Recent Sinkhole Events in Florida are a Reminder to Be Prepared
Sinkholes in Florida Seem to Be More and More Common
Massive sinkholes in Florida have been making headline news lately. You hear more stories about the ground opening up and swallowing people, cars, parking lots and even homes. In 2013, a Tampa, FL home suddenly collapsed swallowing a bedroom with a man inside. Just recently in Spring Hill, FL, several homes in a neighborhood were evacuated after a massive 25 x 25 foot wide sinkhole appeared. Local residents reported seeing cracks in their home’s structure and in nearby roads close to the sinkhole. Because the sinkhole continues to expand, authorities told local residents to evacuate the area. View the video above to get more information about the sinkhole in Spring Hill, FL.
What are sinkholes and how widespread are they? Sinkholes are holes or depressions in the land’s surface. Because the state of Florida consists of porous limestone and sandstone, acidic ground water moves through the soil and slowly dissolves the limestone. Over time, this creates voids and cavities in the ground.
Sinkholes are not uncommon. In fact, 10% of the world’s landscape have karst areas that are caused by natural occurrences due to:
- Weathering and Erosion: Weather and soil erosion is caused by heavy rainfall and flooding.
- Drought-like Conditions: Long periods of dry weather conditions cause the groundwater levels to fall and become weak.
However, some sinkholes are humanly induced meaning they are created by human activities such as: building ponds, groundwater pumping, broken underground sewer pipes or burst water pipes.
So how do you look for sinkhole activity? Not all sinkholes are visible. Some sinkholes form under foundations making them difficult to detect. Fortunately, there are obvious warning signs of sinkhole activity to be aware of, such as:
- Driveway cracks
- Cracks in pool decks
- Gaps or separation of walls from floors or ceiling
- Sinking or leaning trees and shrubs
- Slanting fence posts
- Sticking windows and doors
- Wall, floor and ceiling cracks
- Drywall nails popping out
- Sloping floors
- Stair step cracks of the exterior walls
- Wall and floor cracks
Homes with sinkhole activity may have plumbing issues and high water bills. Some signs of water-related issues may be water seepage through cracks, flooded basements, standing water or water in the yard. If you have a pool on your property, watch for loss of pool water. Observe any cracks from settlement in or around the pool.
Contact our professionals if you suspect sinkhole activity on your property, so we can inspect your damages and determine the type of sinkhole you have. There are three types of sinkholes that you should be aware of. They include solution, subsidence and collapse sinkholes.
- Solution Sinkholes: Solution sinkholes form where limestone and other insoluble bedrock are exposed at land surface. They can also be caused by a thin layer of soil that covers the soil. As water dissolves the limestone and insoluble material, it migrates downward creating a bowl-shaped depression. This causes the perimeter to expand and increase the amount of surface runoff.
- Subsidence Sinkholes: This type of sinkhole is similar to solution sinkholes, except a thin layer of soil covers the soluble bedrock. When water enters and dissolves weak areas of the cavity, the overlying sediment slowly migrates downward into the growing cavity.
- Collapse Sinkholes: Collapse sinkholes are the most threatening because they can occur anytime without warning. They usually form in areas that consists of limestone underneath the surface. They grow until the surface becomes weak on top, then collapse.
Sinkhole Repairs in Florida with Foundation Professionals of Florida
If you have sinkhole activity, don’t panic. Give us a call today. We offer sinkhole repairs for the residents of Florida such as compaction grouting and void filling.
- Void Filling: Void filling is a method applied to more serious sinkhole situations. It fills in voids and spaces under the foundation created by soil erosion or settlement. Small holes are drilled, then light-weight polyurethane liquid is injected into the holes. After it is cured, the material fills the voids and stabilizes the concrete. This is a quick, easy process that causes little to no disruption to the work site.
- Compaction Grouting: Compaction grouting involves injecting a polyurethane foam into loose soil. This method compacts the soil by creating dense foam balls or columns. Compaction grouting helps make the soil stable and prevents future foundation problems.
All of our materials and products are made by Earth Contact Products (ECP), the leading manufacturer in today’s foundation repair and waterproofing. We guarantee quality products with top service for the residents of Florida. If you suspect sinkhole activity on your property, contact Foundation Professionals of FL. Our experts will inspect your property and evaluate any damages.
Visit our Sinkhole FAQ page for informative questions and answers about sinkholes in Florida. Also, we offer free estimates for every project, so give us a call today. We’ll help ease your worries!