Check Your Home For Oil Leaks This Winter

The ice, snow and freezing temperatures that come along with winter aren't just harsh on the human body. These elements can also be harsh to boilers, oil feed lines and oil tanks, potentially resulting in a dangerous leak. A leak doesn't just put your health and safety at risk, but if the oil seeps into the soil or a nearby drainage line, this puts the health and safety of the entire community at risk. If you have these fixtures around your home, make sure you know how to spot a leak.


For boilers not housed in climate-controlled areas, prolonged exposure to extreme cold may cause cracking. Two indications of a leak include the presence of oil or an oil stain at the base of the unit. These same characteristics around the connector that attaches the boiler to the oil feed line is also a sign.

Even if you don't see any signs of a leak, pay particular attention to any smells being emitted from the unit. Do you smell a strong odor similar to that of burning oil? If the answer is yes, this could also indicate a leak.

Oil Tank

If you use oil to heat your home, go outside to inspect the oil tank. Particularly for an older tank or one that has had previous issues with rust, cracking during the winter is common due to cold stress.

Although it will be difficult to exactly pinpoint if there is a crack by simply looking at the tank, you can look for oil staining as an indication that oil is leaking. Even if you don't see any staining, discolored vegetation in the tank's vicinity is also a warning sign.

Oil Feed Lines

Oil feed lines are often found along the floor, near the wall, on the lowest level of your home or outside. Carefully examine any exposed area of the line for damage, such as a small crack or denting.

If the feed line is exposed to the harsh cold temperatures, this can potentially cause even a tiny crack to occur. If your line is exposed in an area of the basement where there is traffic, someone could even accidentally kick the line, denting it. Look closely at the damaged areas to see if you notice any indication of seepage.

Act Immediately

In the event you recognize a leak, your first call should be to a remediation specialist like Fisher Environmental Ltd Markham. A remediation professional will diagnose the magnitude of the leak and take immediate and effective precautions to ensure your safety and the safety of the local community.

Make sure you are being proactive about checking for oil leaks this winter.