Sinkholes occur across the country, but the prevalence is significantly higher in the state of Florida than in other states. Sinkholes are geological formations of limestone, and when acidic rain penetrates the soil and continues through the soil layers and reaches limestone bedrock, the resulting reaction can cause sinkholes. The consequences for homeowners could be devastating.
Triggering factors include heavy rain downpours, especially if this follows drought situations. The resulting sinkholes can cause road closures, swallow entire buildings and cause significant structural damage. If a sinkhole forms underneath your home or near the foundation of your home, it can destabilize the entire structure.
Problems that a sinkhole under your home could cause
Although some sinkholes form suddenly and leave homeowners with no time to take preventative steps, many develop over time, and watching for the following signs might give your enough warning:
- Look out for floors that become uneven or start sloping.
- Watch for the start of cracks in walls, floors and the foundation.
- Doors and windows that start sticking and become difficult to open might indicate a developing sinkhole.
- When water damage becomes apparent without obvious reasons, it could indicate compromised structural integrity.
The soil provides support on which your home rests, and if you take no steps to mitigate the hazard, the sinkhole could become large enough to cause an entire section of your home to collapse.
What should you do if you suspect you have a sinkhole on your property?
A sinkhole on your property can be a significant issue. The sudden opening of a sinkhole can swallow up your home, your car, your garage or even you or a loved one. You might not know where to turn and from whom to get answers to your questions. Furthermore, you might not be up to date with the changes to sinkhole laws that took place over recent years.
Are you eligible for insurance benefits?
Dealing with insurance adjusters can be daunting and even intimidating. This is where the skills of an attorney with experience in dealing with sinkhole insurance come in. A lawyer who knows the latest Florida sinkhole insurance laws can explain the types of damages the insurance cover, what qualifies as sinkhole losses and other questions you might have. Legal counsel can assist with the filing of the claims and all the dealings with the insurance provider. In addition, he or she can take care of any ensuing legal proceedings to recover your damages.