Oil Tank Sweeps
In New Jersey, it is recommended that prospective home buyers include an oil tank sweep in their inspection, particularly in older homes. Prior to 1975, oil heating was very common, and tanks were often placed underground. As homeowners switched to natural gas, some tanks were removed. However, many were left in the ground with oil in them, posing an environmental risk to the ground water and soil as the tanks corrode over time. If you own property with a leaking oil tank, you are responsible for paying for proper tank disposal and remediation, which can be expensive. Many mortgage companies also require a tank sweep (and removal if one is found) before granting a mortgage. Therefore, it's important to know before you buy a property whether or not there may be a buried tank on the property.
During the oil tank sweep, we sweep the property to detect whether a tank may be present and, if so, where. We also examine the house and yard for vestiges of oil heating such as the tank's fill pipe, vent pipe or fuel lines (see image).
If a tank is found, you should have the seller remove it prior to closing on the house.