What Causes Oil Tank Leaks?

leaking oil tank

July 20th, 2020

Oil tank leaks pose a huge environmental problem. They can occur on any property in any area, and no matter where the leak may be located, it will be treated as a serious situation. Even a small oil tank leak can greatly affect the water table and local ecosystems of a region, and these will need to be taken care of professionally in accordance with local environmental laws. In many cases, properties are purchased without knowledge (or acknowledgment) of an oil tank on the property, and then the new property owner eventually finds that a leak has occurred or is occurring.

When you suspect an oil tank leak, it’s important to call professionals in environmental restoration and tank services straight away. Not only will this give you your best chance at a complete cleanup, but it’s the law. Unlike other home improvement or maintenance issues, oil tank leaks must be investigated, inspected, cleaned, and cleared by those trained in environmental restoration and remediation.

Why Do Oil Tanks Leak?

Underground oil tanks are just that—underground. Many believe that their positioning in the ground makes them safe from external damage, and in many cases this is true. It’s unlikely for a branch to hit and crack your underground oil tank, and it’s not something that could be hit by a car or bicycle like other above-ground structures. However, oil tanks do leak, and they do so for a few different reasons:

Rust – One of the most common causes of oil tank leaks is rust, and this causes deterioration holes to form on the surface of the tank. The ground absorbs and holds onto water, which is a great thing for grass, trees, and plants, but not for metal oil storage tanks. This moisture causes the surface of the metal tank to rust and erode, which then leads to holes and leaks later on. Newer oil tank installations are typically covered in an anti-rust coating, but these will often wear away over time.

Shifting soil – The foundation of your home can be put under stress due to shifting soil, and so can your oil tank. Shifting and moving soil can place uneven pressures on your underground oil tank, which can cause the tank to break down faster. When the tank breaks down, it becomes more prone to leaking.

Improper installation or maintenance – If an oil tank is installed or maintained improperly, it can be more prone to failure and leakage over time. It’s important to have all storage tanks installed and maintained only by skilled and experienced professionals.

The Tank Services You Need To Keep Your Property Safe

For any owner of a property that is home to an underground oil tank, finding a reliable and seasoned tank services team is important. If you’re in need of oil tank inspection, maintenance, or removal, contact us at Meridian Environmental Services Inc. today to learn more about what we can do for you, your property, and your tank.