Chaucer Cottages

Accidental Release of Heating Oil

The release of oil damaged one of a pair of semidetached houses of modern brick construction. The escape of oil appears to have originated within the boiler, possibly from a pipe or component failure rather than at the tank itself.  The boiler is located within the property’s utility room, which is located within a modern extension adjacent to the kitchen / dining room.   There was olfactory evidence to suggest that the heating oil had migrated through the masonry wall to impact the adjacent dining room.  The oil fired boiler abuts a historic chimney within the former gable end wall of the property.  Either side of the chimney a pair of alcoves / recesses have been enclosed to form cupboards.  A strong kerosene odour emanated from these cupboards.  This suggested that the oil had migrated through the masonry, following the line of a damp proof membrane within the wall construction.  Areas of the masonry walls within the utility room were removed and replaced and then replastered.  The dinning room required brick and plaster removal also.