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Oil Tank Pit Falls  Buyer Beware

May 18, 2018 12:50:08 PM / by david sulock

It should be common knowledge that buried oil tanks can be a problem. We get questions from unsure clients regarding liability of buying a home with an oil tank. - here's the 7 Most things you should know that can potentially save you a lot of money:

1) A buried oil tank will not necessarily be known or disclosed by the property seller.  Buyer Due Diligence is critical in performing a tank sweep.Tank Sweeps with GPR


  GPR scan with image

The buyer, buyer's attorney and the buyer's real estate agent should assume the responsibility of finding if they are buying a home with a buried oil tank.

2) Oil tanks and roofs have similar life spans (20 to 30 years are reasonable).  The vast majority of buried underground oil tanks have exceeded their expected life expectancy. That means the risk of a leak increases with each day until the tank is removed.

3)  Construction code places the burden of tank closure (when taken out of service) on the owner.  In most cases, the seller should and will pay for the cost of oil tank removal and/or soil remediation before closing - even when a tank is found to exist with a tank sweep by the buyer.

4).  Mortgage and insurance companies will not provide a mortgage or insure a home with an old buried oil tank.


Holed Tank with writing-5

5)  Holes in a tank did not necessarily mean that remediation is required.  Every State allows a certain amount of oil to remain in the ground from a tank leak.  Meaning just like cholesterol, there are good and bad levels of oil.   Contracts for tank removal should include testing as it is naive to believe that some oil may not have leaked from a old buried oil tank. Holes or petroleum odors in a tank excavation are not conclusive evidence that remediation is warranted.

6)   Buying a home where an underground oil tank was removed and no report with laboratory testing is available (or completed) is taking a risk.   Many tank leaks go unreported, not remediated or unknown to current owners of a property.


7) Luck number 7, if you are reading this and have questions regarding an oil tank or about a property you are buying where a tank may exist?  Call the experts, we offer a free initial consultation   888-301-1050

david sulock

Written by david sulock

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