Sinkholes are depressions on the ground’s surface when the subterranean voids become weak and fail to support the earth beneath them. Sinkholes are dangerous for drivers and hazardous to the whole population. They can drain unfiltered water from wetlands, lakes, and streams into the water aquifers, polluting the entire water table. Sinkholes can also be too large to be able to swallow up buildings. Sinkholes can injure people and even cause them death. When you step on a sinkhole, it can collapse, and you sink in with it. You must therefore beware that sinkholes are even more common than you think: so learn how to stay safe:
Get Yourself a Sinkhole Insurance
The commonality of sinkholes has led insurance providers to develop sinkhole insurance policies. Some state laws, therefore, allow insurance providers to cover their clients for accidents related to sinkholes. Based on the information in the following article https://www.brookslawgroup.com/winter-haven/sinkhole-claims/ you deserve to receive reasonable compensation from your insurer in case you or your loved ones are involved in sinkhole accidents. You should therefore reach out to your injury attorney if you have such a concern. Your attorney can advise you on how to file a sinkhole insurance claim based on your respective state laws.
Understand Their Formation
Natural sinkholes can form when the subsurface rocks dissolve, and some underground cavities emerge as a result. Look out for such if you live in places where the underlying rocks are carbonate rocks, salt beds, limestone, or dolomite. However, groundwater can also dissolve stones causing sinkholes. If you live in places where the geography is karst, be careful about any depression you see around.
Natural sinkholes can also form when rains prolong for a very long time. As the water hits the rocks, they tend to weather, and over time, the underlying support structures weaken, forming depressions on the ground surface. Likewise, prolonged droughts can also lower the water table and thus expose it to ground cavities. Therefore, if your area is experiencing extended rain and droughts, be careful with the loose ground surfaces you notice. They could be sinkholes. Contact the authorities as soon as you realize such for them to take the relevant measures before it’s too late.
Human activities can also cause sinkholes. When land is overused, especially with water pumping activities and construction works, the underlying structures weaken, and sinkholes are the main outcome. Watch out for sinkholes in such places. You must also stay away from abandoned septic tanks as they can transform into sinkholes. Therefore, anytime you move to a new home, confirm with the local authorities whether constructors built the house you are moving into before the neighborhood embraced the use of sewer lines.
Also, take a walk to see if people are abandoning septic tanks nearby. Be careful about stepping on decaying organic material or buried organic matter. Trash and tree roots can also cover sinkholes. Remember that tree veins and debris can decompose over time from air pockets. These air pockets allow the soil to seep gradually, creating a weak surface structure. Avoid leaving near collapsed mines and staying in improperly constructed houses. Poor construction can put excess pressure on the supporting earth surface resulting in cracks and cavities. Ultimately these cavities can become sinkholes.
Understand the Sinkhole Warning Signs
One other sure way to keep yourself safe from sinkhole accidents is to know the early signs so that you can raise the alarm before things get out of hand. If you realize that your building is developing cracks on the floor or the walls, you should report it immediately to the authorities. Similarly, should you notice some cloudy well water or see your well water has some mud, then chances are, the well can have advanced into a sinkhole.
If your doors and windows suddenly close with difficulty, it could be because your house’s foundation is moving. Report it to the relevant engineers so that they can ascertain your home for any structural damages that could advance into sinkholes. Simultaneously, if previously buried items, fence posts, trees, and foundations are becoming visible, the ground could sink. Also, if you see gullies and heaps of bare soil, then stay away from them as the water could be carrying the soil to the sinkhole around the area. You should also take sudden earth cracks as an early warning sign for sinkholes.
Sinkholes are pretty rare in most places, but they are also common in some places. To be safe, ensure that you must get a sinkhole insurance cover if you live in areas prone to sinkholes. Also, understand how sinkholes form so that you can understand the early warning signs. Always study the geographical background of the places you live in and report any sign of a sinkhole you realize.