When a homeowner purchases a home, one of the major concerns they should initially have is the strength of the foundation. Finding a sinkhole in the land that they have just purchased is not only discouraging, but also dangerous for anyone living inside the home. This is why every homeowner should know the common things to look for when detecting sinkholes and how to patch up the damage.
Recognizing Sinkhole Signs
One should be able to recognize the damage at hand. The first thing one should look for is large cracks. If one sees large cracks in the surrounding areas that only seem be expanding as time goes by, this should send up a red flag. Sinkholes can develop extremely quickly and any home inspector should be aware of the possibility of one forming, especially if it is a development or area that is known to have had them in previous years.
Hiring a Home Inspector
While noticing the signs early of this type of risk may reduce the potential danger to homeowners, it does not eliminate it altogether. This is why having a home inspector come out to determine whether or not the property needs immediate attention. Not all cracks in the foundation are caused by sinkholes, after all. These can also be the result of collapsing cesspools, buried swimming pools or wells, or homes that are built in areas that are prone to mudslides. These options are also very dangerous and should be looked into.
Sinkhole Formation Factors
However, a homeowner can warn their home inspector in advance if they notice any slumping in the foundation or sudden ground openings, as these may be signs of a sinkhole forming. There are several factors that can trigger a sinkhole to occur. If a consumer lives in an area that is prone to sinkholes, there are certain points that they should inspect the foundation around their home to make sure that there have not been any environmental changes to the home’s foundation. For example, heavy rains or even droughts can cause the possibility of sinkholes to form. Heavy amounts of rain will cause holes in the ground soil and a drought will drain all the water causing large cavities. These are things that a homeowner should keep an eye on at all times.
When one finds an area with a sinkhole they need to take all precautionary measures to make sure that all people in the area are safe and as little damage as possible will be done. This means keeping all children away from the affected area, contacting the homeowner’s insurance company, and roping off the area where the suspected sinkhole is forming.
These types of risks can become very serious if the proper instruction is not taken at the discovery. Once the proper precautions have been taken, the homeowner and home inspector should make sure to get everyone in the house to a safe location. Notification of the local Water Management District will ensure that the correct steps are taken to both limit the potential damage to the property and protect the inhabitants. This is a matter that should be taken with great care and caution. One can never take too much precaution when it comes to keeping both their family and their home safe.