Oil heat is an efficient, comforting way to get through the cold winter months, but it can also be a safety hazard if you have a spill in your basement. Any time you have a heating oil tank in the basement, you're at risk of a spill on the floor. Whether it's due to overfilling when you get a delivery or a leak in the tank, you need to know how to deal with it. Luckily, cleaning up heating oil from a hard floor surface isn't difficult, so you can clean things up and eliminate the safety hazard on your own. Here are the steps you need to safely eliminate a heating oil spill on your basement floor.
Avoid Heat and Flames
As soon as you spot a heating oil leak, get rid of all heat sources and open flames in the area. Then, open up every possible window and door nearby to help ventilate the fumes in the area. You might even want to consider keeping your pets outside or in another room so that you don't risk them stepping in it and tracking the oil throughout the house.
Soak Up the Surface Mess
Pour an absorbent over the entire surface of the spill so that it covers an inch or so beyond the edges of the oil. You can buy a commercial oil absorbent material or you can use cat litter, sand or powdered laundry detergent. Let the absorbent sit and do its job for a half an hour or so while you do something else.
Then, sweep the absorbent material with a push broom. The goal is to push it all into a dust pan so that you can throw it away. You'll want to put it all into a heavy plastic garbage bag and tie it tightly. Call your local landfill or transfer station to find out who will accept hazardous waste in your area, as you can't just throw it away. Take it to a hazardous waste station so that it's processed safely.
Clean the Floor
There will inevitably be some residue from the oil on the surface of the floor after your cleanup efforts. The best way to deal with this is with a solution of gentle detergent and warm water. Mild dishwashing detergents are great for this, particularly if you choose a brand that specializes in cutting through grease.
Add several drops of detergent to a gallon of hot water until agitating the water makes suds develop. Apply the solution to the floor and scrub with a heavy brush. Once you've got the residue off the floor, rinse it thoroughly with clean, hot water.
With the tips presented here, an oil spill or leak in your basement doesn't have to be a disaster. You can clean up the spill on your own and then deal with the source of the problem. If you need help with oil clean ups or heater repairs, contact an experienced company like Cardinal USA Fuel Oil.
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