Before moving to Florida I had never heard of a sinkhole. In Michigan we worried about tornadoes and heavy snow – that was about it. Never did we worry that part of our yard, or house for that matter, would get swallowed up by the earth.
Since we have been here it seems like the number of sinkholes are growing. I wanted to give you a few facts and tips to be as best prepared as possible.
Facts and tips::
- Why do sinkholes appear? The simple reason is the ground is shifting and since we are only a few feet above sea level and basically on sand, increased rain pushes around our foundation.
- Can you prevent a sinkhole? No but if you are on higher ground you are less likely to have a sinkhole.
- Does Insurance cover sinkhole repair and damage? This depends on your insurance. If you are concerned about this happening, call your agent to make sure you have coverage. Depending on your coverage, some cover this once but after that you are on your own. We tell you that because if you have a smaller one in the back yard you need to decided if you want to fix without reporting just incase you have another. Again, call you agent!
- When can sinkholes appear? In Florida, anytime. With that said, some say this is sinkhole season with all of the rain
- Can all of the construction increase my chance of a sinkhole? That is debatable and would be tough to prove. More pressure, weight, on the land around you COULD cause the sand underneath to shift. Good luck proving this one!
- How to they fix a sinkhole? It depends where and how big it is. Common solutions are to fill in the hole with sand or concrete. But know this is not 100% guaranteed to fix. Remember that underground moves so it may take more and it depends on what your insurance will pay for.
Just remember, sinkholes can occur anywhere in the world. In fact there was one in Colorado recently but we mostly here of them happening in Florida.
The point of this – call your insurance to make sure you are prepared. You might as well check on hurricane and flood insurance ( if you are in a flood plain) while you are on the phone. Also check your deductible! Better safe than sorry!
Photo by NYDailynews