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    Thread: What are some ways to fuel oil smell

    1. Member
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      01-01-2016 01:11 PM #1
      Hi, I am looking to buy a foreclosured fixer upper home that was vandalized about two years ago. The House is a newer home built in 2000.

      When the house was vandalized they stole the copper piping from basement and cut the fuel feed line from the oil tank to the furnace. I am not sure how much fuel was spilled out but the only thing left is the odor.

      I assume getting the house opened up will help dissipate the odor to some degree and we also plan on removing all flooring/carpets from the house, painting the entire house ect.

      I am worried that there might be lingering odors that maybe soaked into the drywall and the concrete floor that the spill was on.

      Is there any tips for products that may help remove the odor?

      Thanks


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    2. Global Moderator Rockhead261's Avatar
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      01-01-2016 04:53 PM #2
      I'd be more concerned with whether or not the spill was properly remediated. Hazmat + EPA + real estate transaction = serious money issues.

    3. 01-01-2016 05:15 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Rockhead261 View Post
      I'd be more concerned with whether or not the spill was properly remediated. Hazmat + EPA + real estate transaction = serious money issues.
      This. Oil spills are usually a specific question on mortgages and home insurance. They'll want proof it was correctly remedied, which will usually involve excavating all contaminated materials and paying for hazardous removal.

      As for the smell, it'll stay for years.

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      01-01-2016 08:54 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Rockhead261 View Post
      I'd be more concerned with whether or not the spill was properly remediated. Hazmat + EPA + real estate transaction = serious money issues.
      It's hard to find the back information on it since it is a "as is" bank owned property

      From the stain mark on the floor it wasn't much maybe a 2ft circle. It's not like the entire 250 gallon tank was empties into the basement.


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      01-04-2016 09:37 AM #5
      I bought a foreclosure in July of 14 with the same problem. Someone stole all copper in the basement, even cut wires. The oil smell was strong when we first looked at it and even when we moved in. The basement was covered in cat litter. I contacted the police to look at the police report and try to determine how it had been cleaned up. The fire department had initially been called to clean. They then called the Dep. of Environmental Services. DES determined that the spill was less then 5 gallons, given that the firomatic valve has been shut and fuel left in the tank. DES pumped the tank down, cleaned up, and reapplied the cat litter and left. The week prior to closing I went daily with oil dry, cleaned up what was down and the reapplied. The smell was still there when we moved in so I continued to spread the oil dry. A few weeks of that and the smell was no longer there. I then wire brushed and shop vaced the dust that had filled the pours in the uneven 80 year old concrete. When we moved in I had the well tested for VOCs, it came back negative. I contacted DES to see if there was anything else that needed to be done. With the negative water test DES was willing to close the case without doing any core samples or digging.

      I have an extremely high water table, my well is 25ft deep. Until this spring when I excavated the foundation and installed a proper French drain my basement was always wet. I feel that the wet basement and high water table helped to hold any oil that had spilled close to the surface where the oil dry/cat litter could absorb it.

      Be careful buying someone else's problem. Once you own the property you own the oil spill and could be forced to clean it up. It could be as easy as mine or you could be lifting the house removing the foundation, excavating the dirt and burning off the oil. Many states have money for this sort of thing and many times homeowners will cover it. But more often then not they wont touch it with a pre existing problem.

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      01-04-2016 12:55 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by mainer0311 View Post
      I bought a foreclosure in July of 14 with the same problem. Someone stole all copper in the basement, even cut wires. The oil smell was strong when we first looked at it and even when we moved in. The basement was covered in cat litter. I contacted the police to look at the police report and try to determine how it had been cleaned up. The fire department had initially been called to clean. They then called the Dep. of Environmental Services. DES determined that the spill was less then 5 gallons, given that the firomatic valve has been shut and fuel left in the tank. DES pumped the tank down, cleaned up, and reapplied the cat litter and left. The week prior to closing I went daily with oil dry, cleaned up what was down and the reapplied. The smell was still there when we moved in so I continued to spread the oil dry. A few weeks of that and the smell was no longer there. I then wire brushed and shop vaced the dust that had filled the pours in the uneven 80 year old concrete. When we moved in I had the well tested for VOCs, it came back negative. I contacted DES to see if there was anything else that needed to be done. With the negative water test DES was willing to close the case without doing any core samples or digging.

      I have an extremely high water table, my well is 25ft deep. Until this spring when I excavated the foundation and installed a proper French drain my basement was always wet. I feel that the wet basement and high water table helped to hold any oil that had spilled close to the surface where the oil dry/cat litter could absorb it.

      Be careful buying someone else's problem. Once you own the property you own the oil spill and could be forced to clean it up. It could be as easy as mine or you could be lifting the house removing the foundation, excavating the dirt and burning off the oil. Many states have money for this sort of thing and many times homeowners will cover it. But more often then not they wont touch it with a pre existing problem.
      Thank you for that. I'm mostly worried about the smell the size of the stain on the concrete floor I can tell that it wasn't much. Like you said less than 5 gallons for sure.

      The concrete is new so it is one nice slab. I found some powder online that is made to draw the oil from the floor so I'm gonna try that first


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