Home Buyer Advice

Oil tanks can interfere with buying a home.

These tips can help you! Here’s what you need to do:

  • Find out if there is a buried tank on the property and determine whether the tank is actively in use.

  • If the tank has been taken out of service, you should request all documents relating to the tank closure including town permits and contractor reports. These documents will prove the tank was closed properly according to state guidelines.

    Sometimes the seller isn’t sure if there is a tank on the property. If this is the case, there are companies that offer tank scanning services to locate buried tanks. If a tank scan identifies an improperly abandoned tank on the property, evaluate the soil immediately. Get advice on handling abandoned tanks and testing soil.

  • Test the tank’s integrity during the inspection period.

  • There are various methods and companies available to perform testing. Any testing company you hire should be licensed by the state.

    ATS recommends a comprehensive testing process that evaluates the tank and the soil. If the soil has contamination that exceeds state limits or the tank fails inspection, the homeowner must take measures to properly decommission the tank and clean the soil.

  • Make sure the contractor is licensed and knows how to expedite the process.

  • Alternatively, you can hire a company such as ATS to manage the entire removal process.

  • Consider purchasing a tank insurance policy.

  • These policies are available for purchase for a low annual fee and are especially important if you plan to remove the tank. Get more information on tank insurance here. The policy provides basic coverage in the event that the tank starts leaking.

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    September 17, 2015
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