Sinkholes: Causes and Effects

Situation Degraded

Sinkholes happen when you least expect them and are hard to predict. They will most likely occur when limestone, gypsum, salt beds, or other carbonate rock is dissolved underneath of the earth. Water eats away at this rock until it starts to form an empty pit. Eventually the ground will no longer be able to support the sediment layer on top and it will fall into the pit.

Sinkholes in My Yard

If a sinkhole happens in your yard it is important to remember that it’s your responsibility to repair it. Your insurance company might pay for an evaluation and repair if the sinkhole is a result of nature and not your own doing. Sinkholes can form from anything that you’ve done yourself as a homeowner including collapsing sewer pipes, broken septic tanks, buried trash, or soil that hasn’t been compacted. Knowing if you live in an area with soluble rock will help you by determining whether you should check the ground frequently for holes that are beginning to form.

Protecting Yourself

If you see a sinkhole forming under your house or another structure, leave as soon as possible. Call emergency workers in addition to a building inspector to let them know that an inspection is necessary before reentering the building. If the sinkhole isn’t near a building or in a road, you can most likely fill it back in yourself. It is important to remember to use the right materials when doing this. By watching the hole over time you can see if it gets bigger and if it does then it needs to be dealt with by professionals.

What to Fill a Sinkhole With

If the sinkhole is a manageable size, then you should fill it back in. Start by using dry-mix concrete in the bottom of the hole. This gives it a sturdy base to support it. Now, add some clayey sand to form a barrier that prevents water from getting into the hole. When finished add some sand and soil to match the terrain of the area you are in. It is important to make sure that all of these are compacted and that the proper materials are used. If for some reason this process is not done correctly the sinkhole can reform and cause more problems.



Call Water Damage Zone, Inc. today (877) 520.1923– your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips. You can also visit our sister company for further information on restoration services at Best American Builders.

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Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411