Fixing Florida’s Sinkhole Problem

Florida Sinkhole Repair

sinkholeIn the news, we have all heard of the horrific and tragic sink hole in Seffner, Florida. But many do not understand what the cause of these formations or what can be done about them. Foundation repair techniques have been developed over the years that successfully deals with these sink holes. Well-trained professional companies like Foundation Services of Central Florida have the equipment, foundation repair products and training to step in and assist you with your sinkhole problem. Foundation Services of Central Florida has become known as the foundation repair and sinkhole remediation experts of Central Florida. In northern Florida companies such as Foundation Professionals of Florida is the engineers' choice for sinkhole remediation. Their experience and engineering background sets them apart from other sinkhole repair contractors in the area.

How Sinkholes Form

Sinkholes are a common feature of Florida's landscape. They are only one of many kinds of karst landforms, which include caves, disappearing streams, springs, and underground drainage systems, all of which occur in Florida. Karst is a generic term which refers to the characteristic terrain produced by erosional processes associated with the chemical weathering and dissolution of limestone or dolomite, the two most common carbonate rocks in Florida. Dissolution of carbonate rocks begins when they are exposed to acidic water. Most rainwater is slightly acidic and usually becomes more acidic as it moves through decaying plant debris.

sinkholeLimestone in Florida are porous, allowing the acidic water to percolate through their strata, dissolving some limestone and carrying it away in solution. Over time, this continuous erosional process has created extensive underground voids and drainage systems in much of the carbonate rocks throughout the state. Collapse of overlying sediments into the underground cavities produces sinkholes.

When groundwater discharges from an underground drainage system, it is a spring, such as Wakulla Springs, Silver Springs, or Rainbow Springs. Sinkholes can occur in the beds of streams, sometimes taking all of the stream's flow, creating a disappearing stream. Dry caves are parts of karst drainage systems that are above the water table, such as Marianna Caverns.

Other subterranean events can cause holes, depressions, or subsidence of the land surface that may mimic sinkhole activity.  These include subsurface expansive clay or organic layers which compress as water is removed,  collapsed or broken sewer and drain pipes or broken septic tanks, improperly compacted soil after excavation work, and even buried trash, logs and other debris.  Often a depression is not verified by a licensed professional geologist or engineer to be a true sinkhole, and the cause of subsidence is not known.  Such events are called subsidence incidents.

Portions of this article were originally published March 03, 2013 Associated Press

 

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