While you may not have seen an actual sinkhole in person, you may have heard about them on the news. In 2014, a large sinkhole opened up in the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was approximately 40 feet wide and more than 20 feet deep. Considering the harm that was done to the building and the eight expensive cars that it swallowed up, the damage estimate was in the millions of dollars. Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about sinkholes.
What are Sinkholes?
Sinkholes are exactly what you might imagine: they are holes in the ground. They are caused by erosion and water drainage. Some are created slowly while others appear quite suddenly. Sizes vary widely from just a few feet across to the largest one we know about which is called the “heavenly pit.” It is located in China and measures 2,172 feet deep and 2,052 feet wide.
What Causes Sinkholes?
Sinkholes occur naturally in areas where the rock below the surface is dissolved by water. Types of rock that are susceptible to this are limestone, gypsum, or other carbonate rocks including calcite, aragonite, and dolomite. As the rock is worn away by water, it will cause a depressed area to form above it. A heavy rainfall in an area such as this could make the sinkhole occur suddenly.
Some sinkholes form because of man-made reasons. The ground could open up because of broken drainage pipes, failed septic systems, or not taking proper measures to compact soil after excavation work.
Dealing with Sinkholes
If you notice a sinkhole, do not go near it. It could threaten structures and they need to be examined by a building inspector. Sinkholes in the road need to be brought to the attention of law enforcement right away because they can be quite dangerous. If a sinkhole is small, it can be repaired by a professional.
Concrete Visions Offers Sinkhole Detection Services
Concrete Visions has over 12 years of experience and expertise in concrete scanning and we know how to detect any problems lurking beneath the surface. We use ground penetrating radar accurately and expertly and are familiar in many other methods that can be used when appropriate like concrete x-ray and electromagnetic conductivity. We are also very familiar with the latest construction safety techniques and train all of our workers to do their work quickly, accurately, and safely. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, give us a call at (410) 766-2210 or visit us online. For more articles and tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.