How Do Sinkholes Form?

Karst Terrain Leads to Sinkholes

The idea of the ground opening beneath your feet is a scary prospect. However, sinkholes are a reality and can damage your home and property.

Spectators view a sinkhole that opened along a road in Maryland. Photo courtesy of the United States Geological Survey

Homeowners, especially in regions that have karst terrain should be aware that sinkholes may be forming. Karst terrain means the ground below the surface is made up of soluble soil such as limestone.

Florida, which sits on karst terrain, has the unfortunate honor of leading the nation in sinkholes. During a four-year period, Florida insurers recorded 24,671 reports of sinkholes – an average of 17 a day. And that only counts the number of sinkholes reported to insurance.

Other karst terrain states that have high sinkhole risk include Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

Karst terrain dissolves faster than other types of terrain, so when water moves through it, it creates spaces and voids – this is what causes a sinkhole and the ground to collapse.

When we hear in the news of a sudden, tragic event that has happened because of a sinkhole, these events are rare, however, what could be developing under the foundation of your home is a slow-forming sinkhole.

Signs a Sinkhole is Forming

Classic signs indicating a sinkhole is forming are similar to other foundation settlement indictors.

Sinkhole and settlement signs include:

Wall Cracks
  • Cracks in the wall or floor
  • Bowing walls
  • Sloping floors
  • Windows that stick
  • Chimneys that tilt or lean

However, a sinkhole is a unique phenomenon. As such, there are distinct signs a sinkhole may be forming.

Unique sinkhole indicators include:

leaning fence posts can be a sign a sinkhole is forming
  • Foundation cracks in a circular pattern
  • A circular depression or dip in the ground
  • Formation of a deep, round puddle
  • Trees that tip or start to lean
  • Fence posts leaning or falling over
  • Water disappears into ground openings

Being aware of how sinkholes occur and watching for the signs will give you the knowledge needed to get the problem repaired before further damage is done.

You don’t need to worry about a sinkhole forming if you contact a professional at the first sign of one.

My Foundation Repairs contractors have the ability to fix these sinkholes and voids under your foundation using the best products available.

The professionals at My Foundation Repairs use products Made in America by Earth Contact Products, the leading manufacturer of sinkhole repair and foundation repair products in the industry.

Cement Grouting Can Fix Sinkhole Issues

What can be done to stop or repair a sinkhole? Often, contractors will rely on cement grouting.

This grouting is applied to exact areas that need support and fill the void. It mixes with soft soil creating more support.

Compaction grouting moves the soil and fills it in with a mortar-like grout.

If you have observed your foundation sinking or leaning, contact our foundation repair contractors. They are experts and have the equipment needed to evaluate the soil and find the solutions needed for the problem.

The earlier you catch a sinkhole, the easier it is to repair.

Get Help for Sinkholes Immediately

It’s important to stop sinkholes before they get too big. The earlier you catch and repair a sinkhole or void, the better it is for your home, foundation and peace of mind.

Don’t lose sleep worrying about sinkholes. Contact My Foundation Repairs to connect with a professional who can examine your foundation and the soil surrounding it to give you the best solution to your sinkhole and foundation repairs.

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