Oil tank leaks can happen at any time. When handled quickly, it is possible to contain the damage  caused by oil spills. With our qualified teams and equipment, we are here to help you clean your house, business & store.

When we think of oil spills, we usually think of oil tankers that spill their cargo into the oceans or seas. However, oil spilled on land often reaches lakes, rivers, and wetlands, where they can also cause damage. Oceans and other bodies of saltwater are called marine environments. Lakes, rivers, and other inland water bodies are called freshwater environments.

Aquatic refers to both marine and freshwater environments. When oils are spilled in an aquatic environment, they can harm organisms that live on or around the water’s surface, as well as those that live underwater. Spilled oils can also damage components of the food chain, including human food resources.

The severity of the impact of an oil spill depends on a variety of factors, including the characteristics of the oil itself. Natural conditions, such as water temperature and weather, also influence the behavior of oil in aquatic environments.

Different types of habitats also have different sensitivities to oil spills.

Oil Spill Clean Up

How to Deal With an Emergency Oil Spill At Home

Oil spills can happen at any time. Domestic oil spills have been on the rise since the 1940s, after World War II.

In Canada alone, oil spills account for 40% of all spills in the country. Most oil tanks corrode from the inside out. The popularity of oil tanks is related to the oversupply of oil during World War II.

There was also an oversupply of steel, which was excessive during the war. Since then, oil for residential use has been stored in steel tanks.

Rust and corrosion occur once you expose the metal to moisture and oxygen. Steel tank corrosion is the leading factor causing oil leaks. Galvanization reduces the risk of corrosion on buried tanks; otherwise, they corrode from the inside out. Internally, tanks corrosion is a result of sludge and water accumulation at the bottom of the tank. The tank ends up forming pinholes.

Identify Where the Oil Spill Is Coming From on your Oil Tank

An open crack or split will be so easy to identify as you can see oil spilling. There are other tricky hidden leaks like from a valve or pipeline. Some leaks on the pipeline occur on the tank itself from some pressure faults. Unfit valves or faulty lines connected to the tank may cause severe damage to the surrounding environment.

As long as you identify the spills, immediate response helps reduce the pollution levels. Understand the proper oil cleanup protocols; for instance, do not wash out oil spills with a hose or water. Pressured water spreads the oil further, causing more harm.

What is an Oil Tank Leak?

An oil storage tank leak is the uncontrolled release of oil emanating from an oil tank. It is usually a very small hole in the tank that causes the contents to leak into the surrounding soil. Leakage can also occur in faulty or corroded fuel lines. When this happens, a soil sample is analyzed. If the contamination is not significant, the lines can be replaced.

Residential storage tanks vary in size, from 275 to 1000 gallons for large families. An oil leak starts in minute quantities, with oil spilling into the surrounding environment. An underground oil leak diffuses horizontally and downwards. If you notice some reddish substance in the soil, investigate the area for an oil leak.

All oil tanks (above and below ground) can have oil tank leaks. Overhead tanks can easily be visually inspected for defects and can be repaired before the oil escapes, while underground tanks cannot be visually inspected without being dug up. Therefore, it is possible for a leak to occur without your knowledge.

Oil spills are a health hazard. It can cause fires, thus posing a significant risk to humans, animal and plant life. Indoor fuel spills cause a lot of damage to the ventilation system affecting homes air quality and may contaminate groundwater.

Oil leakage cleanup requires professional assistance. KBS maintenance offers oil clean up services and will help restore your properties glory. You can call KBS maintenance services once you realize an emergency oil leak, or you can have a quick DIY checkup.

What kind of Damage is Caused by an Oil Tank Leak?

When this particular type of disaster happens, it is very important to understand what to do. First and foremost it is important to ensure that your family or employees are safe, followed by immediately contacting experts to control the damage.

Heating oil spills are very dangerous for your health and for your house, business & store. As oil is extremely toxic, it can contaminate the environment, create huge fires, pollute the water coming in and out of your house, kill any surrounding fauna and flora and find a way to stay within the walls and floors of your house or business.

How Do I Know if My Tank Is Leaking?

With underground tanks, there is no easy way to detect leaks without digging them up. But there are some signs you can look for when it comes to tank leaks. These signs are as follows:

Increased heating costs (which is not the best way to determine the presence of a leak because other factors influence the increase in heating costs).

If your tank is 10 to 15 years old, chances are it has developed small pinholes that cause leaks.

Oil reflections on the groundwater.

Oil stains or odors on your property

Oil smells in your home

Dead vegetation near or over the tank.

If you encounter these signs, it is more than likely that there is a leak.

Reasons for Oil Tank Leaks

Tanks can leak for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are:

Damage to tank equipment, such as level gauges.

Tank body failures.

Failure of components at the end of the boiler system, such as hoses.

Damage or failure due to wear of fuel supply lines.

Metal tanks can rust, often at the base. Plastic tanks may crack due to an inherent defect or wear.

Plastic tanks can crack due to an inherent defect or wear and tear, and spills can occur during oil delivery.

Who Is Responsible?

Anyone who uses, stores, fills, transports, or manufactures hazardous substances, including oils, has a responsibility to ensure that the substance is contained and used in a manner that will not result in a release to the environment. They also have a responsibility to make an oil spill clean up that occurs and to deal with any consequences of the release.

Whether you own or occupy premises with a home heating oil tank, it is advisable to check with your insurance company to ensure that you have adequate homeowner’s insurance to cover the costs associated with all aspects of spill assessment and oil tank leak clean up, as well as any consequences of the spill migration.

If you have had an oil spill, you should contact KBS Maintenance in order to perform an oil tank leak clean up.

Oil Spill

Oil Tank Leak Clean Up

Oil spills can be complex incidents to deal with and you may hear a lot of conflicting advice from all sorts of sources. We provide unbiased, straightforward advice to help you understand the problem.

We’ll explain what can happen as a result of an oil spill or leak, what the potential implications are, the different methods that can be used to remedy the problem, and the options available to you, given your particular situation. Our technical experts at KBS Maintenance can guide you through the process and are always available if you have any questions along the way.

In the event of an oil spill, the most important factor to consider is health and safety. Oils and chemicals can present major health and safety hazards through skin or eye contact and inhalation of their fumes, many oils and chemicals are flammable and present at least a slip hazard.

It is essential to perform an oil spill clean up as quickly as possible by personnel with the proper personal protective equipment and respiratory protection equipment for the job and with a thorough knowledge of the hazards of the spilled product.

Before responding to the spill, we will consult a safety data sheet to ensure that we fully understand the risks posed by the spilled product and that we can take the necessary steps to protect our responders from these risks.

For high-risk substances, for example, toxic substances, it is essential to ensure that where materials have been spilled, a thorough clean up is undertaken to remove any hazardous residue. We can carry out oil tank leak clean up using protective suits and, if necessary, self-contained breathing apparatus to enable us to clean up the substances safely without endangering our staff and leaving the site safe for you.

For less hazardous oil spills, such as gasoline, it is important to undertake a thorough oil spill clean up to eliminate any fire and slip hazards. It is unlikely that simply placing absorbents on the oil spill will eliminate the fire and slip hazards. Therefore, the area will need to be thoroughly and safely decontaminated before it can be considered a safe environment.

Oil spills can cause major problems for the environment. If the spill enters the drainage system, the oil or chemical may escape into controlled waters. If the spill enters undeveloped soil, it may migrate into groundwater.

It is therefore essential, in the event of a spill, to call on professional assistance such as KBS Maintenance to ensure that the clean-up is as quick, efficient, and complete as possible. If an oil spill has reached controlled waters or undeveloped soil, we can carry out oil tank leak clean up in the event of contamination of surface water, groundwater, and contaminated soil.

Our oil spill clean up service follows the receiving source model to ensure that we not only clean up the visible contamination but also examine whether the spill has managed to escape the site or contaminate the soil, allowing us to perform a complete spill response.

If you would prefer that we liaise with regulatory agencies on your behalf during a spill, we would be happy to do so!

Stopping oil spillage saves more oil loss and reduces potential damage to the environment. A single drop of oil on a water body can cause severe damage to a water body. Clear the visible oil through an absorbent material. In place of porous material, use cat litter or sand to reduce the chance of further spread.

For visible cracks, try pressing clay or a piece of soap to stop the leakage. Be careful as your interact with oil. If possible, get gloves when handling the leakage. If any oil gets into contact with your skin, wash it off with soap and running water instantly. Where no oil leak is visible, or you suspect leakage from valve joints, switch off the flow from the tank.

After dealing with the leak, communicate to the local authorities that you have a home oil leak. The local environmental health department should take the necessary measures to prevent oil pollution from contaminating nearby water bodies. Give as many details as you can. Most local councils advertise their emergency and office contacts through their website.

Communicate to the oil supplier for an oil leak assessment. The supplier removes the reserve left in the storage tank to prevent further leakage until a permanent solution is in place. If the oil spill is not apparent, it would be prudent to notify KBS maintenance for professional oil spill cleaning services. They have professional spill kits and provide proper monitoring both weekdays and on weekends.

Are you insured? Communicate to your home insurer about the leak. You may need to hire a professional oil cleaning company like KBS; the insurance should cater for that. Once the leak contaminates the soil benefits, it will be removed and dealt with. The same case happens with any contamination with water bodies. Oil spill cleanup may tend to be a costly affair.

The Arctic environment poses unique challenges to oil spill response technologies and techniques. While in some limited cases arctic conditions may be favorable for spill response, in most cases the arctic operating environment reduces the effectiveness of oil spill control and recovery methods and equipment.

Dispersants are a group of chemicals applied to oil slicks to accelerate the dispersion of oil in the water column. They do not remove the oil from the water but are intended to limit the amount of oil that forms a slick on the surface of the water or on the shoreline by moving the oil into the dissolved phase. Dispersants are applied using spray nozzles, pumps, and hoses, and can be applied from a ship or aircraft.

Mechanical recovery contains spilled oil with booms and collects it with a skimming device for storage and disposal. Booms are deployed from ships or anchored to fixed structures or land. There are several types of skimmers, which use suction, weirs to remove oil from the water surface.

Once the oils have been recovered, they should be transferred by pumps and hoses to a temporary storage place until they can be disposed of properly.

Oil spill prevention is the best strategy to avoid potential damage to human health and the environment. Oil tank leak clean up is time-consuming and expensive, but oil spill clean up costs are minor compared to the negative impact on an organization’s brand and image. Repeated oil spills, even minor ones, result in increased scrutiny from environmental regulators.

Preventive measures aim to avoid the release of hydrocarbons into the environment and are based on:

  • Early warning systems.
  • Satellite monitoring systems.

An early warning system is capable of detecting oil spills and leaks on the water. It can detect even small amounts of oil in real time, 24 hours a day, and is reliable in bad weather or at night, when traditional inspection techniques are ineffective. Early detection allows response authorities to take immediate corrective action to stop and contain a spill, providing an effective way to minimize the environmental and financial impact of an oil spill.

Whether or not this has happened to you, you can prevent an oil leak by following these simple protocols habitually;

Ensure all fuel pipelines running to the furnace are placed under a protective tubing or fixed under concrete. It’s more challenging to have accidental line damage this way.

Clean oil pipe connections and ensure tight joints. Oil spills start with loose connections on several pipe sections.

Monitor your fuel consumption. Keep a record of your weekly consumption of home oil. Once in a while, have a comparison check of previous consumption levels. You should notice an oil leak suspicion if fuel usage rises significantly without additional appliances.

Monitor your oil tank and piping. An on-ground oil tank is easier to monitor. For underground tanks, once it lasts at least 20 years, consider replacing them.

Regular maintenance. Schedule regular maintenance with oil spill cleanup companies to perform a random check and look for potential leak points. Regular maintenance helps your tank operation to remain optimum.

We respond quickly to oil spills and hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals with our fleet of specialized vehicles. Our vehicles carry spill kits, absorbents and specialized equipment to contain and carry out oil spill clean up to prevent environmental contamination.

In case of flooding, we evacuate excess water by tanker, quickly and efficiently. In the event of a traffic accident, we handle debris and clear roads to keep traffic flowing. After the incident, our specialized response teams provide a range of fast, cost-effective consulting and site remediation services that put you and the environment first.


With today’s knowledge of soil and water contamination caused by an oil spill, it is in the best interest of homeowners to remove that tank from the ground and replace it with an above-ground tank or convert to clean, affordable propane gas!

At KBS maintenance, we have well-trained experts ready to handle all disasters. With our equipment, our specialists will clean and restore your house & business and make all contamination disappear. Oil tank leak clean ups are unfortunately a very common occurrence for our company and thus we guarantee that we won’t leave any fuel residue behind. Our top priority is to keep you, your family and your employees safe.


Call us or contact KBS Maintenance to take advantage of our oil tank leak clean up services. 

KBS Cleaning Services