Sinkholes are common in Florida, in fact Florida has more sinkholes than any other state. Sinkholes are depressions in the ground, but the ones that appear suddenly, called Collapse Sinkholes, can cause damage to homes, roads, property and to people.
Collapse Sinkholes occur when the water table changes – either too much rain, or not enough rain can cause the ground to cave in on itself. There may be warning signs of sinkhole activity and it is important to keep an eye out for these.
- Cracks in the floor, walls or pavement – check both inside and outside your home. The cracks may start out small so write down where they are and the measurements. If they continue to grow, it’s time to have your house inspected.
- Windows or doors not closing properly – you feel that it is harder to close a door or window, which can mean structural shifting.
- Depressions in your yard or your neighbor’s yard – one easy sign is a hole in the ground that wasn’t there before. Also look for fencing or large items such as playground equipment that has shifted.
- Sediment in your water
- A neighbor’s sinkhole activity
Some people fear calling their Homeowners Insurance if they suspect a sinkhole thinking that their rates may go up, but its better to use the knowledge of their inspection services than for a sinkhole to happen suddenly. Most often, if nothing is found, your rate will not be raised.
Inspect regularly for sinkholes and keep track of any signs that you may find. If sinkhole activity is found close to your home, be even more diligent with your inspections.
Get more information about sinkholes. See this article “How Sinkholes Work” by How Stuff Works, Here