Tips When Buying a House With Aboveground Oil Tank

Tips When Buying a House With Aboveground Oil Tank

Are you in the process of buying a house with an aboveground oil tank? Regardless of where the tank is located, you must take the necessary precautions. Residential aboveground tanks are easier to maintain than underground tanks, but they can also be damaged more easily. If there is an oil spill, it will contaminate the soil and groundwater and endanger the entire environment, including your life and the lives of your family members. And, the cleanup costs a lot of money.


Here are some tips when buying a house with an aboveground oil tank.


  1. Inspect the tank for leaks and damages

Look closely at the exterior of the tank. Are there any leaking seams? Are there any perforations? Are there any dents? Is there any excessive rust? If the answer is “Yes” to all four questions, then the tank needs to be repaired. If the tank is leaking and there is oil on the ground (or floor), then the soil and groundwater are probably contaminated. But, of course, that depends on how long it has been leaking. If the exterior is covered with rust, then it probably won’t last long. Ask the owner of the house to either remove the tank or have it repaired.


  1. Have the tank tested for integrity

Regardless of whether the tank is old or new, it is always a good idea to have it tested for integrity. Request a comprehensive integrity test, which should include testing the tank, as well as the surrounding soil and even the groundwater. The test can identify where the leak is or is likely to occur, which will help you avoid a costly repair or removal later. If the soil and groundwater are contaminated and the contamination level exceeds government limits, then ask the homeowner to conduct a site remediation. Before buying the house, make sure the tank fulfills all the aboveground oil tank requirements.


  1. Consider buying a tank insurance policy

If the tank is in good condition and you intend to use it, then consider buying a tank insurance policy. Because aboveground tanks are susceptible to rusting and physical damages, insuring it can save you a lot of money when something goes wrong. Tank insurance policies provide coverage for leaking tanks, and that includes cleanup costs. Since cleanup can cost a lot of money if the soil and groundwater are contaminated, the tank insurance will take a lot of the load off your back. As with other types of policies, there will be certain exclusions. Therefore, go through the terms and conditions carefully before signing up.


  1. Use only a licensed contractor for oil tank removal

If you are going to repair or remove the tank yourself after purchasing the house, then make sure to use only a licensed contractor. While most states do not require heating oil tank contractors to possess a state certification, the state of New Jersey does. Be careful of contractors who do not have state certification. Otherwise, you will find yourself on the wrong side of the state’s environmental protection laws. Also, ask them to submit testimonials and recommendations. Get a second opinion from your neighbors, friends, and colleagues before hiring a heating oil contractor.


  1. Consider relocating the oil tank to a more convenient place

If you think the oil tank is inconveniently located, then consider relocating it. For example, many homes have their oil tanks in their basements. If you want to use the basement for other purposes, such as to convert it into a gym, then you can move it to another place where it won’t become a hindrance. Can I have an oil tank outside? This is one of the questions most frequently asked by first-time homebuyers. The answer is yes. You can have an oil tank anywhere on your property. You can have it installed in your front yard, backyard, roof or basement.


Having a heating oil tank, whether aboveground or underground, will affect the value of your property. If there is an oil spill, your oil tank insurance rate can rise, and your property value can fall. So, consider every option before putting your money down.


Do you need help? Contact the state licensed and certified complete oil tank service company, All American Environmental.  Let us help you with any questions and concerns you may have.

Contact All American Environmental serving northern NJ today!