Citrus Hills is located in a potentially dangerous region of the nation when it comes to sinkholes. In fact, the entire state of Florida, along with some regions of the American Midwest, is especially prone to sinkholes.
But how do sinkholes occur and what can you do to avoid damage from a sinkhole? Citrus Hills residents can take a number of measures to identify the site of a potential sinkhole and protect against structural collapse and injury.
What are Sinkholes?
Sinkholes form when an underground void forms and then collapses. Florida is especially prone to sinkholes due to the fact that the entire state is situated atop porous karst limestone, topped with sandy soil. This sandy soil layer is relatively thin in many areas and the water travels through that soil with relative ease due to its low clay content.
Acid rain can dissolve the limestone, serving as a major source of sinkholes. The rain water can also carry the weak acids found in the soil down to the limestone layer, causing further dissolution. The rainy season and times of copious rain — like a tropical storm or hurricane — carry the highest sinkhole risk. This is due to the large amount of water that permeates the limestone, combined with the added weight of the saturated soil (and in the case of porous limestone, saturated stone). This added weight may be just enough to cause the underground void’s ceiling to collapse.
Signs of a sinkhole include gradual (or sudden) shifts in ground terrain, along with cracking in a structure’s walls or foundation. The latter can be indicate that portion of the structure is situated atop ground that’s shifting and moving.
How Can You Locate and Prevent Damage from Sinkholes?
Citrus Hills residents have a couple options for locating underground voids that could potentially collapse, causing a sinkhole. Citrus Hills sinkhole remediation companies can perform geotechnical drilling operations, which can be used to identify any underground voids. The only downside of this technique is that it’s difficult to identify some of the smaller or deeper voids.
Another option for identifying potential sinkhole locations involves ground penetrating radar. These scans evaluate the density of the various underground layers, making it relatively easy to identify voids.
Once a void is located, it can be pumped full of cement, which prevents a collapse. Another technique involves reinforcing the structure to prevent a collapse in the event that a sinkhole does form. One approach uses large poles which are inserted down into the bedrock. The other end of the pole (at the surface) is affixed to the structure and its foundation, providing support even if the ground gives way.
*Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of *Sinkhole Titan*