Posted on 11th March 2021

Why You Should Remove Your Oil Tank Before It Becomes a Problem

Oil tank

Large underground tanks for the storage of oil were common during the 40s and the 50s. The oil inside these tanks was used as fuel for heating homes in places with extreme temperature conditions. Even the most robust of these tanks need to be replaced after they have completed their useful lives. Most of these tanks have a lifespan of 25 years. If you are selling your property and it has an underground oil tank, you need to get it removed otherwise your house may not sell at all. Most of the instances of oil tank removal take place during the same process of homes. There are many other reasons why you should remove your oil tank before it becomes a problem. Let us have a close look at all these reasons.

Underground storage tanks or simply USTs as they are referred to, have become a major cause of concern for the federal government because of the risk posed to the environment and the health of human beings. According to the experts at, removal of underground oil tanks is in the interest of the homeowners. Some studies have described these tanks as suburban time bombs ticking at a fast pace. Oil spills from thousands of old underground storage tanks have already caused substantial damage to underground water quality across the country. Oil spills, even if they are insignificant, cause grave damage to the environment. What is disappointing is the fact that the homeowner comes to know about this oil spill years after it starts.


Sale and Purchase of Property

Real estate transactions are the number one reason behind the removal of underground oil storage tanks. If you are using a realtor for the sale of your house he or she would enquire whether there is an underground oil tank or not. If yes, you would be asked to get rid of this tank as buyers show reluctance about buying such properties. Even lenders back out of a mortgage deal when they learn about an underground oil tank. The sale of a property is the number one reason why underground oil storage tanks are removed. If you have found out about the existence of a large oil tank underneath your property, it is a good idea to get it removed before putting your house on the market.


Undertaking Renovations in The Property

If you are planning renovations in your property, it is always prudent to dig out your underground oil tank. It can be easily damaged if you are paving the driveway or making a deck on your property. All your money and effort can go to waste if you carry out renovations and later need to destroy them for digging out the underground oil tank. Also, the yard may not be accessible for a large excavator after you have constructed a deck on your property. It is, therefore, better to pay a professional oil tank removal company to dig out the oil tank. You will get peace of mind that the improvements you undertake will not be touched later on for the removal of the oil tank.

Lenders can demand the removal of the oil tank if you plan to apply for a mortgage for renovations. It is not advisable to lie about the existence of an underground oil tank to secure financing from a lender.


You Are Proactive and Take Action Before a Problem Raises its Head

If you are a proactive individual, you take action when it is necessary rather than waiting for a big problem to raise its head. It gives you a lot of peace of mind to get rid of the old underground oil tank as you don’t like the idea of facing pressure in the future when selling the property. You know you can run into problems with the insurance company when buying the homeowner’s insurance policy. You want to comply with the city’s codes and construction guidelines and don’t like the idea of paying a penalty for not removing the underground oil tank as directed by the civic authorities. You get total peace of mind after removing the underground storage tank as you know you will never face the problem of a leaking oil tank.


Problems Caused by Underground Storage Tanks

Many health and safety concerns are surrounding underground storage tanks. The most prominent among these concerns are contaminated water and air pollution. Oil spills from these tanks are the biggest cause of poor quality of groundwater across the United States. Oil leaks also contaminate the soil, thereby posing risk to the health of people consuming vegetables and fruits grown on such soil. Most of the tanks lying underground across the country are made of steel. When this tank is laid underground and it remains in contact with the soil, it starts to corrode and rust and finally leaks. Therefore, it is in your interest to get the underground storage tank removed from your property if it has already served its useful lifetime.

If you find there is an underground storage tank on your property, the most important thing to remember is to find out if the oil tank buried inside the ground is leaking or not. If it is not leaking, the cost of its removal is rather inexpensive. But the same exercise becomes tedious and very costly if it is found that the oil tank is leaking.

If you are trying to sell your property, there is no choice in front of you. Even your realtor would ask you to get the underground storage tank removed, leaving buyers showing interest in your property. Lenders want to safeguard their money and discourage their customers from buying properties having underground storage tanks. Different states have different rules and regulations regarding the removal of underground oil tanks. You must consult these regulations before taking any step in the direction of removal of the UST. Washington and Florida are the only two states of the country where removal of old oil tanks is not required. However, you cannot remain oblivious to the risks posed by the underground storage tank on your property.