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Sinkholes in Florida - Florida sinkhole house buyer.

Sinkhole house foundation repair in Florida

You think you have a sinkhole under your house. You climb the slope of your floor to grab the telephone, but who do you call? Your insurance company is who you call first. Florida statute 627.7073 requires all insurance companies to hire a sinkhole engineering company to run tests if a policy holder/home owner suspects there is sinkhole on the property. These tests will determine if there is a sinkhole and where it is located.

The cost of repairing a sinkhole and the structural damage to your home is very costly. Even after having a sinkhole repaired, there are no guarantees that more structural damage to your home will not occur. It is because of this that even if you sustained no damage to your home and the sinkhole is repaired, you must disclose the presence of a sinkhole when you sell your home.

Filing an insurance claim will certainly defer the costs of repair, but, more importantly, having a sinkhole claim on file will help cover further structural repairs down the road. Unfortunately, it is usually the actions of the insurance company that make subsequent damage possible. The best sinkhole solution is a combination of compaction grouting and underpinning, but most policies cannot cover both procedures, forcing home owners to cut corners (leading to future damage to the home).

Compaction grouting is the most common form of sinkhole repair. A very thick cement mixture is injected into the limestone or cavity underneath the topsoil. This grouting adds density to the rock to stabilize the ground and seals the top of the limestone (if any left) so as to prevent any further liquefying of the rock. This grouting can be injected deeper than 80 ft, and it has the advantage of pressurizing the uppermost soil.

Compaction grouting can be used to lift ground that has sunk, but it does not lift the house itself. Used alone, this sinkhole repair can cause more damage to a home. If the limestone or cavity is much deeper than the grouting injection, then the weight of the grouting can cause the sinkhole to grow faster. Pressurizing the ground might also cause ht floors of the home to buckle. Due to price, insurance companies will opt to use this sink hole solution singularly, leaving your home at risk

Underpinning is the sinkhole solution where repair lifts are placed at multiple points under the foundation. These lifts are made from metal piers that are drilled into the limestone underneath (or grouted limestone, if both are used) and then the lifts are attached to the home using brackets. Underpinning is more accurate because it lifts the foundation at multiple points, making a better solution if there is structural damage to the home.

Obviously, a combination of compaction grouting and underpinning is the best repair solution for a sinkhole, but the cost of underpinning usually exceeds the insurance polity limits, and thus it is not done, or done well. Homeowners are left with a house that is forever stigmatized and at risk to further damage. AFA

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