The state of Florida occasionally makes the national news for its large sinkholes. Just last month, on July 14, a giant sinkhole appeared in Land ‘O Lakes, Florida, a community just north of Tampa in Pasco County. Originally, the sinkhole opened beneath a boat and was merely the size of a small swimming pool – which is still large enough to cause major concern. However, the sinkhole was not done growing. The sinkhole grew rapidly, reaching a width of over 200 feet. The sinkhole took only about thirty minutes to expand from a few feet to a size large enough to start swallowing the two houses. The sinkhole was thought to be at least 50 feet deep as well – the depth is difficult to perceive in images, as the sinkhole is largely filled with water and has a film of dirt and debris floating on the top.
When the sinkhole expanded to swallow two nearby homes, at least nine other homes around it were thought to be in danger. Nearby homes were evacuated just in case. Residents of the two houses that were originally engulfed were evacuated in time but they lost their personal possessions to the sinkhole. On July 15, the day after the sinkhole was originally discovered, it was reported that the sinkhole appeared to have stopped growing. That morning, Saturday, July 15, five homes within about a 20-mile radius of the sinkhole, were deemed unsafe to enter, but residents of four other homes were allowed to enter their homes. Experts estimated that the repair process would take weeks or even months. Repair teams have been forced to treat the sinkhole as a hazmat situation since water inside is not draining due to the presence of debris.
Since July, the sinkhole has only continued to grow and has caused another five homes nearby to be condemned. During the cleanup process on August 4, large pieces of the sinkhole’s edges collapsed, putting more homes in danger. By Monday, August 7, a total of seven homes were condemned due to damage from the sinkhole. Although experts are not entirely sure what caused the sinkhole to expand further, it is suspected that both seismic vibrations from trucks and equipment near the sinkhole and previous sinkhole activity in the area could be to blame.
Crews had been working on stabilizing the sinkhole by dumping in crushed limestone, and cleaning the sinkhole by clearing out debris, but had to put repairs on hold until ground penetrating radar tests came back to determine the stability of the sinkhole and the surrounding site. The sinkhole has been cleaned, but many of the area residents are still concerned and have not yet returned to normal everyday life.
Sinkholes like this one are not uncommon in Florida. Every once in a while, a new story will appear about a large sinkhole opening up in the state and swallowing a house, a car, a driveway, etc. However, even more common than the appearance of these monster sinkholes is the formation of smaller sinkholes in Florida. These smaller sinkholes, though perhaps not as scary or news-worthy as their larger counterparts, can still be a danger to your home and family. Aside from being able to engulf portions of your house or property, smaller sinkholes can cause serious foundation problems in your home.
Stories like this one should alert you to how dangerous sinkholes can be – even small sinkholes can grow quickly to become huge issues, and even small sinkholes can lead to foundation failure. Do not hesitate when you see signs of a sinkhole near your Florida home or business.
If you notice depressions in your yard or foundation problems – cracks, settling or sinking, gaps or spaces, sloped or uneven floors, sticking doors or windows – in your home, contact the sinkhole repair experts at Foundation Professionals of Florida today. Our team will examine your home and property to determine if the damage is the result of sinkhole activity.
If the problems you are seeing are the result of a sinkhole, we offer a few different options for sinkhole repair. The sinkhole likely needs to be filled and the ground around it stabilized. We utilize cement grouting techniques to fill sinkholes and stabilize the ground around them. Sometimes, sinkhole repair merely involves filling in the sinkhole with soil. In other cases, if more stabilization is needed, we will use compaction grouting or permeation grouting to pump grout into the sinkhole and stabilize the surrounding soil. We are your number one choice for soil stabilization and sinkhole remediation.
Contact us right away for sinkhole repair in your Florida home or business. Our professional team is able to assist with sinkhole repair and remediation of all sizes for all different kinds of properties.