WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF AN OIL LEAK

As one of Cork’s leading home heating oil suppliers, we can advise you on what to do in the event of an oil leak. It is extremely important that your home heating oil is being stored safely. You should check your oil tank regularly to ensure it is in perfect working order as they are prone to wear and tear including corrosion. You should also consider the age of your tank. If it is ten years old, then it may be time to upgrade. Another point to consider is the location of the tank. If it is in an exposed area then damage could be incurred due to weather corrosion. You can check out our guide on Looking After Your Home Heating Oil Tank In the Winter. The environmental impact as well as the financial impact of an oil spill or leak can be significant so it’s important you check with your home insurer that the correct cover is in place to pay for the clean up operation. 

HOW TO IDENTIFY AN OIL LEAK

  1. Check for dents or scratches on the surface of your tank.
  2. Look for damage on the grass surrounding the tank. If there is gravel or concrete, check for patches that are stained black or discoloured. 
  3. A strong smell of oil in the area.
  4. Rust patches on metal tanks, or splits in plastic tanks. 
  5. If it’s a large spill, it will be very apparent.
  6. Check for significant changes in your oil level on your fuel gauge. You can read our blog on Tips for Checking Your Home Heating Oil Levels.

WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP IN THE EVENT OF AN OIL LEAK

You should try to identify the source of the leak as soon as possible and stem the flow if you can. This may be possible by switching off the valve at the oil tank. If it is a slow drip leak, then you need to catch the leaking oil using a plastic bucket under the oil tank. 

You should try to absorb as much of the oil that has leaked as possible. Using absorbent materials such as sand, peat moss or newspapers is a good idea. Always start on the outside of the spill and work your way into the centre of it – this prevents it from spreading further. We would advise that if it is a large spill, you will require a specialist contractor to clean up the contaminated area safely. 

WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP IN THE EVENT OF AN OIL LEAK

Once you have identified the source of the leak and taken steps to halt the flow of the leak, the next step is to get specialised advice regarding your oil tank. The tank may be repaired or it may well be safer and more economical to replace your oil tank. If your tank still has oil left in it, you should arrange to have the oil removed and saved until the tank has either been repaired or replaced. You should also contact your local council for advice particularly if it is a large oil spill or has been leaking for a long time. 

DOS AND DON’TS WITH AN OIL SPILL

DO Keep pets and children away from the site. 

DO Open all windows if the leak has occurred indoors from your boiler. Keep the house well ventilated. 

DO Call your insurance company and report the issue. They can give you the details of their recognised contractors. 

DON’T Forget to take photos – this is important if the oil has leaked into a third party property. Your insurance company may require photos of the scene in the event of a claim. 

DON’T Use water to wash oil away. This increases the chances of the oil entering the water system which can lead to a bigger environmental and financial problem. 

DON’T Get oil on your clothing or hands – use protective and overall while cleaning up the spill and remove your shoes before entering the house. 

LET US HELP YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR HOME HEATING OIL NEEDS 

Should you require any further advice with regard to dealing with an oil leak why not give us a call on 022-42220011. You can also email info@cityoil.ie to arrange a refill of home heating oil or to discuss upgrading your oil tank. Unsure of which fuel to choose? Check out the full range of fuels available on our website www.cityoil.ie or you may want to have a look at our parent company www.tria.ie We are one of Cork’s leading Home Heating Oil Suppliers with over 30 years of experience and happy to manage your home heating needs. 

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