Sinkhole Repair – What are Sinkholes?
Sinkholes have become a rising problem for residents across the nation–particularly in the Tampa Bay area. Not only are sinkholes dangerous, they pose a considerable threat to your home and belongings. While sinkholes often seem to come out of nowhere, Crosstown Engineering offers some insight on how to prepare your property or determine if you are at risk.
What Causes Sinkholes?
Much of the southern United States in underlain by limestone–including the entire state of Florida and about 20% of Texas. These buried limestone units are weathered by acidic groundwater over time, resulting in cavities in the limestone surface. These depressions begin to fill with overlying soils, potentially reducing the bearing capacity and integrity of the zone of influence under a structure. In some cases, this will create a depression at the surface. In any case, a weakened soil zone may cause damage to any structure that rests upon it. Sometimes this is cause of the cracks homeowners observe on their home’s exterior or interior if their property lies atop a limestone karst formation.
Sinkhole Inspection & Activity Determination
Crosstown Engineering professionals have the training and expertise necessary to prepare subsidence investigation reports, perform visual sinkhole inspections, review the geology and hydrogeology of an area, and apply groundwater hydrologic fundamental analyses to determine whether or not damage to a structure has been caused by differential activity stemming from sinkhole activity. Homeowners, developers, loan officers and state agencies repeatedly call on us because we provide a professional, unbiased perspective on sinkhole investigation data and our visual observations.
Sinkhole Repair Plans & Cost Estimating
Crosstown Engineering provides accurate above and below ground sinkhole repair plans and estimates, including chemical grouting and compaction grouting plans and estimates. In addition, we prepare structural remediation underpinning plans and estimates, as well as cosmetic repair estimates using Xactimate or Symbility software. We pride ourselves on our ability to remain objective and neutral during the sinkhole opinion development process and are proud to serve the Department of Financial Services as a neutral evaluator.
- Subsidence Investigation Report Generation
- Standard Penetration Test (SPT) Drilling & Soil Sampling Review
- Hand Auger Investigations
- Test Pit Investigations
- Hand Penetrometer Tests
- Potentiometric Analysis
- Geologic & Hydrogeologic Research
- Foundation Inspection
- Non-Invasive Structural Inspections
- Catastrophic Damage Assessments
- Structural Certifications
- Visual Inspection Reports
- Structural Settlement Calculations
Sinkhole Repair & Stabilization
- Low-Mobility Grouting Plans
- Chemical Grouting Plans
- Underpinning Plans
- Subterranean, Structural and Cosmetic Remediation Cost Estimating
5 Signs You Need a Foundation Inspection
Unless you notice major damage or something completely out of the ordinary, you probably don’t spend much time wondering if all is well with you home’s foundation. The fact of the matter is not all foundation problems are easy to spot. The engineers at Crosstown Engineering are dedicated to your home’s safety and integrity … and that starts with a solid foundation. Here are five signs that you need a professional foundation inspection and potentially foundation repair.
1. Foundation Problems in Your Neighborhood
It’s important to pay attention to issues your neighbors have. If another home in your neighborhood is undergoing foundation problems or foundation repair, it’s best to have your foundation inspected by a professional engineer before potential damage spreads.
2. Noticeable Damage
If you notice any of the following issues in your home, we recommend you have a licensed, professional engineer perform a full foundation inspection.
- Wall Damage – Check both your exterior and interior walls looking for cracks. Small, hairline cracks are somewhat common and should not be an immediate cause for concern, but if you notice larger cracks (about 1/8″ or larger), that’s a pretty good indication that there is foundation movement present.
- Floor Damage – This type of damage may be more difficult to spot since most home foundation slabs are hidden under a layer of carpeting or flooring. If you’re able to get a look at your foundation, you’ll want to look for cracks that are uneven on either side. If you spot any areas that are uneven, a full foundation inspection should be conducted.
- Door & Window Damage – Check your doors and windows, noting if any have difficulty opening or closing. If you have issues with doors or windows sticking, that may indicate movement in your home’s frame.
3. Before Buying/Selling a Home
If buying a home, of course you’ll want to ensure you are protecting your investment and know exactly what you’re buying. If you’re selling your home, you can forego any complications or foundation repair down the road by ensuring your foundation is in top selling shape.
4. Look for Sloping, Heaving or Sagging
- Floors – If you notice heaving or sloping floors, you may have underlying issues.
- Exterior Brick – Check exterior brick façade mortar lines, identifying any that are visually sagging or any that aren’t parallel with the ground.
5. Home Drainage Problems
Many home foundation problems are a result of water intrusion. Look for these key indicators of water drainage problems.
- Erosion or ponding around the foundation.
- Problems growing grass in your lawn.
- Soil washing away during a rainstorm.
If you notice any of these occurrences in your home, it’s best to consult a professional engineer. The engineers at Crosstown can help you with a foundation inspection or answer any of your foundation repair questions.