How can I tell if a sunken area in my yard is a sinkhole?

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

If you have discovered a depression or hole in the ground that appears to be growing, it could well be a sinkhole. But a number of other things can cause the ground to drop, including:
•• Decomposing trash or organic material underground, such as debris buried during land clearing or a garbage pit from a former homestead on the site.
•• Collapse of a septic tank or cesspit, especially one abandoned long ago.
•• Collapse of an abandoned underground fuel oil tank due to corrosion.
•• Broken sewer drain pipes underground.
•• A vein of expansive clay soil in the ground during a dry spell.
•• Collapse of an abandoned hand-dug well.

   Unless it's a deep, dramatic hole like the one above, called a “cover collapse” sinkhole, it may take a professional geologist to tell you for sure what you have. Here’s a excellent graphic presentation from the University of Florida Geology Department to help you recognize the signs of sinkhole develpment and types of sinkholes.

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about “SINKHOLES":

• Where are sinkholes most likely to occur in Florida?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

• What is a chimney sinkhole?  

What are the warning signs of a sinkhole? 

What causes sinkholes? 

What is my chance of buying a Florida home over a sinkhole? 

• How does a repaired sink hole under a house affect its market value?  

Are there sinkholes in The Villages, Florida?

• Are sinkholes happening more often? 

What are the basic facts about sinkholes? 

• Does homeowners insurance in Florida include coverage for sinkhole damage? 

Should I be concerned about an old sinkhole on a property?

• Should I be concerned about my house if a sinkhole opens in my neighbor's yard? 

What are the Florida law regarding sinkhole insurance?

Can a home inspector determine if there are any sinkholes on a property?

Is it safe to buy a house with sinkhole foundation repair? 

What can I do if the insurance company denies my claim for a sinkhole loss in Florida?

   Visit our SINKHOLES page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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