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Sinkholes – How to Identify & Prevent Them



Sinkholes can be very scary – they can be disastrous and even deadly. BUT, oftentimes there are warning signs that help us indicate an underlying problem before a huge problem occurs.

So, how do sinkholes form? 

There are a couple ways a sinkhole can form. Simply put, a sinkhole is the result of the erosion of the ground surface and in turn, the drainage of water under the base material resulting in pooling of the water, sometimes sight unseen. Oftentimes, a broken or busted pipe is the problem, or nature itself, or human activity. But, there are some signs to watch for listed below.

A few signs a sinkhole may be forming:

  • Depressions in your yard, street, or parking lot
  • Sediment in your water
  • Small amounts of water collecting in pond like areas, which have never formed before
  • Fence posts, trees, foundations, etc. slumping or falling
  • A new sunken area or exposed area of your foundation
  • An actual cavity beginning to open up

Image result for small sinkhole

Can sinkholes be prevented?

Many natural sinkholes cannot be prevented. However, those caused by human activity may be avoided. When it comes to asphalt, like we always say, the best defense is a good offense. Be proactive in your asphalt maintenance. We talk a lot about the importance of maintaining the integrity of your streets and parking lots after the initial paving has occurred. This is done by sealcoating every 2-3 years following the initial install of asphalt or pavement.

Sealcoating provides a layer of protection to asphalt that may have been oxidized or deteriorated over time by water/rain, sun, natural and synthetic chemicals, heavy traffic, gasoline, pollutants, etc. Water is the main culprit for asphalt deterioration and erosion and what inevitably leads to sinkholes over time.

What now?

If you think your neighborhood or business park may have a sinkhole or notice signs of a sinkhole forming, please reach out to us ASAP. We repair these regularly and can asses the situation from the bottom up to provide a long-term solution.

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