a couple weeks ago my fuel oil lines leaked into my crawlspace. I
could smell it powerfully in my house. When I got into the crawlspace
I discovered thousands of gallons of water (the wtare table is very
high, so some water isnt unusual) with the oil spread out on the
I sopped up as much as I could with oil-absorbent pads from my oil
company, and pumped out as much of the water as I could. Now here's
the bad news. I want to sell my house in the next 2 months and I'm
sure that some smell remains, and that I cant even smell it anymore.
Any ideas for ridding the crawlspace and house of the smell?
I will suggest contracting one of the fire/flood recovery contractors.
They have equipment designed to remove odors and have experience with these
kind of problems. I wonder if your home owner's policy might cover the
I can't help get rid of the smell, but can suggest you invite people
over to tell you if they house still smells.
You're absolutely right that few if any people can smell the same
smell after a day or less of smelling it.
Maybe when you are close to done, a fan will make a difference,
although I'm sure the guys Joe suggests will have better fans.
Interesting problem. You need to find the source of the leak and fix
it if you haven't already. You also need to be careful about WHO you
invite into your house and also talk to about this. The EPA just
LOVES to come to houses when you have leaks associated with hazardous
material. Clean-up cost could run you alot of dollars.
The leak got fixed right away. This was a small leak, it just spread
wide because of the water in the crawl space. It dripped slowly for
maybe 2 days. Probably no more than several gallons leaked and most of
that was recovered. Its hard to say how much leaked, it may have been
no more than a gallon. But it doesnt take much to stink.
You'll love this. A personal friend who works at the EPA loaned me his
sump pump to pump the water and residual oil out of my
Well the problem was bigger than I thought. Much bigger. I needed to
get it cleaned up by professionals, and they wouldn't touch it without
the proper authorities being notified. But that wasnt EPA, it was a
Warning to anyone who uses fuel oil: Check with your state to find out
if they will clean up a spill if you have one like mine. Then get rid
of fuel oil ASAP! No home insurance policy will cover pollution or
chemical contamination. So if oil leaks and ruins your house interior
or the soil underneath it, you are screwed. It could render your
property worthless. I am lucky, my state is going to pay for most or
all of the cleanup and its going to be very expensive-well over
$10,000. Hopefully most states will do likewise, but I would check if
I were you.
Even after cleanup you could be left with property that nobody will
I will never use fuel oil again!
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