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How do sinkholes form? Rainfall percolating, or seeping, through the soil absorbs carbon dioxide and reacts with decaying vegetation, creating a slightly acidic water. … Sinkholes are formed when the land surface above collapses or sinks into the cavities or when surface material is carried downward into the voids.
Sinkholes engulf only a few homes a year, out of over 75 million housing units in the U.S. “That means the odds of your home being swallowed by a sinkhole are almost zero,” says Gromicko.
A circular hole typically forms and grows over a period of minutes to hours. Slumping of the sediments along the sides of the sinkhole may take approximately a day’s time to stop. Erosion of the edge of the sinkhole may continue for several days, and heavy rainfall can prolong the stabilization.
A standard homeowners insurance policy excludes “earth movement,” including sinkholes. That means you won’t be covered if a sinkhole damages your house or belongings. You can often find sinkhole coverage as an endorsement (sometimes called a rider) to a homeowners insurance policy, depending on your insurance company.
A small sinkhole with minimal damage to the structure may cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. However, sinkholes that cause extensive damage and need a significant amount of work to repair or revive the structure, may be much pricier, costing anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000, or more.
Sinkholes are the result of collapsing underground bedrock, leaving behind a hole. They occur in nature but also can be a result of humans cutting down trees and leaving rotting stumps behind, or because of buried construction debris. … Look for rotting tree stumps or old construction debris.
1. If a sinkhole threatens your house, get out immediately, and call your local emergency management organization, then your insurance company. 2. If you suspect a sinkhole is beginning, call your insurance company, which will send an adjuster to determine if the hole or depression needs further investigation.
Deaths Are Rare
Anthony Randazzo, a former University of Florida professor, points out that deaths from sinkholes are thankfully rare. Randazzo notes that they usually don’t appear suddenly and that paying attention to warning signs will help keep you and your family safe.
Sinkholes are most common in what geologists call, “karst terrain.” These are regions where the types of rock below the land surface can naturally be dissolved by groundwater circulating through them.
There are basically four (4) different types of sinkholes in Florida.
The three major types of sinkholes know to us are Solution, Cover Collapse and Cover Subsidence.
Sinkholes are considered most common in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.
Sink holes can continuing growing for a surprisingly long time. This could be years or even decades. It all depends on how long the ceiling of the hole can support the weight of the sediment above. If the cover over the sink hole is extremely strong and supportive then sink holes could grow to cover vast areas.
Testing for sinkholes comes at price
Unfortunately, the cost for a certified sinkhole inspection makes it difficult to pay for one unless absolutely necessary – a sinkhole investigation can run you $6,000-$8,000.
Courts have recognized various events as acts of God—tornadoes, earthquakes, death, extraordinarily high tides, violent winds, and floods. … Acts of God, such as this sinkhole which destroyed homes in the San Francisco area in 1995, are sometimes excluded from insurance policies for property damage.
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