Due to geological conditions in areas such as Florida, sinkholes are quite common. Sinkholes occur when the groundwater dissolves in the underground limestone, creating voids and gaps. Unfortunately, these gaps can cause cave-ins and collapses, which is the sinkhole we see above ground. The combination of the rising sea level, growing population and increase presence of construction all contribute to the property damage due to sinkholes.
Request a Structural Inspection
Homeowners should not ignore cracks on the wall, no matter how small. Small cracks could lead to extensive structural damage. Homeowners should be aware of signs of foundation damage and sinkhole activity. These signs include:
- Cracks in the dry wall
- Low or sunken areas
- Mildew around the foundation
- Wet areas inside the home on the wall or floor
- Leaks in the ceiling or roof
- Windows or doors that stick
Homeowners that immediately consult a foundation engineer if they observe foundation damage can prevent further damage if the issue in question is fixed.
Consider Sinkhole Insurance and Sinkhole Testing
For residents living in Florida, the state experiences more sinkhole activity than any other state. Therefore, homeowners that are looking to purchase a home in Florida or an area that has previously experienced sinkholes should consider purchasing sinkhole insurance. Some homeowner’s insurance policies include sinkhole coverage, but if it does not, consider purchasing a stand-alone sinkhole insurance policy.
Purchasing sinkhole insurance is a preventive measure that ensures your home and belongings are protected in case of an emergency. In addition, homeowners can also have a professional engineering firm perform a sinkhole activity test to determine if the foundation could experience sinkhole activity. To do this, professionals will perform visual sinkhole inspections, review the geology and hydrogeology of an area and apply groundwater hydrologic fundamental analyses to determine whether or not damage could occur.
Following these tips above can help alleviate future sinkhole problems for homeowners. At Crosstown Engineering, professionals are able to conduct sinkhole inspections, repair and diagnostics.
If you have questions on the cost of a sinkhole inspection in Florida, or would like to speak to a structural engineer regarding the integrity of your home, contact Crosstown Engineering today.