Jeff Bush’s sinkhole death here in the Tampa area has called a lot of attention to the sinkhole problem here in Florida. At Rain Control Gutters we want all of our friends and neighbors to be safe, so we wanted to veer away from gutters for the next couple of posts to bring you some information you might need to know about sinkholes.
In fact, our entire service area is considered “sinkhole alley,” especially in Hernando county, Pasco county, Hillsborough county, and Pinellas county. Florida has 15,000 sinkholes, and most of them are right here.
We’re also coming right up on “sinkhole season.” Most sinkholes develop during the spring or during the summer.
Fortunately, sinkholes aren’t entirely random. Here are 16 signs of a sinkhole:
- You start to see more and more exposed tree roots on your property.
- You see cracks around windows and door frames.
- You start to see cracks in your foundations.
- You start to see cracks in your walls.
- You start to see cracks in your swimming pool.
- Your fence posts are starting to sag, or the soil is loose around them.
- You start to see sagging utility poles or trees.
- Your floors are sloping.
- You’ve begun to have problems closing your doors or windows.
- You see depressions in the ground around your property.
- It looks like the walls are starting to separate from the floors or the ceiling.
- You start to see strange depressions in the street, or in a neighbor’s yard.
- Standing water has started to form in places that you’ve never seen it form before.
- Wilting vegetation, if there’s no other plausible reason for it.
- Your foundations are exposed.
- You actually find a sunken area in your yard.
Obviously some of these issues could be caused by other things. We’ve often explained how improper gutter maintenance can eventually lead to foundation cracks, for example.
However, if you start to see three or more of these signs together then it is a good idea to contact your insurance company. You may need to get your home tested. You can often get sinkhole repair done before they open up to damage your home and property further.
Of course, you might also need to get repairs done to the areas of your home which are already affected, such as your foundations.
We urge you not to take any chances with sinkholes! Though sinkhole fatalities are rare they can cause a great deal of damage to your home, and they’re still a safety issue.