Sinkhole dangers are very real, particularly in certain areas of the country, such as Florida, the Midwest and some regions of the western U.S. But what causes a sinkhole? And how can you help reduce your chances of a sinkhole? Beverly Hills property owners commonly ask these and other similar questions.
What Causes a Sinkhole?
Beverly Hills homeowners frequently wonder about what causes a sinkhole, as it seems rather odd that a hole would suddenly swallow an entire home, roadway or even a full city block!
Sinkholes occur when an underground void collapses due to the weight of the earth and any structures that are constructed above. Heavy rains can also increase the risk of sink holes by de-stabilizing the ground. The water may also percolate down through the soil, reaching the underlying rock. Acid rain can dissolve certain types of stone, like limestone. This causes a void to form.
Underground water flows can also create these dangerous voids.
How Can You Reduce Your Chances of a Sinkhole?
Beverly Hills property owners can do little to prevent underground voids from forming. Good drainage flow can prevent standing water, which may exacerbate ground instability.
The first step to preventing a sinkhole is to identify any areas where a sinkhole may be likely to form. This can be done using geotechnical drilling, which involves using a drilling rig to extract core samples from the ground, determining the makeup of the earth. In some cases, analysts may be able to find evidence of a likely void underground.
Ground penetrating radar scans can also be used to evaluate the densities of the various layers that lie below the surface. A void would appear as an area without any density at all. Many structures will also show signs of shifting and sinking, such as cracks in the foundation and walls. This gradual shift indicates a lack of ground stability.
Once a problem area is identified, there are a number of measures that can be taken to prevent the voids from collapsing into a sinkhole.
One technique involves filling the void before it collapses into a sinkhole. Beverly Hills sinkhole remediation firms can drill down into the sinkhole, which is then pumped full of cement. The fill ultimately hardens and prevents the void from collapsing.
In addition, it is also possible to reinforce structures in a manner that prevents them from collapsing if a sinkhole were to form. This reinforcement can take a few forms, but the most common method involves drilling down and inserting metal poles into the bedrock. At the surface, the pole is secured to the structure’s foundation.
With these techniques, it is possible to minimize the chances of a catastrophic event involving a sinkhole. Beverly Hills property owners should consult a sinkhole professional if they suspect problems on their land.
*Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of *Sinkhole Titan*