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Anyone Dealt with an “oil like smell” in the basement?

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Bossi

“Dear PoPville,

Our Rowhouse has an English Basement. We have had a number of guests use it and complain of an oil-like smell. The smell is stronger towards the front by our front porch. We tried sealing that back wall, but that stopped it temporarily. I am afraid that there may be an oil tank that was not filled in completely. Has anyone had experience with something like this? Did you have to get the oil tank dug out, or filled in? If it was underneath a porch- how did they do it? Who on earth do you hire for this type of work.”

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