Water Main Breaks Causes Sinkhole to Form

Just over two weeks ago, a large sinkhole opened up in a road near Davie Boulevard and Southwest 24th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This sinkhole was the result of a 6-inch water main break at about 4:30 a.m. on Monday, February 27th. Once the water main broke, the water poured into the storm drain and washed away soil underneath the road. This led to the giant, 15-foot-wide sinkhole opening and swallowing large chunks of asphalt. Fortunately, the sinkhole did not cause any service interruptions and no boil water notices were required.

However, sinkholes such as this one are not uncommon in Florida. If a sinkhole like this one appears on your property or near your home, contact the expert sinkhole repair team at Foundation Professionals of Florida right away.

How do Water Main Breaks Cause Sinkholes?

Sometimes, sinkholes form slowly due to the erosion of soil under the surface of the ground. However, the recent sinkhole in Fort Lauderdale was likely a cover-collapse sinkhole, which forms suddenly. Sinkholes are common in karst terrain (land that contains a lot of soluble bedrock). Because of the excessive amounts of limestone – a soluble bedrock – throughout Florida, the state is full of karst terrain.

cover-collapse sinkhole ft lauderdale flWhen sinkholes form slowly, known as cover-subsidence or subsidence sinkholes, it is because the limestone bedrock is worn down gradually by water in the soil and precipitation. These sinkholes slowly form depressions in the ground or ponds as water fills the hole.

However, cover-collapse sinkholes like those that form underneath roads and houses appear suddenly. In these kinds of sinkhole situations, the limestone is worn down under the surface of the ground, making it difficult or impossible to see the formation with the naked eye until it is too late. The limestone underneath is worn away gradually while a layer of soil or sediment conceals the process. Only when the sinkhole becomes too large and the cover of soil above can no longer support its own weight does the sinkhole appear.

When water mains, sewer systems, or other water lines underground break or have leaks, it can speed the erosion process, causing these cover-collapse sinkholes to form even faster. The water main break in Fort Lauderdale caused a large amount of water to rush underneath the road, carrying with it limestone sediment and soil that previously supported the road. Once these supportive soils had been washed away by the leak, the road could no longer support its own weight and collapsed. The likelihood of this phenomenon is higher in karst terrain areas, which is why sinkholes often make the headlines in Florida.

Dangers of Cover-Collapse Sinkholes in Florida

While some cover-collapse sinkholes pose a minor threat to people, others have proven to be severely dangerous, extremely damaging, and even deadly. Once formed, the damage of cover-collapse sinkholes is localized, and they can be filled in and repaired. But if these sinkholes form underneath houses, roads, cars, or other buildings, they may cause structural damage and/or injury to anyone located in or near the above structures. If a sinkhole forms on your property, it is important to invest in professional sinkhole remediation as soon as possible. The Foundation Professionals of Florida sinkhole repair crew offers several repair options to fill in sinkholes properly and reduce the occurrence of further erosion or settlement.

Foundation Pros of Florida Sinkhole Repair

Our professional team offers compaction grouting to fill in sinkholes as well as various kinds of foundation repair to fix any damage that may have been caused by sinkholes forming underneath or near your home. Some of the specific repair services and products that we offer include:

  • Compaction Grouting: this method involves injecting an expansive polyurethane grout under the surface of the ground to fill in sinkholes voids that may have formed and to compact the soil around those areas.
  • cover-collapse sinkhole repair floridaHelical Piers Installation: Helical piers are used to support sinking and cracking concrete foundations, and are screwed into the ground under the foundations for maximum stabilization.
  • Steel Push Pier Installation: Steel push piers are used for the same purpose as helical piers, but are pushed into the ground instead of screwed in.
  • Helical Tiebacks: These are anchoring devices that are used to straighten foundation walls that have started to bow or lean due to erosion or soil pressure.
  • Crawl Space Repair: We offer crawl space repair with piering devices to support sinking crawlspaces and the homes above them. Learn more about – How to lower crawl space humidity?
  • Waterproofing: We also offer waterproofing techniques to keep water from building up under the foundation and causing erosion, a major factor in sinkhole formation.

If you are in need of any sinkhole repair or foundation repair services for your Florida home or business, do not hesitate to call Foundation Professionals of Florida right away.