What Is an Oil Tank Scan, and Is It Necessary?

Are you purchasing a new home in the Garden State? If yes, then congratulations! You have so much to look forward to. You have a new house, which means you also have a ton of new responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to have an inspection.

It is the law to make sure you have an oil tank sweep in New Jersey. Therefore, make sure you include it in your home inspection.

Not sure what an oil tank sweep is, or where on your property to look for an oil tank? Wondering what the difference is between an oil tank sweep and an oil tank scan? Here are some answers for you.

What Is an Underground Oil Tank?

In many Northeastern states, such as New Jersey, people used heating oil to heat their homes during the winter. In the 20th century, home heating oil was a great alternative to electricity or gas as a source of heat. Trucks would come to your house and drop off heating oil through a pipe, which ran into your basement.

However, as the years went on, people began to discover problems with underground oil tanks. Over time, or because of improper installation, oil tanks can begin to leak. Leaking home heating oil can contaminate the ground and pollute the water supply. New Jersey passed a law mandating homeowners must have an oil tank sweep of their properties before they sell them. If you buy a house without having an inspection, and a tank is on your property, you’ll have to pay. It will be your responsibility to remove the oil tank from your property. Oil tank removal is a very costly undertaking, especially if the tank is underneath your house.

How Can I Find an Oil Tank Under My House?

Sometimes, finding an oil tank underground is easy. You may notice a pipe that doesn’t seem to go anywhere in your basement or your yard. You might also notice a discoloration of the soil or an oil smell in your house or yard. If there’s an oil tank on your property, there are underground oil tank locators that can spot it.

What Is an Oil Tank Sweep?

Depending on what kind of home you have and how old it is, you may need an oil tank sweep. During an oil tank sweep, a company will use oil tank sweep equipment to find any tanks. This equipment is usually a metal detector.

Tank sweeps may not be enough to find an underground oil tank on your property. In New Jersey, there is a lot of metal in the ground. This is especially true if you are living in an area that has been suburban or urban for decades. In New Jersey, metal trash in the ground makes it hard for a tank sweep to find an underground tank.

What Is A Tank Scan?

Underground tank scans are more intensive and involved than a tank sweep. First, a company will inspect all the records for the property to determine if there was an oil tank. In some areas of New Jersey, property records go back hundreds of years. After the check, a company will use different methods to search for an underground oil tank. It will collect soil and water samples. The company can also use ground-penetrating radar and other equipment to look at objects in the ground. This allows the company to see if there’s an oil tank hiding under your home.

Are you concerned the house you’re looking at might have an oil tank buried underneath it? You don’t have to worry. At All American Environmental, we can perform an oil tank scan and make sure you are in the clear. Contact All American Environmental in New Jersey, your environmental consultants and contractors.