Over 20% of the United States is susceptible to the formation of sinkholes, but how well are you prepared to recognize one? The United States Geological Survey has noted that Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania are some of the most frequent sinkhole locations, but the potential for a sinkhole exists throughout the nation. While many sinkholes are small, they can also be extremely dangerous. If one opens up beneath a home or building, it can cause a collapse, endangering everyone inside.
How Do Sinkholes Form?
There are several ways a sinkhole can be created, but particular soil and geological features can exacerbate their frequency. Florida, for example, has a significant amount of limestone, which dissolves over time and creates substantial underground caverns that become sinkholes. Additionally, sinkholes can be caused by heavy rainfall with no drainage, drought, and abandoned human creations like old mine shafts and leaking pipes.
What Should You Look Out For?
Knowing what to look for when dealing with sinkholes is essential, identifying a potential problem before it causes severe collapse could make a difference in saving or losing your home. Look out for any possible damage to the foundation of your building, including the walls, floors, and pavement. These are often the first areas where the problem will become visible. With the base of the building, unstable doors and windows may not close properly as well. In your yard, you might notice that trees and fence posts will begin to slant, sag or slump, and small collections or full ponds of water may start to form.
What Are The Next Steps?
If you see any of these signs, then you must evacuate the premises, because even if it’s a false alarm, the safety risks cannot be neglected or ignored. Next, call in a local professional to check the property and help you develop an action plan. Once you’re sure it is a sinkhole, notify your insurance company and your city or county building inspection department. If it is safe to do so, remove valuables and personal possessions from your home. Finally, mark off the sinkhole or your property with warning tape, rope or fencing as if someone is injured due to the unsafe conditions, you could be held responsible.
Choose Concrete Visions for All Your GPR Needs!
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 with 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+.