Are Oil Tanks included in a Home Inspection Report?
Oil tanks are beyond the scope of a home inspection. If evidence of an oil tank happens to be observed during our home inspection an informational item will be present in the report however we do not guarantee their presence or absence nor do we have an opinion about their condition or whether they are leaking or not. With older homes sometimes there are multiple tanks at one property.
Ask the seller for more information
Whenever an oil tank is on site the seller should be asked for more information (documentation, age of the tank, which oil company serves it, if it is abandoned or in use, and if it was abandoned how was abandoned and which company did it)
If there are further questions or concerns a licensed geologist that specializes in oil tanks should be consulted for location services, evaluation and possible repair/removal.
Oil does not break down significantly over time which is why leaking oil tanks can be an environmental concern and a potential liability related to environmental contamination. Typically oil tanks have a 25 year life expectancy. When they deteriorate oil can seep into the ground.
Oil tanks typically serve furnaces– it is recommended to upgrade the HVAC system to propane or to electric when it comes time to replace the equipment. Oil tanks that are no longer in use should be removed or abandoned in place by a state licensed geologist to prevent environmental contamination.