Q: The buyer of our home is requesting removal of the oil tank in our basement. We switched to gas a few years ago. Do you have any advice for how we should have it removed? The oil was siphoned out when we switched to gas, but I don't know if it is 100 percent clean and dry.
A: The solution is much easier than if the tank were one of those buried in the yard. You should contact the nearest company that deals in removing basement tanks. The company will ensure that all the sludge is cleanly and safely removed before the tank is sliced up, and will carefully dispose of any remaining fuel and the tank, as well. Since removal of the tank is something that the buyer wants, talk to your agent about splitting the cost.
Getting rid of musty smell
Q: Five years ago, my daughter and her husband purchased a house built in 1958. You can smell the mustiness the minute you open the front door, and sometimes I notice the smell in my daughter's hair even when she's at my house.
Cleaning didn't take the smell away. They run a dehumidifier in the basement year-round and recently replaced the carpet with wood floors everywhere in the house.
It still has a musty odor, though not as pronounced. They claim never to notice the odor. Am I imagining this? If not, is there a remedy I might suggest to them to rid the house of this musty smell?
A: You may be overly sensitive to this kind of odor, meaning that you would be more aware of it. Perhaps a visit to the allergist would be in order. Your sensitivity to these odors might be getting more acute and should be checked.