For residents of Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, news of sinkholes forming and causing property damage is, unfortunately, a relatively common occurrence. According to an article from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, sinkholes "are a common feature of Florida's landscape," due to the geologic makeup of the area. While many sinkholes do not cause serious property damage, recent news stories about potentially dangerous sinkholes in the area have left a number of homeowners concerned about their risks of property damage.
What should you do if a sinkhole opens up near your home? And how can you tell if your property shows some of the early signs and symptoms of sinkhole damage?
Tarpon Springs Homes Evacuated Due to Sinkhole
A recent sinkhole in Tarpon Springs forced the evacuation of six mobile homes in the area, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times. The sinkhole, which resulted in six families being evacuated, was described as being 80 feet wide and 35 feet deep. It opened up at the Tarpon Shores mobile home park in Pinellas County.
In addition to the very large sinkhole, authorities also had to contend with a broken sewer line that resulted in the sinkhole filling with water. According to the article, the sewer line "was damaged by the sinkhole." Although no homes were damaged by this sinkhole, its sudden appearance startled property owners and other Pinellas County residents in the general area.
Identifying Early Signs of Sinkhole Damage
Is it possible to identify a potential sinkhole before it actually opens up and consumes your home? According to a checklist from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the following are signs that you could have sinkhole damage:
● Cracks in the walls or floors of your home;
● Cloudy or muddy well water;
● Doors and/or windows that will not close properly;
● Previously buried fence posts or home foundation areas showing exposure;
● Slumping trees or fence posts;
● Small ponds forming in your yard after a rainfall; and
● Wilting or dying vegetation.
If you have questions about filing a sinkhole damage claim, an experienced West Central Florida sinkhole damage lawyer can assist you. Contact the Wells Law Group, P.A. for more information.