In November 2013, a sinkhole opened up in a driveway in Holiday, Florida. The 63-year-old woman that lived there saw that the tires of her car were sinking into the cement. A few minutes later, her entire car was swallowed by a 10 foot by 10-foot hole in the ground. Several homes needed to be evacuated, fearing that more sinkholes would form.
Sinkholes are prominent in the state of Florida due to the limestone that the soil is made up of. They are formed by the erosion of the limestone as water travels downward into the limestone causing the erosion. There are three types of sinkholes:
Collapse sinkholes appear suddenly, often making the headline news such as the one in November in Holiday, Florida. These types of sinkholes form when surface material suddenly sink into a cavity or cave.
Solutions sinkholes form slowly from the sandy sediments that cover the limestone bedrock. Cracks and voids begin to form beneath the top layer. The sinkholes appear slowly from the sandy sediments. Groundwater then washes away the sediments creating larger voids and cavities beneath the ground.
Subsidence sinkholes are similar to solutions sinkholes. The difference is that they contain a thick layer of soil that covers the limestone bedrock. As water enters the cavity, it dissolves weak areas and the overlying sediment gradually moves downward into the growing cavity, making it larger over a period of time. Often, they become ponds as water fills into the cavity.
There are a few warning signs that a sinkhole may be forming around you and your home. Some of these signs are:
Let the experts at Foundation Professionals of Florida come and inspect your property and see if there are any signs that you may have a sinkhole forming on your property. We have geotechnical engineers that are experienced in forensic investigation. Our testing methods include laboratory soil testing, drilling and soil sampling.
If we find that there is sinkhole activity on your property, we offer solutions such as compact grouting and underpinning. Compact grouting uses polyurethane foam that is injected into the soil. As the foam expands, it increases the density of the soil and the load-bearing capacity.
If a sinkhole has already damaged your property, we use underpinning products to lift and stabilize your structure. These underpinning products include steel push piers and helical piers that are driven deep into the ground through the unstable soil layers until they reach a solid soil layer, then the entire structure is lifted onto the piers to level and stabilize it.
Foundation Professionals of Florida uses only the best products for underpinning and compact grouting. The products are manufactured by Earth Contact Products, the leader in foundation repair and basement waterproofing products in the industry.
If you live in Florida, it is important to have your property inspected for sinkholes. Let the experts at Foundation Professionals of Florida give you a free inspection and offer the best solutions for your needs. Contact us today!