Owning a Home: Knowing When to Call in the Pros

« Back to Home

Safe Steps To Clean Up Heating Oil Spills

Posted on

Oil heat is efficient, comfortable and consistent. Unfortunately, it isn't without its risks. Leaks and spills are perhaps the biggest concerns when you have oil heat, and knowing how to deal with them is important. Whether the spill in question is the result of an overfilled oil tank or due to a leak, you need to know how to respond to it properly. Here are some tips to help you clean up oil spills safely.

Eliminate Any Ignition Source

As soon as you recognize any sign of a heating oil leak, you'll want to be sure that you immediately eliminate any potential ignition source. That means extinguishing the pilot light and any other source of flames in the area. Open every window in the area while you're at it so that you vent the fumes away. This will reduce the risk of fire.

Soak Up Any Puddles

Pour absorbent material like powdered laundry soap, cat litter or a specialized oil absorbent product on the puddle. Make sure you cover the whole area so that there's about an inch or so covered beyond the oil puddle. Leave it in place for a couple of hours so that it soaks up as much as it can.

Sweep up the absorbent material using a push broom or something like it. Collect all of the dust in a pan, then put it all into a heavy plastic garbage bag. Once tied tightly, you can dispose of it with your local hazardous waste disposal service.

Clean the Floor

Create a solution from warm water and a little bit of dish detergent. Opt for a detergent specifically designed to cut grease for the best chance of getting the residue out of the floor. Mix the dish detergent into the water until you see suds. Use the sudsy mixture and a stiff brush to scrub the residue on the floor. Rinse the floor completely, then repeat the process if needed to eliminate any residual staining. Once you've gotten rid of all of the residue, flush the area with fresh, clean water and then set up fans to dry it out.

If your home has oil heat, it's in your best interest to understand how to deal with leaks and other hazards. With the information here, you'll be better prepared to address an oil spill quickly and correctly. Once you've cleaned it up, you should reach out to a  heating oil supplier like Cash Oil to isolate the source of the problem, inspect the tank and help you resolve the situation.