Why are we afraid of sinkholes in Florida?

Why are we afraid of sinkholes in Florida?

We wonder when we see disturbing images on TV, how sinkholes are formed, especially when they concern Florida and the cities where we live.

We are frightened by these things and we hope it does not happen in our cities due to the chaos generated.

But we want to better understand how sinkholes are formed and what they are caused. Let’s see together.

The sinkholes have always been part of the life of Florida citizens, certainly due to the geological conditions that cause caves and voids, called sinkholes.

Thanks to the new repopulation, new buildings, and buildings, alterations in Florida’s water supply, there has been an increase in damage precisely because of the sinkholes.

Especially in recent years, there have been several cases where people have lost their lives, as well as property and land damage.

Precisely for these reasons, many Florida residents have committed themselves to check what is under their homes and contacting insurance agents. There has been an increase in calls to insurance companies and sinkhole repair companies.

There are various ways in which sinkholes can be formed, those large or small chasms that sometimes open in city streets or in non-urban areas.

In cities built over accumulations of volcanic material, it happens that over time, very large cavities form in the underground layers.

The rainwater that seeps underground digs little by little until the asphalt becomes a thin ceiling above the empty spaces and suddenly collapses.

Other times, the water, which is made acid by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, gradually dissolves rocks composed of slightly soluble materials such as limestone.

The process forms a depression in the ground because the overlying earth slowly falls through the cavities that form in the rock. In urban areas, the most common reason why holes are formed is the rupture of old pipes, which cause large water leaks.

Phenomena of this type are very common in Florida, whose subsoil is dotted with caves and the soil is extremely porous. More than 500 have been recorded in the Seffner area since the early 1950s. 

Up until now, sinkholes had swallowed mostly cars, or parts of homes, but very rarely people. In 1981, a sinkhole about 100 meters wide and 27 deep opened up in Winter Park, near Orlando, and took away a two-story house, a car dealer and a part of a pool, but fortunately, there were no casualties.

The formation of these abysses can be generated by a wrong geotechnical evaluation of the subsoil that is loaded with the superstructures but also by the development of erosion phenomena deriving from the mutation of the underground water circulation, and in the case of the urban fabric. 

It can also be induced by man for the modification of underground utilities and underground hydraulic schemes even in the case of water leaks.

Is it true that the sinkholes are caused by repairs to the road surface not performed well?

It is often possible that the sinkholes have been created because the road surface has not been properly repaired.

In fact, we need to make sure that when it is repaired some of these things, are done that we are going to quote.

Observing the construction of a new road, we note that it is necessary to proceed by successive phases through the shaking, laying of geotextile, construction of suitable road embankment, taking care to carry out repairs not exceeding 50 cm in order to proceed to a subsequent compacting up to reach the project quota.

In this way, the road guarantees an adequate seal, if there are no disturbing factors such as breakage of sewers and other.

How do I know if there are any sinkholes under my house or under my garden?

Cracked or out-of-level floors, slabs, sidewalks or driveways
Windows or doors that stick or stop working because of settlement or skewed openings
Cracks in drywall, especially at top corners of window & door openings
Nails popping.
Cracks on foundation walls
Obvious low or sunken areas on your property
Mildew or wet areas around the foundation

If you are afraid that there are sinkholes under your house or in your property, the first step to do is definitely to call a specialist, a company that deals with understanding the extent of the damage.

Furthermore, we remind you that it is very important to have insurance, the insurance itself, will take care of calling a structural engineer to better understand and inspect the house. In this way, the engineer will develop a repair plan.

Thanks to this document, you can request quotes from foundation repair contractors and then evaluate which one is best for you and your family.

This way you can have the contractor of your choice carry out repairs and will take care of everything needed to repair the damage.

What are the options to repair sinkhole damage?

Compaction grouting is the only proven method of repairing a sinkhole and stabilizing the soil. 

In many cases, the placement of new foundations is recommended to understand how far the damage comes. Piles of steel are placed with pneumatic equipment until they reach a stable and solid ground area or even the rock so that it can better support the building.

The batteries are used to bring the building and the foundations back to their original position.

It is, therefore, necessary to select the best, the companies that deal with these problems, mother nature is certainly unpredictable but companies must guarantee excellent work.

We advise you as we have said before to seek out a good homeowners insurance that will cover you in the event of sinkhole damage so that you do not have to spend a fortune to fix your house.

What can I do if a sinkhole appears on my property?

Fence off the area as best you can and place warning sign in clear view
Remove any nearby items (es cars, boat)
Contact your local water management district
Contact your homeowner’s insurance company

Hiring a Sinkhole Lawyer

Finding out that your home is built on an active sinkhole is really terrible news for homeowners and even small businesses.

With a good homeowners insurance policy, there are excellent chances to get reimbursed and to evaluate the sum of money for the correct repair by experts.

In fact, it is a good thing to buy the right insurance to have protection and have the money necessary to pay for the sinkhole damage.

It is certainly not a simple task to negotiate with an insurance company and for this it is necessary to move to legal resolution. The owners need to find a lawyer who is an expert in sinkholes in Florida who can help them solve the problem.

A specialized lawyer can be perfect to read up and review all the data. We advise you to find the right lawyer and support you.

Selling a Property with Sinkhole Damage

A home for a family is really a big investment and you usually choose a home that can be for life. Seeing your home destroyed by a sinkhole is not nice, it’s terrible. According to Florida law, if a property has a sinkhole business, it must be said immediately if the property is sold.

There are many warning signs that the sinkhole activity can take place on a property but vary greatly depending on the sinkhole formation.

When you decide to sell your property, you will have to specify that there is a sinkhole and you will have to look for a real estate agency that can take this problem into consideration and make it a resource. 

We hope to have been useful with this information and that you can find the solution for you and your family.

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