Sinkholes and “sinkhole homes” (homes with repaired or active sinkholes on the property) are remarkably common in the state of Florida. This is due in part to the karst terrain in the state. Karst topography is formed from the breakdown of soluble rocks like limestone. Water erodes the limestone under the soil and washes it away until only a thin layer of ground is left. This thin layer easily collapses into a sinkhole. While the presence of karst terrain in Florida makes the area prone to sinkholes, there are certain conditions that trigger sinkholes to form. Heavy rainfall or drought, in particular, can trigger sinkholes to form. All of the tropical storms that Florida experiences can lead to sinkhole formation. In addition, certain kinds of human activity, like pumping of groundwater to irrigate oranges and other crops, can make sinkholes appear.
This means that if you are buying a home in Florida, there is a good chance that you are buying a home with a repaired sinkhole. If this is the case for you, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
There is nothing inherently wrong with buying a home with a repaired sinkhole. However, buying such a home does require a level of caution and diligence and requires various documentation. In fact, buying a home with a repaired sinkhole may turn out to be in your favor, as these homes can be more affordable than homes with no known sinkhole activity. Whenever you are buying a home in Florida, it is wise to examine the surrounding area as well. Check for homes with similar problems/repairs to get an idea of how to value the property and what a good offer would look like. Even if your prospective new home does not have a history of sinkholes, others around it may. This is a good thing to be aware of no matter what the state of your new home is.
When it comes to homes with unrepaired sinkholes, these should be avoided. These homes are usually priced very low, but an unaddressed sinkhole is not only dangerous but can cause serious structural issues in the home. The longer the sinkhole is left unrepaired, the worse these issues might become.
However, In order to protect yourself and ensure that your future home is safe for you and your family, there are a few key things to remember about buying a home with a repaired sinkhole.
Specific reports that you should look for include the Engineer Findings Report – which would have been used to determine the actual sinkholes – and the Engineering Completion Report – which would have been used to document the repair work.
If you are concerned about subpar sinkhole repairs or if you think there is an active sinkhole on your new property, call Foundation Professionals of Florida today. We offer expert sinkhole remediation throughout the entire state of Florida.