Buying A Home? Find Out If You Need to Tank Sweep

If You are Purchasing a Home, Make Sure the Oil Tank is Decommissioned Properly!

Depending on the neighborhood and age of a home, oil heat may still be the source for warmth in many houses. And if it had oil at one point and is now converted to natural gas, you’ll still want to do your due diligence to make sure A. The oil tank has been decommissioned and B. There is documentation to prove it.
If there is a tank on the property:

  • Ask for and obtain proof of decommissioning from the current owners.B
  • If it has not yet been decommissioned, then you’ll need it to be done so to January 1st, 2009 DEQ soil testing and remediation standards.
  • If a home used to have oil heat and there is no proof of decommissioning from the sellers, check county records or to see if it has been property decommissioned and with the permit on file.
  • You can also check with DEQ in Oregon or Washington State Department of Ecology depending on your State, for decommissioning that was done properly and registered with the state.

If there is no record ofB decommissioning:

  • Order a tank sweep during the inspection period.
  • If no tank shows up–great! If however a tank does show up, you’ll need to have soil samples taken to see if any contamination levels indicate a potential clean up issue.
  • Yes, even if the oil is no longer the heat source for the home.
  • Hopefully soil samples will show up clean and clear!


  • Typically I recommend that oil tank decommissioning is done as a condition of the purchase of the home–so it’s done prior to closing.
  • If you as a buyerB decide to have the oil tank decommissioned after you purchase the house, remember that the soil samples you paid for during the inspection period have a short window of expiration.B If you wait until after they expire, you’ll need to re-do and thus re-purchase new soil samples.
  • IfB clean up/remediation is required in addition to decommissioning, expect several rounds of soil tests and an expensive cha ching to fix.
  • If oil leakage is large, the remediation and clean-up can be costly: The last soil clean up and decomisisoningB in a recent transaction cost the seller over $7,000.
  • If you are thinking about selling your home in the future, and you either had oil heat in the past and didn’t get it taken care of, or you still do have oil heat–get it cleaned up, decommissioned and converted to gas now.B
  • Don’t wait until you sellB to get it cleaned up and decommissioned.B It can be a huge negative for your potential buyer when considering your home and can extend closing a few weeks because of decommissioning time.

SOIL SOLUTIONS: Oregon & SW Washington
Derek did my own oil tank clean up and decommissioning a few years ago and did an outstanding job. Best quote, fast work…great job!B I have used other tank companies in working with different clients…and Derek always does the best!

  • Derek Sandoz
  • PHONE: 503-234-2118
  • Website
  • Tank Scans
  • Tank Testing
  • Decommissions
  • Clean-ups & Remediation
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