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The threat of a sink hole that might affect your plat of land or on the adjacent easement is definitely unnerving. We have heard stories of homeowners coming home to find nothing but an open area of debris and their home at the bottom of the hole.
Above All Leveling is one of the top sinkhole repair companies in Florida. We have gained our extensive knowledge through decades of experience of helping homeowners save their most valuable asset, their home.
We have been repairing homes that have been affected by sinkholes for decades. No two homes are alike. Sinkhole repair or sinkhole remediation, as it's known in the industry, is a highly specialized trade that involves many types of professionals including a contractor, structural engineer, and others to form a knowledgeable and experienced team that you can trust.
This is probably the most important thing to worry about when you find yourself faced with the frightening news that you may indeed have a sinkhole that is affecting your home.
This is why you can count on Above All Leveling to repair the damage to your home right the first time!
At Above All Leveling we provide a lifetime guarantee for our underpin repair options for sinkhole repair services. We are passionate about our work and our customers can be confident that they’ll be getting the highest quality of foundation repair services in Florida.
Why is There a Sinkhole Under My House?
When someone hears the word sinkhole it conjours up images of cars and homes being sucked up by large openings in the ground, or what is known as ground cover collapse.
Often times the tell-tale signs of sinkholes and sinkhole damage start in the soil. A void in the soil or series of voids known as karst terrain or cavernous bedrock zones often occur in and at the top surface of the limestone. Other times a homeowner will notice stair step cracks in their home's exterior and their drywall.
In Florida, a source of water, usually our natural auqifer is the main culprit. The water flow back and forth over time creates cavernous bedrock zones.
These cavernous zones in the bedrock can eventually lose stability and create a cavity in and above the bedrock. This is a sink hole is formed and is the general cause of the sinkhole formations.
You may have noticed a difference in the ground surface, topsoil, fill soil, or gravel of any depth around your backyard or another surface depression. These may not always be caused by cavity in the limestone, gypsum, or carbonate rock but could be caused other reasons.
The reasons could be anything from loose soil to old tree stumps or a host of other things with far less danger than a sink hole. Tree stumps, stumps from bushes, or other buried landscaping debris that have decomposed can cause surrounding soil in a specific area to give the appearance of a small sinkhole.
Even washed out fill soil or clayey sand can create small depressions over an open area. These are key signs to issues you may be faced with when dealing with a sinkhole. Simply replacing fill soil and clearing out debris only to see depressions reform again and again is a clear sign it may be more than erosion.
This is why it's important for a homeowner to call an expert and find out if the small holes you're seeing in your soil are simply the remains on some kind of organic debris that has finally turned back to dirt and is depressed due to compaction or if you indeed have a sinkhole.
What About Other Damage?
Sometimes people notice other damage first. While it's not the most common types of damage people have noticed damage to their sewer,sewer line, cistern, or water line. While not always sinkhole related sewer, sewer line, and water line issues all can be caused by the settling and depression in and around your home and plat of land. A faulty sewer line in particular can have a chain reaction effect on your sewer system itself if you have a septic tank.
What is Sinkhole Repair?
There is more than one method of sinkhole repair that most homeowners will hear about regularly. The two types are different in approach and different forms of repair.
While there are multiple options, the method of sinkhole repair property owners should consider the needs to be the best of possible solutions. Compaction grouting is generally pushed very hard by sinkhole remediation contractors because there are very large profits with the type of repair method. Grout does have it's place in sinkhole remediation but more often than not, underpins are the best way to repair a home that has been affected by a sinkhole.
The first type is compaction grouting. Grout is made up of a concrete like substance called cementitious grout that mixes with loose soil and creates a solid substance that fills an open area underground. This is the main purpose of the grout injection program.
The other purpose of the grout injection program is to stabilize the foundation and not just the ground underneath. Another type of grouting called chemical grouting repairs and helps lessen shallow voids directly underneath a foundation.
Grouting is the most destructive, in terms of cosmetic damage, type of sinkhole remediation. It usually requires quite a bit more excavation. For instance, with chemical grouting a series of holes are drilled through your foundation in a grid pattern covering the affected area. Injection pipes are inserted into the holes and then the chemical is injected with the chemicals though the injection pipes that harden and help prevent further soil loss. Compaction grouting using cementitious grout has also been known to damage the foundation of a structure if performed improperly.
The second type is underpins. Underpins attach to the foundation of the house and literally hold up your house to prevent further settling and damage caused by depressions in the plat from the usual suspects like clayey sand, decaying debris, etc. Underpins are a frequently recommended repair by structural engineers.
Underpins are highly recommended by in most cases by Above All Leveling. There is simply much better results when underpins are used versus one of the other methods.
Of course only a structural engineer can provide which course or course of repair can be recommended whether it be underpins or another form of remediation.
Do I Need Sinkhole Repair?
More often than not, foundations are damaged as a result of sinkhole activity. The foundation of a structure is one of the most important if not the most important part of your home's structure.
Making sure your foundation is solid and free of damage is critical when addressing sinkhole damage elsewhere in your plat of land. If the need to repair structures other than the foundation is discovered, they should be taken care of at the same time as well.
The good news is that often times underpins can address a sinkhole damaged foundation as well. But again this is up to a structural engineer who will sign off on your project's plan to repair structures and assess any other issues that need attention.
What Do I Do Now?
The first thing you need to do is remember not to panic. Repairs, especially underpins, can be performed very quickly although it could take a while dealing with your insurance company. Focus on contacting a professional sinkhole repair company like Above All Leveling is your first step to getting back on track. Feel free to call us today at (407) 349-0978 or simply by clicking here to use our contact form.