Until the mid-1990s, most households in the US used bare steel underground storage tanks to keep an oil reserve for heating purposes. However, bare steel corrodes over time, and as a result, the oil leaks into the ground causing a lot of havoc to the residents and their neighboring households.
If you are a homeowner wanting to sell your property, it is advisable that if there is an underground oil tank in your backyard, that you remove it. Underground oil tanks tank the value of a home. Homebuyers usually refuse to purchase a house because of the presence of an underground oil tank. Even if you won’t be selling your home anytime, it is in your best interest to protect your family from the hazards that come from a leaking underground oil tank.
So how do you find the right oil tank removal contractor to do the job? Here are some tips you can take into consideration.
Check the Company’s License and Certification
This should be the first thing you check when hiring a contractor to remove your underground oil tank. A certified and licensed oil tank removal company will assure you that they are qualified, properly trained, and has the right equipment and manpower to do the job. The experts behind www.simpletankservices.com recommend verifying the company in the state’s Department of Environmental Protection Data Miner. You will find all the companies and individuals that are licensed by the state to carry out the removal of underground storage tanks or USTs. Also, they should have certification in Subsurface Evaluation and Tank Closure.
Experience and Reputation
Your chosen contractor needs to have at least 3 to 5 years of hands-on experience in removing underground oil tanks. For a contractor with this experience, they would have had established a website where you can check comments and testimonials from clients. Online reviews, social media comments here and there could also give you an idea of the reputation and experience of the company. Putting up your house for sale will be really difficult if you don’t get the right contractor for the project. A little snooping on the internet would be educational for you on what companies are most trusted for oil tank removal activities in your area. Going local is recommended as they are more familiar with the characteristic of the soil and geography in your area. Local contractors would also have a pretty good idea of the make, model, and configuration of the typical USTs that have been used in your locality which is good as they would know how to deal with it.
It would be a smart move to get quotes from several reputed contractors and compare them. Also, check the internet for the prevailing prices of oil tank removal in your area. From there, you can judge what’s the more viable option for you.
When comparing quotes of several contractors, it would be good if they give you the details of the services included in the price. That way, you can compare apples to apples of what is more advantageous for you and what you can afford to pay.
Get a Contract Signed
Contracts are both your armor and your audit trail in checking if the company did indeed perform the services you paid them for. When agreeing to a contract with your chosen oil tank removal company, make sure that all the services you and the company agreed to be done are stipulated in detail. Also, you need to check if there are warranty clauses in the document to make sure that if the contractor neglected to do an activity or supposed to add material, you can come back to them and ask them to do the job again. Also, be sure that you understand every detail of the contract you’re signing.
When to Agree to A Remediation?
Remediation of your oil tank means your UST is leaking and you have to take action to prevent the leak from spreading. However, this will cost you so much money. If an oil tank removal will cost you a thousand or more bucks, remediating the oil spill will likely have you spend at least 10,000 dollars. That is if the leak is not too widespread. That’s why before agreeing to remediate your underground oil tank, you have to know first if it’s really leaking.
The most obvious indication of a leaking oil tank is dark brown stains on your lawn that smell like oil, dead plants above where your oil tank is located, and an oily smell in your backyard. Other subtle signs are oil sheen in your tap, your heating bill just rose through the roof and when you dig a foot or two in your lawn, the soil gives off an oily smell. If you have all these, your oil tank surely has leaked and you need to remediate it.
Will Insurance Cover My Oil Tank Removal Fees?
This is the sad part of it all. Most homeowners policies exclude the pollution liability of leaking underground or above ground oil tanks. However, removal and replacement of old underground oil tanks can be covered by the homeowners or your 3rd party insurance provider.
Some insurance companies offer $10,000 first-party remediation with a limit of $50,000 for leaked fuel. There is no additional charge for this, so might as well take advantage if you have an active oil tank on your premises.
Hiring someone for the removal of your underground oil tank can be quite tedious and exasperating when you don’t have the know-how about the ins and outs of the job at hand. This will be more tiring if you suspect that your oil tank is leaking and the cost for remediation can be as expensive as a whole new home. But it would be smart to stop the damage at the first sight of any leakage.
A carefully chosen contractor for the project can get the job done and take off some of the burdens that you are handling. Take heed of the guidelines presented above and you’ll be sure to find the right guy for the job.