When a homeowner faces a heating oil spill it quickly comes to bear that the homeowner is all alone in the subsequent battle with the oil in the home. A frantic homeowner is calling environment agencies, the dep officials for some guidance on how to handle this beast.
A decent environment consulting firm usually estimates the cleanup costs to be between $10,000 to $40,000 depending on the area of the home that will scrape between 3 - 6 inches of soil (as an aside, the appropriate depth should be 3' because oil does like to travel down) under the foundation and replace the soil so that the homeowner's TPH (total petroleum hydrocarbon) levels are below the levels stipulated by the local environment agencies. This is inherently a cost-intensive operation with costs varying between $10,000 - $100,000 depending on the area of the base of the house, the estimated depth that need to be excavated and other parameters. To make matters worse most insurance companies have an exit clause for accidental spills leaving the homeowner to pay for the cleanup out-of-pocket. Usually such oil spill incidents are few and far between. Then Superstorm Sandy happened.
Post Superstorm Sandy many property owners painfully realized that that oil tank that was in the basement for the last 20 years was not really empty or that the neighbor's oil tank was not reinforced since its initial installation or that the neighbor's lot was at a slightly higher ground than the homeowners resulting in oil entering into their lot. Superstorm Sandy created some unique conditions inside homes wherein the fumes were being absorbed into wood and carpet as the water levels remained high for extended periods of time. And if the home was impacted with an oil spill, most reconstruction work had to pause till a complete solution to the spill was found. Although, the reconstruction is unrelated to cleaning up oil spills, in general, the most important concern that a homeowner has during this time: is the reconstruction effort worth the investment without eliminating the fumes or would it be better to sell the house as is and let the new homeowner prepare for the expensive cleanup, at least based on the estimates from the environment companies.
Needless to say, the homeowner is stuck and has a narrow set of options available. VaporRemed is one such option. Though, before we conclude that VaporRemed is indeed an option, let us look at the characteristics of a potential solution. The solution should
- Be fast
- Waiting for days together to eliminate fumes is not a pleasant activity, not to mention the irritation to the respiratory tract
- Not be invasive
- Most of the costs in cleanup is the cost of the labor and equipment.
- Have a low hydrocarbon footprint
- Although, keeping the hydrocarbon footprint in cleanup of a home after a spill is not on the top of the list of concerns, we believe that this has a long term impact on the environment.
- Be easy to use
- Requiring little or no sophisticated equipment
- Dilution ratios and post application monitoring, in other words, the testing should be easy and reliable (in our experience, nothing beats the power of the nose)
- Be affordable. Anywhere between $500 - $3000 per basement so that the homeowner can either pay it out-of-pocket or be able to convince the insurance company to pay a part of the expenses.
- Not be a masking agent.
Some Superstorm Sandy oil-spill-fighting stories
- A couple of environment companies estimated the cost of cleanup of a basement spilled with oil to be between $7000 - $10,000 to a homeowner is Sayreville, NJ. 5 gallons of VaporRemed cleaned up the basement costing the homeowner $352 including shipping, handling and onsite technical support.
- 20 gallons of VaporRemed were used to cleanup a home in Oceanside NY, costing about $1500, before they could return home. There were some shipping delays for other customers that prompted us to us to start calling on homeowners in New York, New Jersey tristate area with some product to spare. Usually, we let the shipping company handle these delays and most of the time they are great. But these are not normal times...
- A homeowner in Wantagh, NY had purchased a 8 oz. squirt bottle of VaporRemed when he first decided to tackle the spill. One of the recurring themes of our customers, specially during Superstorm Sandy, is that the product gets pushed to the bottom of the stack until it presents itself as an option worth trying. Well, after a couple of weeks of walking into a home overwhelmed with fumes, the homeowner calls us to find out more about the product. We show up at the door to support our product as the homeowner applies VaporRemed to the basement. While the product started to work and remove the fumes, the homeowner calls a friend who is fighting his own spill just in time to prevent him from power-washing the basement. VaporRemed is then systematically applied across all the beams across the home and the basement over a period of 3 hours. As far as we know, the smell is completely gone or mostly gone and if there are any pockets of smell left, they will be taken care of by another gallon or more of VaporRemed. Total cost to the homeowner and his friend: $400 and $500 respectively.