Sinkholes in Florida
More people are moving to Florida, making this state the third most populous state in the United States. The beaches are beautiful and the cost of living is low. That’s wonderful news for Floridians because it attracts more revenue, but newcomers aren’t aware of the common occurrences of sinkholes. A video provided by WCTV.TV demonstrates the damaging affects of sinkhole activity in Live Oak, Florida. Thanks to this video, homeowners in Florida are able to understand how sinkholes form and the damage they cause. A 160-foot sinkhole, caused by Tropical Storm Debbie, was finally repaired in Live Oak, Florida. It formed beneath two buildings that were demolished. The area was quarantined to make sinkhole repairs. FEMA paid for 90% of the project and the city funded 10%. Contractors filled in holes and rebuilt the street back to normal. Even though this project was finally complete, unfortunately sinkhole activity may recur.
In 2012, a Tampa man was swallowed by a massive 30 feet deep sinkhole in his bedroom. Everything was gone including his bed, dresser and television. As you can see, sinkholes can form anywhere in Florida so make sure you are aware of the warning signs of sinkhole activity so you can take the necessary steps to avoid them on your property.
There are early sinkhole warning signs in Florida to be aware of. These signs include:
- Water leaks during heavy rains
- Cracking floor tiles
- Uneven floors
- Cracks in walls, doors, ceilings and along the floors
- Window and door frame cracks
- Leaning, shifting or moving fence
- Unleveled cabinets
- Nail popping
- Sticking doors and windows
- Soft spots or depressions in the ground surface
- Neighbors with sinkholes
- Plumbing problems resulting to higher water bills
- Strange creaking or popping noise
- Cracks around windows
- Sudden water drainage of pond
- Loss of pool water
Don’t confuse sinkhole signs with foundation settlement. It is important to know the difference between the two. Settlement cracks are caused by soil-related conditions such as soil erosion and shrinkage. New or widening cracks usually signal a major concern. Sinkhole activity causes leakage around pools and increases the yard slope on your property. It also causes wilted vegetation.
Protect your property as soon as possible. If you suspect sinkhole activity, give Foundation Professionals of Florida a call. We can inspect your home and provide the necessary repairs for your property.
What are Sinkholes and How To Prevent Them in Florida
What are sinkholes? Acidic rain absorbs into the soil and moves through decaying plants. This causes the soil to become more acidic. The soil is Florida mainly consist of limestone, which is porous. So as the acidic water moves through the soil, it slowly erodes the limestone. As a result, large cavities are formed and the ground collapses into those cavities. This is how sinkholes are created.
Unfortunately, sinkholes can be created by human activity such as creating artificial ponds, drilling wells, and adding large amounts of water into a single area. They can vary in size ranging from very small to extremely massive in diameter. They can also form underneath the foundation and can be difficult to spot. If you notice signs of sinkhole activity on your property, give us a call immediately. We offer sinkhole remediation such as compaction grouting and void filling to stabilize your sinkhole.
Compaction grouting: This technique is designed to compact loose soil and close up the hole. As the grout mixes with the soil, it compacts the soil and increases the stability of the structure.
- Polyurethane foam in injected into the loose soil. As the foam expands, it forms balls of dense structural foam. The expanding foam compacts and surrounds the soil.
- Our Precision Lift foams are injected into the ground by using equipment that heats up and increases the reaction time. Combining the expansion forces of the foam with the injection pressure from the pump, compacts the soil and fills in the voids.
- With a full dose of catalyst, the Prime Flex 920 can also be used to firm up the soil. The reaction time is increased so that the loose soil is forced outward as the foam expands.
Void Filling: This process involves filling up spaces and gaps with polyurethane underneath the concrete where cracks have formed.
- Our professionals drill a few, small holes into the concrete.
- The polyurethane material is injected into the holes and fills in the voids. This helps prevent vibrations and rocking by stabilizing the concrete.
- After a few seconds, it turns into foam material without losing density. The void filling process is quick with little disruption.
Foundation Professionals of Florida uses products made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer in the foundation repair and basement waterproofing industry. We guarantee quality products with excellent service. Contact us today if you need sinkhole professionals to assess sinkhole activity on your property. We are the sinkhole repair team of Florida. We want to help make sure your family is safe. Call us today for an estimate.