The Importance of Hiring a Professional for Oil Tank Abandonment

Abandoning an underground oil tank can be costly and time-consuming. It can also create environmental risks. If done improperly, it can derail a real estate transaction.

Mortgage companies often hesitate to lend money for properties with old buried heating oil tanks, particularly if the tanks still need to be properly abandoned.


A professional will perform the tank abandonment in a way that’s legal and protects you as a homeowner. Many homeowners have discovered soil contamination around buried oil tanks that they deemed decommissioned but that needed to have the proper testing done. If you plan to sell your property, a lawyer or realtor will require that the tank be closed and abandoned correctly, including testing soil samples.

If the tank is in an inaccessible location where removal is not feasible, sand abandonment may be the best option. This involves uncovering the top of the tank, cleaning it thoroughly, and filling it with sand. This is done by a confined space entry team that disconnects all piping.

Leaving an underground oil tank leaking can cause pollution, costing thousands of dollars to remediate. This pollution can enter sewage systems, storm drains, and water supply. It can also lead to fires or cause fumes that are hazardous to your health.


Whether or not the tank is abandoned in place (filled and left) or removed, the soil around the tank must be tested. A specialized confined space entry contractor can do this, and it is necessary to ensure that no contamination has spread from the tank into the surrounding soil.

If an oil tank is not removed, it could leak leftover oil or sludge into the ground, potentially contaminating the soil and water supply, killing local wildlife, and causing health issues for homeowners. Sometimes, this contamination may not be discovered until years after the tank is abandoned.

This can cause serious financial problems for homeowners, and mortgage companies are hesitant to lend money or provide insurance to homes with buried oil tanks that need clean-up and soil test documentation. This is why hiring a reputable oil tank abandonment Westchester County NY, is crucial to perform the required work to close and abandon your old buried oil tank properly.


Homeowners that switch to natural gas heating often have old buried oil tanks that need to be “abandoned” or closed. This process is also known as “abandon-in-place.”

This method of tank abandonment allows the homeowner to close a leaking underground petroleum storage tank without having to remove it. This can save significant money on excavation and site restoration costs.

If a leaking oil tank is not correctly abandoned, contamination from the leaking oil can be released into sewage systems and water supply lines. This pollution is expensive, dangerous to human health, and a massive liability for property owners.

If you plan to sell your home, a professional should perform an Oil Tank Sweep to ensure your old buried oil tank is cleaned up. Mortgage and insurance companies will require removing the old tank before issuing a loan or an insurance policy.


Old home heating oil tanks can be a hazard to the environment. They can leak water, sludge, and oil into the ground, potentially contaminating soil and water supply. They can also release harmful fumes that make people sick. Fortunately, you can avoid the risk of these hazards by hiring a professional to perform an underground tank abandonment service.

A professional will thoroughly clean the tank of all remnants, including sludge and oil, then fill it with a non-leaching material. They will also disconnect all connected pipes and seal any openings. They can even cover the tank with a concrete cap to prevent future leaking.

Many homeowners try to save money by abandoning their oil tanks using sand or foam. However, these methods often require documentation that a realtor, buyer’s attorney, or insurance company would consider acceptable evidence that the tank was cleaned and abandoned correctly. Some routinely provide a report written by a licensed geologist that includes photos of each stage of the work for every abandonment.



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