Oil Tank Inspections

(Tank Sweeps or Tank Survey)

Buying or selling a home with a buried oil tank raises concerns on both sides of the table. Full disclosure and investigation of an oil tank is necessary to ensure that it is known that the tank is or has not leaked.


When questions arise regarding did a house ever have oil heat, a professional inspection of the property can be necessary. Depending on the age of a home, oil heat may have been utilized. Many homes first started on coal and then progressed to oil and then to natural gas. Finding tanks is not always easy, but professionals can look for signs that a tank was or is present. Walking inspections of a property can be combined, with metal detector sweeps and ground penetrating radar (GPR) to locate BOTH buried tanks as well as graves or excavations where tanks were once located.


An oil tank sweep is one of the best way to locate buried oil tanks. Tank sweeps are also part of any buyers due diligence process. Undisclosed abandoned underground oil tanks (USTs) are a financial liability that can loom over a site. Buried oil tanks that have not been properly abandoned are a cause for concern. Not properly abandoned means, the piping has been cut (so that no evidence of the tank exists), the piping has been filled with foam or concrete however, the tank still contains oil, or a tank that has or is leaking but is undisclosed. These tanks are often well past their useful service life and have often leaked. Buying a contaminated property means that you are responsible for the cleanup costs even though you may have no prior knowledge of the contamination. These tank leaks are often excluded from insurance policies, so you the homeowners will not pay for the loss and you the homeowner wind up paying for someone else problem. There is a reimbursement program for residential home owners in Maryland and Virginia for some cost recovery.


For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Ace Environmental at 410-354-8030 (local Baltimore, MD) or toll free at 866-750-4ACE.