking tank and remediation.

In a situation where a tank is removed, found to be leaking and no soil sampling was performed, you should be concerned as to whether the soil needs remediation. All discharges are required to be reported to the NJDEP (If your tank contract doesn’t inform you that a tank leak is reportable, think again about who you are hiring).

oil tank removal New Jersey
Example of soil testing by soil borings


The only way you would know if your tank leak has petroleum contamination in the soil above or below NJDEP permissible limits is to have soil sampling performed. If all your samples are in compliance with NJDEP regulations you will receive a No Further Action (NFA) letter that will close out the NJDEP case number. This can be performed without having to perform actual remediation, which is typically soil removal.

Again, the tank removal contract should have addressed obtaining soil samples and what to do if a leak was noted. Remember, holes are never good in an oil tank and you rarely will see physical evidence of an oil discharge in a tank excavation, meaning you are not going to see oil or stained soils.

Expert advice with over two decades of tank removal experience. Curren Environmental, Inc.

Call Curren Today

Tags: oil tank removal new jersey, NJDEP HOTS, underground oil tanks

Should you test oil tanks?

Posted by david sulock on Sep 10, 2019 8:00:30 AM

If an oil tank has been removed and showed no visible signs of leaking, should soil samples still be taken? An oil tank was removed and showed no visible signs of leaking, the tank removal contractor did a pressure test and passed. As the buyer of the property, I am concerned that the tank area has not been tested.

testing removed oil tanks

To test or not to test an oil tank at time of removal? We get that question almost daily from both owners of tanks and purchasers of a property where a tank will be or was removed. Should you test an oil tank?

Does your dentist test your teeth via x-ray to look for problems? Does a doctor perform testing on patients? Can you determine cholesterol from just the physical appearance of a patient? My point being throughout life you have professionals performing testing to evaluate your health, testing a removed oil tank is the same principal.

The most important question about an oil tank is if it leaked. Owners of tank don’t want to test because they don’t want to find a problem. Buyers want oil tank testing performed because they don’t want to buy a property where an oil tank leaked.

The cost for testing most tanks at time of removal is a couple hundred dollars. Not a budget breaker for sure but finding even a small leak can cost thousands of dollars to address and the party responsible for cleaning up any tank leak is the property owner. So, buying a property with a tank leak (even if the buyer didn’t know if the tank leaked at time of purchase) is the responsibility of the property owner.


Common scenario, buyer want to purchase a home that had prior oil heat. The oil tank was removed previously (tank removed years ago). Sometime the tank was removed by the current property owner, sometime the tank was removed by a previously owner and the current owner was not aware of the liability from oil tanks and didn’t question the lack of testing. Buyer is concerned about buying a home where a tank was removed. So, in addition to performing a home inspection, the buyer wants soil testing completed from the removed oil tank grave. Post removal testing involves drilling and obtaining soil samples from the former tank location. Do we find some level of oil when we test removed tank location, yes. Do we find remediation is required from this testing, sometimes yes. Is the owner shocked when wee find contamination from removed tank areas? Sometimes owners are surprised as they bought the home prior to removal and didn’t view the oil tank as a liability. But there are definitely times where the owner has a hint that oil would be found and was hoping no one would look.


Testing removed tank locations is not as easy as you would expect. As time passes the restored ground returns to normal and little evidence of the tank grave is visible. Owners have selective memory of where the tank was and often point to absurd locations where the tank was removed. This requires sleuthing on our part and performing rows of soil boring to attempt to find the proverbial oil tank in the haystack. Any detection of oil found from a tank area is reported to the state as a spill clearly occurred.

Photo with boring info on it

Know before you buy a property that had oil heating. Testing is always advised by tank removal companies (The good ones at least). If testing was not performed, you have to ask, why? Buy a home with an oil tank leak and you just purchased an oil tank cleanup.


Over 20 years’ experience with oil tanks. Want expert advice? Call the experts’ 888-301-1050.

Tags: oil tank removal nj, tank removal, oil tank, underground oil tanks

Good vs. Bad Underground Oil Tanks. Which Tank do you have?

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Aug 22, 2019 11:29:00 AM

Questions that are quite often asked “Do I have a good underground oil tank or a bad one?”, or “What is the difference between a good or bad underground oil tank?”. Answering questions regarding underground oil tanks is an easy one, if your tank has been under ground since tanks started being buried (late 1940’s to early 1950’s), then there is no good or bad tank – you need to remove that oil tank. The tank has exceeded any functional and reasonable life expectancy.

In situations when the underground oil tank is still in use and older , the oil tank should be removed and replaced with an aboveground oil tank. Ask yourself a simple question, “Would you buy the house with an oil tank that old in the ground?”.

Tank Removal Question

Underground Oil Tank with holes

Anything subject to corrosion such as a metal tank deposited in the ground has a finite life span, time will cause any underground oil tank to leak. There are no warrant

ies for oil tanks that were placed into the ground over 40/20 years ago. Warranties on oil tanks that are bought today have only a 1 to 10-year warranty. Also, you most likely do not even have insurance that would cover an oil tank leak at this point. Insurance companies started to negotiate covering oil tanks and began removing coverage when the carriers suffered huge claims from underground oil tanks leaking years ago.

Why remove your underground oil tank? You may not see the tank or use the tank but the longer it sits underground the more time it has to rust and for holes to occur, causing oil or residual oil to seep into the ground. Many oil tanks that Curren Environmental remove were in use and found to be leaking and showed no evidence of leakage to the owner prior to removal.

What if you decided to sell your property? Today with that oil tank in the ground, the “buyer” would have a difficult time getting a mortgage and homeowners insurance. You underground oil tank is not “good” sitting underground waiting to for removal. Again, consider if you would buy the home again knowing what you know now about oil tanks.

How would yooil tank delineationu know if you had a “bad” oil tank? You won’t know anything about that oil tank until its removed and soil samples are provided. Soil samples are grabbed directly beneath the oil tank once it has been removed. Those soil samples are taken to an independent lab, analyzed and a report is provided to the client discussing if those soil samples are Non-Detect (ND) or above standards. More information can be found here regarding sampling. Each state has different regulations regarding how much oil is allowed in the soils. NJ is one of the strictest states regarding oil tank removal and contaminated soils.

If you know the age of your oil tank, there were differences between the 1950’s tanks as opposed to the 1970’s tanks. The steel from the 1950’s was stronger and thicker, meaning if the tank was built and put in the ground during that era, the steel may last longer. But remember, if it was put under ground that was over 60-70 years ago! Even if that tank is no longer in use, why keep it in the ground? Nothing is meant to last forever – well maybe plastic water bottles.

There are no good or bad underground oil tanks, just underground oil tanks that need to be removed. To learn more on the removal of your underground tank, soil sampling and costs contact Curren Environmental today by filling out the Form to the right or by calling us now.

Call Curren Today

Tags: tank removal, oil tank, underground oil tanks

The Truth! Mold in Basements.

Posted by Tiffany Byrne on Jul 29, 2019 10:16:00 AM

One of the most inspected areas for Mold Inspections are basements. Basements are subterranean, meaning basements are under the earth’s surface. It is cooler under the earth’s surface and the soils under the surface holds moisture. Mold growth occurs on organic surfaces such as wood, furniture, and porous items. Mold does not grow on steel or metal unless there are dirt and dust particles, mold can grow on those organic materials.

Moisture can get out of control when not properly managed in subterranean areas, causing mold growth over time on organic surfaces. There are also some one time-events that can happen such as water rising from the ground and into the sub flooring, or leaking through windows, foundations, vents and doorways. Other events such as a pipe bursting and plumbing leaks (hot water heather leak when they fail), if not fixed will cause mold growth.

First and foremost, in any subterranean space a dehumidifier should be running continuously year round. A dehumidifier will reduce and maintain the level of humidity in the air surrounding it. The dehumidifier works by grabbing the moisture in the air and then dumping it into the “tray”. Instead of emptying this tray every day or every other day or never…run a hose from the dehumidifier to an area where the water can be delivered such as sump pump or sink.

Mold needs moisture and organic materials to grow, such as in the basement photo below. This basement had water intrusion, no lid on the sump pump and no working dehumidifier. Water was also coming from all four corners of the basement and was not corrected.

Mold Growth on basement Rafter

Because the water issue was not resolved and there was no dehumidifier, mold growth occurred. Mold growth does not happen overnight, it takes a while for it grow and when it grabs a toehold on organic materials, it will grow in the right conditions fast.

Sump Pump No Lid leads to Mold-1

There are other instances where mold growth occurs because there are no dehumidifiers running.For example, in the picture below, if you look closely, you will see a film on the wood paneling, these are colonies of mold growth. There was no water entry into this basement, mold growth occurred overtime due to the moisture in the air and the organic materials (wood paneling) for mold to grow on.

Mold growth on panneling walls

Mold growth was found on the wood paneling. The basement above was inspected during the summer, which is hot but cooler below the earth’s surface. There was no dehumidifier running and the basement was very humid. In situations such as above, if mold growth is on one side it will be on the other side of the paneling.

Last – don’t do this! All this does is hide the problem, not take care of the problem – it may even cause more!

Does not Prevent Mold Growth-1

Check your basement for any leaks, water intrusions and provide a dehumidification system.If you do not, mold growth will occur, you may not see it now, but trust me, you will soon

Tags: mold inspections, mold assessments