For Home Inspectors

It is important for buyers to know if a tank is or was located on a property they are to purchase, and if it had leaked, so they can determine potential liabilities associated with the purchase.  Most homes built before 1980 have a good chance of having used heating oil to heat the dwelling. The oil was either stored in an above ground tank (AST) or underground storage tank (UST).  Evidence of a tank on a property might be:

  1. fill ports and/or vent lines protruding from surface outside house or below additions
  2. Copper tubing (two side by side) in basement/crawlspace used for supplying fuel from tank to furnace and back
  3. Petroleum odor/staining in basement/crawlspace
  4. Dwelling is older than natural gas supply (compare age of home w/ PSNC records when gas was first supplied; should be red flag if different)

Many times we see inspection reports where a tank is located or suspicion of a tank is indicated, but we do not always see a proper recommendation for handling the situation.  Proper recommendations should include:

  • to consult with an environmental consultant or contractor that knows the law and regulations pertaining to leaking tanks and real estate transactions
  • to determine if there is a tank on premises if not sure
  • to remove the tank if possible and test for leaking
  • to determine if the tank has leaked if one is found

Contact us if you need assistance or guidance.


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