The Truth about Tanks
Your clients may have questions about heating oil tanks, especially if they have never lived in an oil-heated home in the past. And you may be dealing with other Massachusetts real estate agents representing their buyer or seller, who have similar concerns as their clients. The truth is there is no need to be concerned. If you have the right information about heating oil storage tanks, you’ll be able to confidently deal with any issues that may arise. Here are some things you need to know.
Types of Tanks
There are two kinds of residential tanks: aboveground and underground. In Massachusetts, the majority of tanks are aboveground. An aboveground storage tank is a tank located outside the home or in the basement, garage or crawl space. These tanks are typically 275 or 330 gallons, and take up about the same space as an outside central a/c unit. Underground tanks are significantly larger, often holding 550 gallons and sometimes as much as 1,000 gallons of heating oil.
In what may come as a surprise to Realtors and homeowners who aren’t familiar with tanks, the vast majority of tanks do not leak. And in the rare case where a tank leak occurs, heating oil itself is biodegradable and nontoxic. So the next time your clients show uncertainty about heating oil tanks, let them know the facts.
New Tank Technology
Tanks have come a long way since the old, metal versions of 30 and 40 years ago. The options available to your clients these days are not only more technologically advanced, but they are a lot more attractive, too! And when it comes to selling a home, curb appeal matters. Today’s underground tanks are made of polyurethane and fiberglass. They are resistant to corrosion and have a much greater likelihood of lasting for many decades. Aboveground tanks are even better. These tanks have two walls, one made of plastic and the other made of steel.
It is very common to have a tank test conducted on an underground tank during the transaction of an oil-heated home in Massachusetts. There are a few important things to know if you are involved with a tank test. First, it is important to make sure that testing is conducted by a certified tank testing company. If you need a referral, your best bet is to contact your local oilheat expert. Second, there are several types of tests that can be conducted, including a test on the tank itself and a soil test. Third, it is important to remember that tank tests cannot test the life expectancy of a tank. They can only provide information about the integrity of the tank itself. And fourth, don’t forget that tanks are like any other appliance you might find around the house; they will eventually need to be replaced. Most homeowners would not go fifty years without replacing their roof. The same goes for tanks.