A sinkhole can occur whenever a hole inside the ground causes the surface layer to collapse. There are often a few telltale symptoms of a sinkhole that appear before the top layer of the earth actually falls in. Be sure to keep an eye out for these signs You May Have a Sinkhole on Your Property.
Holes in the Ground
The most obvious sign of a sinkhole is a large hole that rapidly appears in the ground, but this does not always happen. In some cases, the earth might only form cracks or tiny little gaps. The lawn might not even display any noticeable cracks or gaps, but it might still begin to warp and look dipped.
Cracks Inside the Home
If the sinkhole appears underneath your house, the uneven shifting of the ground can cause issues. You might find that the grout between your tiles cracks, or the sheetrock near the windows and doors may develop cracks. You can also look at your interior walls and door frames to check for cracks. If you begin to notice these signs within your home, these environmental safety experts counsel, “If the hole is directly impacting a house, and sinking, sagging, or cracking walls are apparent, stay out of the dwelling. Call the property insurance adjuster and report it immediately.” Any amount of damage could cause structural damage, which can cause the house to collapse partially or entirely, risking the lives of anyone inside.
Unusual Water Movements
Anything unusual happening with water in your lawn might be one of the signs you have a sinkhole. This includes puddles that always appear in one spot after rain or a puddle appearing at any other time. You should also be wary if you notice that a pond in your yard is rapidly losing water, especially if it is not especially dry outside. Sinkhole repair experts explain, “for lawn sinkholes, the repair process is generally considerably easier than a foundation or interior sinkhole. Usually lawn sinkhole repairs include excavation or existing soil and dirt, grouting, and adding more soil to the hole, ensuring the problem won’t occur again.”
Even tiny sinkholes can cause problems with your foundation. You might notice that your floors in your house are beginning to slant. There is also a chance of a void or gap developing in your foundation, and the edges of the foundation might display cracks. These need to be looked into by a professional immediately because, as these conservation specialists explain, “sinkholes can be dangerous to the foundations of the building. Toxic chemicals beneath the earth can come up and may pollute the groundwater. Sinkholes can also progress rapidly, sometimes forming large and hazardous holes in a matter of minutes as has been seen in many cities.”
Odd Changes to Plants
A sinkhole can also affect your landscaping. You might have a sinkhole if you notice that one of your trees is beginning to slant or tip over. In some cases, the grass or other plants situated on top of a sinkhole might start to die because their roots are being disturbed.
If you notice any of these signs appearing on your property, it might be a good idea to get your land checked out by a professional. Catching a sinkhole early can keep it from causing excessive damage. If you find the sinkhole before it collapses completely, fixing it can be as easy as getting help from an engineering expert to fill in the sinkhole before repairing your landscaping.
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