A tank sweep scan, also known as a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scan, is crucial in closing on a property, especially for older properties with underground tanks. Banks often require this inspection to ensure that no hidden tanks could pose environmental and financial risks to the property owner.
So what are the details of a tank sweep or ground penetrating radar scan, how it works, and why is it essential in the property inspection process?
What is a Tank Sweep or Ground Penetrating Radar Scan?
A tank sweep or GPR scan is a non-invasive method to detect underground tanks or other buried objects, such as utility lines or drainage systems. It utilizes advanced technology to penetrate the ground and create images or maps of subsurface objects, allowing for accurate detection and location of potential tanks.
This inspection method is widely used in real estate transactions to identify potential environmental hazards and protect property owners from unexpected financial liabilities.
Conducting a tank sweep or GPR scan involves using specialized equipment, typically a GPR device emitting high-frequency radio waves into the ground to yield data quickly with a high resolution. Electromagnetic waves travel at a particular velocity determined by the permittivity of the material. These radio waves then bounce back to the surface when encountering different subsurface materials, creating reflections captured and processed by the GPR device.
Trained professionals then analyze the data collected to interpret the results and identify any anomalies that may indicate the presence of an underground tank.
Why Do Banks Require a Tank Sweep or GPR Scan?
One of the main reasons a tank sweep or GPR scan is mandatory in many property transactions is to detect underground tanks, which can pose significant environmental and financial risks. Underground tanks, such as oil tanks or storage tanks, are commonly used for various purposes, including storing heating oil, fuel, or other hazardous substances. However, these tanks can deteriorate, leak, or become obsolete over time, posing environmental hazards such as soil and groundwater contamination.
In addition, if an underground tank is discovered after the property has been sold, and there is soil contamination, it can result in costly cleanup and remediation efforts, potential legal liabilities, and decreased property value.
A tank sweep or ground penetrating radar scan can also detect other buried objects, such as utility lines or drainage systems, impacting property development or construction plans. For example, knowing the location of utility lines can prevent accidental damage during construction or excavation work, avoiding costly repairs and delays. Additionally, identifying drainage systems can help property owners understand the property’s drainage patterns, preventing potential flooding or water damage issues.
What Comes After a Tank Sweep or Ground Penetrating Radar Scan?
The results of a tank sweep scan or GPR scan can provide valuable information to property owners and potential buyers. If no anomalies are detected, it can provide peace of mind that the property is free from any hidden environmental hazards or liabilities.
However, if abnormalities are detected, further investigation may be required, such as soil testing or excavation to confirm the presence of a tank or other buried objects. This information can be crucial in negotiating property transactions, as it may affect the sale’s purchase price, terms, or conditions.
Schedule Your Tank Sweep or GPR Scan Today
In addition to the financial and environmental benefits, conducting a tank sweep or ground penetrating radar scan can help property owners comply with local regulations and ordinances. As many municipalities have specific requirements regarding the installation, removal, or decommissioning of underground tanks, hiring a professional tank removal and site remediation company with the training, experience, and insurance to take up this task is crucial.
Contact Stewart Environmental Remediation for your tank sweep or ground penetrating radar scan (GPR). Our environmental consulting and contracting services are provided for New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania properties.