2 min read

5 Most Common Causes of Storage Tank Failures

5 Most Common Causes of Storage Tank Failures | Concord Tank Corporation

Storage tanks are vital assets for industries ranging from petroleum and chemical processing to water treatment and agriculture. These robust structures are designed to withstand the rigors of storing and transporting various liquids and gases. However, like any other infrastructure, storage tanks are prone to failures if not properly maintained and repaired.

The consequences of a tank failure can be catastrophic, leading to environmental damage, safety hazards, and costly repairs. In this blog post, we will explore the five most common causes of storage tank failures and provide valuable insights into preventive measures. By understanding these causes and implementing proactive strategies for storage tank repairs and maintenance, industries can ensure the longevity and reliability of their storage tank systems.

Concord Tank Repair Services

1. Corrosion

Corrosion is the leading cause of storage tank failures worldwide. Over time, the exposure to various liquids, chemicals, and environmental conditions can cause the tank's material to degrade, leading to structural weaknesses.

Corrosion can occur both internally and externally, with factors such as improper coating, high humidity, and chemical composition exacerbating the problem. Regular inspection, maintenance, and corrosion-resistant coatings are crucial to mitigating the risks associated with corrosion.

2. Mechanical Damage

Mechanical damage poses a significant threat to the integrity of storage tanks. Accidental impacts from heavy equipment, seismic activity, or even improper handling during maintenance procedures can result in dents, cracks, or structural deformities. Such damage weakens the tank's structure, making it susceptible to leaks or catastrophic failures.

Ensuring proper training for personnel, implementing strict safety protocols, and conducting regular inspections can help detect and address mechanical damage promptly.

3. Overpressure and Vacuum

Storage tanks are designed to withstand specific pressure conditions, but when these limits are exceeded, the consequences can be disastrous. Overpressure occurs when the tank's pressure exceeds its design parameters, potentially leading to ruptures or explosions. On the other hand, vacuum conditions, which occur when the tank experiences negative pressure, can cause the tank to collapse inward.

Regular monitoring of pressure levels, relief valve maintenance, and adherence to industry standards for pressure management are crucial to prevent overpressure and vacuum-related failures.

4. Foundation Issues

A stable foundation is essential for the structural integrity of storage tanks. Poor soil conditions, settlement, or inadequate support structures can lead to uneven stress distribution, settlement cracks, or even catastrophic failure.

Regular inspections of the tank's foundation, including soil testing and analysis, can help identify potential issues early on. Ensuring proper foundation design and maintenance, including ground reinforcement techniques, can mitigate the risks associated with foundation-related failures.

5. Aging and Lack of Maintenance

Just like any other infrastructure, storage tanks age over time. Without regular maintenance, aging tanks become more susceptible to corrosion, material fatigue, and structural degradation. Neglecting maintenance tasks, such as inspections, cleaning, and repairs, significantly increases the likelihood of tank failures.

Implementing a comprehensive maintenance program, including periodic inspections, corrosion management, and timely repairs, is essential to extend the lifespan of storage tanks and prevent costly failures.


Storage tank failures can have severe consequences, ranging from environmental pollution to safety hazards and financial losses. By understanding the common causes of tank failures and implementing proactive measures for storage tank repairs and maintenance, industries can minimize risks and ensure the longevity and reliability of their storage tank systems.

When it comes to storage tank repairs and maintenance, choosing the right partner is crucial for ensuring longevity, safety, and uninterrupted operations. Regular inspections, corrosion management, foundation maintenance, and adherence to industry standards are all vital aspects of a robust preventive maintenance strategy. Investing in proactive measures today with Concord Tank can save significant costs and protect the environment and the safety of personnel tomorrow. Reach out today and see how we can help you!

Contact Concord Tank Corporation for Storage Tank Repairs and Maintenance


Concord Tank Corporation specializes in tank repairs and terminal maintenance. We help simplify and expedite your projects without sacrificing safety and quality. From initial decommissioning through to the final return to service, our experienced team can take care of your tank project needs. Our services include API 653 tank repairs, in-service leg pinning, terminal maintenance projects, storage tank cleaning, floating roof seal repairs, aluminum IFR installation, and more.