How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
What are the warning signs of a sinkhole?
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Here’s the top seven sinkhole warning signs:
1) Freshly exposed vertical surfaces at ground level - Because houses and fences are normally painted down to the ground level, areas of unpainted surface near the ground that were not previously visible can mean soil subsidence.
2) Leaning or sagging concrete slabs, fence posts, trees or sheds
3) Cracks in the house walls, floors, or driveway - Minor cracks can occur from normal settlement but, if they continue to open further andyou can stick two side-by-side quarters into the crack or multiple cracks are happening, it’s serious.
4) Doors or windows that are jammed - Settlement can also cause window glass to shatter.
5) Ponding areas - Look carefully at any area of standing water after a rainfall, if water did not previously collect there, for evidence of a depression developing in the ground.
6) Sediment in nearby well - Also called “turbidity,” cloudy well water can be an indication of an underground disturbance.
7) Wilting of a small, circular area of grass or foliage - This can be caused by drainage into a sinkhole below of water that normally supports the vegetation above it.
Any of these indications do not automatically mean there is a sinkhole developing on your property. The slumping of an area of ground around or under a house can be caused by other unrelated issues such as roof rainwater runoff concentrated in a small area, decay of large underground roots from a removed tree or land-clearing debris that was buried when the house was built, leaking water pipes or drain pipes, a leaking swimming pool, or an underlying layer of clay soil. But any indication of a significant change in the ground surface or multiple signs that are more subtle warrant further evaluation by a qualified professional.
Also, see our blog post What is my chance of buying a Florida home over a sinkhole?
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about SINKHOLES:
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