How solid is the ground beneath your feet? Perhaps not as solid as you think. Sinkholes can occur unexpectedly, caving in after years of slow erosion. Sinkholes can lead to immediate injury or allow for the buildup of toxic chemicals in groundwater. And of course, they ruin the look of your carefully cultivated landscape. But you don’t need to fear sinkholes. We share how sinkholes are caused, how to identify sinkholes, and how to fix a sinkhole in your yard.
What Causes Sinkholes?
There are two types of sinkholes: natural and manmade. Natural sinkholes result from years of erosion as underground water destabilizes a patch of land. They’re difficult to anticipate and often give no warning before caving in. Manmade sinkholes are caused by improper construction, drain pipes, trash disposal, or soil compaction. Over time, the heavier topsoil weighs on the hole beneath the earth, causing a cave in.
Types of Sinkholes
- Solution sinkholes. When a landscape consists primarily of bedrock made from salt deposits, limestone, or carbonate rock, it’s more susceptible to erosion from underground water. Over time, this erosion creates a hole, which is often bowl shaped. Eventually, this may cause the top layer of soil to collapse.
- Cover collapse sinkholes. When bedrock is buried beneath a deep layer of earth, erosion can cause cracks in the soil above. Sinkholes caused by cover collapse are often sudden, creating large holes in the blink of an eye.
- Cover subsidence sinkholes. When the soil is loose or poorly compacted, it often filters down into holes in the bedrock, which can cause sinkholes over time.
So how can homeowners prevent sinkholes? Be smart about landscaping or doing construction around your house. Make sure any contractors stay up to code and fill holes properly. If you suspect your yard has sinkholes, call a professional sinkhole repair service in Atlanta.