While most tanks are set to last homeowners around ten years, it is essential to keep up with routine cleanings. It is also recommended to check the tank’s stability (legs) and ensure it is not showing signs of rust or buckling.
A leaking oil tank is not only a health hazard to you but to your neighbors as well. Here are the top five signs you need professional tank cleaning services:
You Smell Oil
Many homeowners are concerned about the lingering fuel odor and how it might impact their health. While it is true that the fumes of heating oil are less toxic than natural gas, they are still not good for you and should be avoided. However, short-term exposure typically does not cause any significant symptoms.
If you notice a foul smell coming from your tank, it is time to call an expert for professional cleaning services. Cleaning tanks like oil tank services Westchester County NY require specialized machinery that uses powerful suction to remove all the liquid and sludge.
Tanks are prone to rusting when they are not cleaned regularly. The rust can then leach into the soil and pollute the environment. Being dealt with promptly can lead to a costly clean-up process.
You Have Moisture Buildup
Oil tanks are prone to sludge and moisture buildups. They need professional cleaning services to drain them, thoroughly clean out sludge and water, and pump in clean fuel. During cleaning, a heating oil tank expert may also add an anti-gel additive to keep fuel flowing through the lines in winter.
Moisture can get in an oil tank through condensation and rainwater. The former is most common during spring and summer when the weather is warmer and a tank is partially filled.
Moist environments encourage bacteria growth. These microorganisms turn into sludge that settles in the bottom of your oil tank and releases acid that quickens corrosion in your tank, fuel lines, burners, and filters. You can prevent this by performing a visual check of your tank regularly. A simple test with a water-finding paste applied to a pole and held against the tank bottom can reveal if there is moisture in your oil tank.
You Have Clogged Pipes
Clogged drains are a common problem that can be expensive and frustrating. Luckily, preventing clogs is easy with preventive maintenance.
Grease is one of the most common causes of clogged pipes. Pouring oil down the drain will cause it to solidify, creating a hard-to-remove clog. Avoid this by collecting any fat that accumulates in a small tin and throwing it away.
Hair—human, pet, doll, stuffed animal hair—is another common culprit of clogged pipes. The hair will clump together and become difficult to remove without professional help.
Look for signs of contamination around your oil tank vent and fill pipes. Typically located outside, these are the access points to your oil tank and can be hidden by vegetation, dirt, or grass. Sometimes, these pipes are painted the same color as the structure and can go unnoticed for years.
You Have Cosmetic Damage
The exterior of your tank is susceptible to cosmetic damage due to the elements, such as rain and snow. The resulting damage may make it vulnerable to leaks and other problems, so you need to have it regularly cleaned by professionals.
The sludge in your oil tank can also affect your home heating system, as it can block filters or clog spray nozzles. This can lead to an inefficient operation or even a system failure, plus foul or strange smells from the area.
To avoid this, partnering with a tank cleaning company with the proper licensing and insurance verifications is essential. Ask for proof of workers’ compensation, general liability, and certification to handle hazardous waste.
You Have a Leak
One of the most severe reasons you need oil tank cleaning services is to address a leak. Underground tanks are prone to leaking, and it’s essential that if you leak, you get it addressed immediately. Leaks can contaminate soil and water supplies, affecting people, animals, and the environment.
The smell of fuel oil around your home is a sign that you leak. You can also spot contamination by looking for stained spots in the yard. Contact a professional immediately if you see dark brown circles that smell like fuel oil.
Keeping up with cleaning and maintenance will help prevent the need for tank removal and remediation in the future. Whether you have an underground or aboveground tank, keeping up with cleaning services is essential to ensure your health and safety.