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What Causes Sinkholes To Form?

Are there cracks in your foundation? Are you starting to wonder, “Could I have a sinkhole? How do sinkholes form?”

Sinkholes are an all too common occurrence in Florida. They happen when underground water erodes limestone beneath the ground’s surface. While sinkholes form gradually over many years, some appear seemingly overnight, causing major damage to your property.

In a nutshell, and not in scientific terms, here is what happens to cause a sinkhole:

  • Rainfall seeps through the soil, absorbing carbon dioxide and reacting with decaying vegetation, turning the water mildly acidic.
  • The slightly acidic groundwater slowly dissolves cavities and caves in the limestone over many years.
  • The cavity enlarges to a point where the ceiling can no longer support the weight of overlying sediment.
  • The earth collapses quickly or more commonly ravels slowly into the cavity.

Drought can also make conditions favorable for sinkholes to form. Heavy rains after droughts can cause enough pressure on the ground to form sinkholes. Well drilling data suggests that a good bit of Florida is pierced with cavities of different sizes.

Human activity only adds to the problem and can lead to more sinkholes. Such activity includes:

  • Diverting water from a large area and concentrating it in a single point
  • Drilling new wells
  • Withdrawing too much groundwater from wells
  • Artificially creating surface ponds

Making An Insurance Claim

If you think you have a sinkhole and your insurance company isn’t responding as you think it should, call Wells Law Group, P.A. Attorney Kim Wells has decades of experience working for and against insurance companies. Our team, which consists of attorney Kim Wells and other professionals at our firm, knows what insurance companies are expecting to see in a claim and will make sure you have the information they need.

To schedule a free case evaluation, call our law office in Tampa at 813-413-7377. You may also send us an email. We help residents throughout West Central Florida.