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Real Estate 101: Signs of a Property at Risk of Sinkhole Collapse

Posted by Elite Realty Agency on April 21, 2017


The possibilities of a sinkhole gobbling up your property in Florida are remote. However, the fact cannot be denied that the threat of a sinkhole is present. While most sinkholes develop out-of-the-bloom, there are certain tell-tale indicators of a potential sinkhole that every house owner must know.

Furthermore, property owners should consider the threat of a sinkhole before buying a property.  In this article, we will inform you about the signs of a possible sinkhole formation at or near the house.

Sinkholes – Know the Facts

A sinkhole is the formation of a cavity in the ground caused by water erosion. They are mostly common in areas where the ground is made up of carbonate rock overlain by a mixture of clay and sand. These rocks may dissolve due to heavy rain or presence of water below ground.

An area where a sinkhole is known to occur is at high risk of developing a depression. You should think twice about buying a property in an area that is prone to sinkholes. Even if the property is available at an extremely low price, you should consider looking elsewhere.

Another tell-tale sign is the appearance of cracks in the roadway or the ground near the property. Cloudy or muddy well water in nearby wells is another indicator of a sinkhole development. Doors or windows that don’t close properly or cracks on the walls and ceilings might be caused by sinkhole formation.

You should also look at the nearby excavation projects. If the area has thin layers of clay soil or sand, it indicates a potential threat of sinkholes. Also, slumping and falling trees, fencepost, or foundations near the property indicate the presence of a sinkhole.

Other signs of possible sinkhole formation include cracked earth, the sudden formation of small ponds after rainfall, and wilting vegetation.

Engineering Methods to Detect Sinkholes

In case you suspect a possible sinkhole formation in the area where the property is located, you should get professional help. Many engineering methods can help detect the presence of a possible formation of a sinkhole.

EM and DC Resistivity Tests

Electromagnetics (EM) and DC Resistivity tests measure the variations in the electrical properties in the subsurface. If the test shows that the electrical conductivity is above a certain threshold, it indicates a high risk of sinkhole formation.

The SP Test

Another method that is used to detect the presence of a sinkhole is the Spontaneous Potential (SP) test.  This test measures minute electrical currents in vertical water infiltrations such as ponds. Seismic refraction is yet another method that is utilized to detect the presence of a sinkhole. With this method, the rock formation is examined using special equipment to look for conical depressions.

If a sinkhole formation has been detected in an area, you should immediately inform the public authority. Avoid buying the property in localities that are prone to sinkhole formation. Also, consider getting the help of an expert real estate agent to ensure that you buy the property in a safe and secure location.

Are you looking for a new or used property in Florida? If so, you can contact Elite Realty Agency by calling 1-407-574-3962.



PS: When you’re ready to purchase your dream, please give us a ring and let us make it a reality.


PPS: We would be happy to entertain all comments, questions, and experiences here within our comment thread. We promise to get back to you!

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