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OIL TANK SWEEP

New Jersey
(732) 291-5030      Tulmark.com
Speedy Appointment - Fast Results- Includes Report

Our Oil Tank Sweep or Tank Sweep Examines a Residential Property to confirm if an Underground Oil Tank Exists on the Property. 

Some real estate transactions require confirmation as to whether there is an oil tank located on the property through a tank sweep or oil tank sweep.

An Oil Tank Sweep Includes:


  1. Visit and Walkthrough of the Property
  2. Sweep of Suspected Areas with a Metal Detector
  3. A Fiberglass Probe to Confirm Tank Presence
  4. A letter Describing the Findings of The Oil Tank Sweep


Some real estate transactions require confirmation whether there is an underground oil tank on a property; called a tank sweep. Other times it is to confirm whether an underground oil tank has been removed.


This is done through a site visit where the investigator walks around the exterior or the property and looks for clues that an underground oil tank or an old heating oil tank exists on the property. Visual clues would be an old oil tank fill line, or an old oil tank vent line. Other visual clues would be copper tubing protruding through the basement wall or floor.


The final process is to provide the client with a one page written statement as to the findings of the property sweep. 

The next step would be to investigate the suspected area with a specialized metal detector. The metal detector we use penetrates approximately 10 feet into the ground. Our specialize metal detector will not detect small pieces of metal like old bottle caps or cans. It will only pick up large targets like oil tanks or 55 gallon drums. If a target is detected the next step is to investigate the area with a fiberglass probe. The fiberglass probe is inserted into the ground above the target in order to confirm the presents of an oil tank. The final process is to provide the client with a one page written statement as to the findings of the property sweep. .


Consider this; the State of NJ does not force a home owner to cleanup a leaking oil tank. At least I have never seen the State force anyone to clean up a leaking residential oil tank. Once a leaking home heating oil tank is reported to the state (and this only applies to residential USTs only). The State will mail a letter to the home owner. The letter will say (in the most general terms) that the owner is required to cleanup or remediate the oil tank release or spill. After that, the State of New Jersey doesn’t harass or pester a residence.

Now here is the problem. You’ll never be able to sell the house with a leaking home heating oil underground storage tank. The reason is the bank providing the financing for the real estate transaction will not loan money on the house. If there is a leaking home heating oil tank on the property that has not been cleanup up or remediated.

There are buyers that will buy properties using cash although if they know there is a leaking oil tank on the property they may back out of the transaction. There are some buyers that will buy the property with a leaking oil tank but usually they will offer far less than your asking price. 

In some cases people have purchased a home not knowing there was a leaking tank on the property. And once you buy a property with a leaker you’re stuck with the cleanup. Because you are the new owner of the property you become the responsible party (in the eyes of the State), and you become the person responsible for the oil tank cleanup. 

The State doesn’t care if you bought a property with a leaking tank on it. If you complain to the State that; you didn’t know there was a leaking oil tank on it. They will say. Well why didn’t you do an oil tank sweep before you bought? Buyers beware.

There are quite a few instances where people have purchased real estate without knowing there was a leaking underground heating oil tank on the property. Over the past several months we have found three properties with unknown home heating oil tanks on them while doing an oil tank sweep. And it was a big surprise to the property owner. 

There are quite a few instances where people have purchased real estate without knowing there was a leaking underground heating oil tank on the property. Over the past several months we have found three properties with unknown home heating oil tanks on them while doing an oil tank sweep. And it was a big surprise to the property owner. 

One property was in Little Ferry, one was in Edison, and one was in Red Bank New Jersey. The property in Red Bank in fact we found two abandoned in place heating oil tanks. After we found the tanks at the red bank property the owner said “Oh ya…now I remember we abandoned two oil tanks 25 years ago”.

Just a few reasons to do an oil tank sweep before you buy a piece of real estate. Why it is important to do an oil tank sweep?

It’s important because you never know what was used to heat the property in the past. Here are a few examples.

Tulmark Completed a tank sweep in Red Bank New Jersey. The oil tank scan turned up two underground oil tanks on the same property. Both of the underground storage tanks were used to heat the home in the past. The home had been switched over from number 2 oil to gas 25 years ago. After we found the two underground storage tanks the property owner said “oh… ya now I remember we abandoned two underground oil tanks 25 year ago”.

Nonetheless the transaction went through. The two oil underground storage tanks were tested and found to not have leaked. And paperwork from the town showed they underground storage tanks were both abandoned properly. In another situation where Tulmark did an oil tank sweep a builder purchased a property which was constructed in 1923. It was an old ranch style home, and small. The home was located in Edison New Jersey. The builder demolished the old ranch style house and built a new large house further back on the lot.

The buyer of the new house hired Tulmark to do a tank sweep. The tank scan turned up an underground oil tank in the front yard of the new home. No one knew the old tank was there. The new house was heated with natural gas. So there was no real reason to do an oil tank search, especially since it was a new home. 

The home buyer’s attorney suggested they complete the oil tank sweep. So, even though a home or property is new it pays to do an oil tank sweep unless you know the past history of the property. Tulmark found an oil tank during an oil tank sweep in little ferry New Jersey. It was an oil house built in around the 1920’s or 30’s. During the tank scan we found an underground oil tank under the driveway. No one was aware of the oil tank. These are hidden problems that one cannot see. The only way to really find an old oil tank is to complete an oil tank sweep. 

Now here is something I would like to clarify regarding an oil tank sweep or an oil tank scan. It does not guarantee that an oil tank is not present on a property but only greatly reduces the probability that there is not a tank on the property. No one can guarantee that there is not an oil tank on a property.

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