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Causes of Sinkholes that Lead to Foundation Issues

Sinkhole can lead to foundation issues that require immediate foundation repair and attention. Learn the potential causes and expert steps to prevent the situation.

By Guardian Foundation RepairPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

As a homeowner, resolving any damage before it turns into a large-scale issue is always preferable. Sinkholes are one such issue where the signs are too tough to spot. Unfortunately, foundation-related sinkhole damage can cause thousands of dollars in repair costs if not taken care of quickly and correctly. In this case, foundation repair from an expert becomes essential before the risk becomes a larger problem.

Sinkholes can be terrifying and dangerous - often without warning. The foundation problems they bring can look similar to those common foundation issues, making it especially difficult to detect them until it is too late.

But understanding the causes of foundation-related sinkholes can help you take appropriate actions and prevent foundation damage in the future.

Read the blog post below to discover the underlying causes of sinkhole occurrences and how to protect your foundations from damage.

Sinkhole - Meaning and Formation Explained!

A sinkhole is an open groundmass that forms when the earth beneath a specific surface can no longer support the weight of the structure or land situated directly above it. Sinkholes form due to continual, seeping rainwater collecting beneath the earth's surface and causing decay of impacted soil, leading to cracking and spacing in the foundation below ground.

Groundwater passing through bedrock can dissolve or wash out the rocks, leading to hollow spaces that cause the surface above to cave in. If you notice a sinkhole has begun causing damage on your property, you may need foundation crack repair to ensure the stability of your home.

Types of Sinkholes

The foundation of your home is vulnerable to sinkhole damage, regardless of what typically occurs in your area. But, before foundation repair can begin, it is important to understand what type of sinkhole affects your foundation.

Let's examine some of the more common types of sinkholes-

Dissolution Sinkholes

The materials like limestone and dolomite beneath the surface of your foundation can erode when exposed to excessive or persistent rainwater. The impacted earth becomes weaker when this process continues, and sinkhole formation begins.

Cover-Subsidence Sinkholes

These usually occur in areas where the foundation material contains sand. The granular sediments can drop into open spaces further below ground, leading to the gradual erosion of the surrounding area until sinkhole formation takes hold.

Cover-Collapse Sinkholes

When foundation materials contain clay, they can become brittle and weak when exposed to water damage. This can cause the foundation to arch, putting pressure on adjacent earth and leading to a potential collapse. Cover-collapse sinkholes are typically the quickest to develop and often cause the most catastrophic damage.

Knowing the type of sinkhole affecting your foundation is better so foundation crack repair can begin quickly. Consult professionals to help diagnose the problem and suggest the best solution for its repair.

Warning Signs of Sinkhole Formation

Sinkholes, whether small or insignificantly large, should never be taken lightly. Even minor occurrences can cause considerable damage and lessen a property's aesthetic value. Knowing the possible signs of foundation damage due to sinkholes is critical to be safe. Let's clear it out!

Soft and Spongy Spots

If you have noticed certain parts of the ground around your foundation have become soft and spongy, this may be a sign of sinkhole formation.

Depressions in the Ground

Are there new depressions forming around your property? Take note if the land used to be flat before the depression. Even the driveways and sidewalks should be checked for cracks. It is good to call a professional to evaluate the proper cause.

Tilting of Outside Elements

Observe the fence posts, trees, stairs, and porches in the foundation area for tilting or leaning. If it is not straight as before, this can signify foundation damage due to sinkhole formation.

Breaking Down of Structure & Cracking

The uneven appearance of your foundation is also a sign of damage due to sinkholes. You can inspect for foundation shifting due to clay soil expanding and contracting, or if one side appears to be lower, you may have foundation issues from developing sinkholes.

Other Possible Signs of Sinkhole Formations

These include water pooling around the foundation, cracks on walls and ceilings/floors, trim and molding breaking away, warping or sagging floors, and an intense earthy scent in your crawlspace.

If you notice any of these issues in your area, contact a foundation repair Tennessee professional and let them inspect for foundation and sinkhole damage to provide the best possible repair solution.

Detecting a Potential Sinkhole Problem - Inside and Outside Your Home

Do you live in an area susceptible to sinkholes and want to ensure you can detect a potential problem before it develops into something major? Awareness of the signs inside and outside your home is important in catching a sinkhole early.

Inside your home, pay attention to cracked walls or ceilings, jam doors, water leaks, sloping floors or drawers, warping or sagging floors, and an intense earthy scent in your crawlspace.

Outside your home, be looking for rain collecting in new areas, circular bare patches of dead grass or soil, tilting trees or fence posts, deep cracks in concrete/driveways/sidewalks, water pooling in unusual places, and street depressions.

It is always important to consult with a sinkhole specialist if you suspect a problem. They can help you determine the root cause and advise on the best action for your particular situation.

How to Know if It's a Sinkhole or Foundation Issue?

Knowing the signs of sinkhole formation and foundation issues might be tough if you're not an expert. Even if your home is relatively new, some ground settling around your foundation is normal. The best solution would be to contact a specialist in sinkhole repair and let them inspect your property for signs of sinkhole formation.

These professionals can help you determine the root cause and advise on the best action for your particular situation. This can save you a lot of time and money for an extended duration and get peace of mind that your home's foundation is safe and stable.

Related Read: Is Foundation Repair Permanent? How Long Does it Last?

Professional Repair Solution for Sinkhole-Related Foundation Damage

Is your home or property affected by a sinkhole? A foundation repair expert can provide you with the best solution for your particular situation. With years of experience, specialized equipment, and training, these professionals can determine whether it’s a sinkhole or a foundation issue.

Their expertise extends to installing steel piers, underpinning void-filling solutions, and more. With the right tools and techniques, these experts can help diagnose and repair foundation damage caused by sinkholes. With an accurate foundation repair method and the help of skilled personnel, you can be sure that your home will be safe and secure for years to come!


About the Creator

Guardian Foundation Repair

Best foundation repair service provider in Knoxville, TN - Guardian Foundation Repair. We provide services like foundation repair, basement repair, crawl space, and water management. For more details contact us at our website.

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