Sinkhole Repair in the Tampa Bay Area

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What is a sinkhole?

A sinkhole is a hole or depression in the ground that has no external surface drainage. In other words, when it rains, all of the rainwater will stay inside of the sinkhole and then drain down into the subsurface. According to geologists, the most common regions for sinkholes are within karst terrains which includes Florida. Within karst terrains like Florida, the types of rock that lie below the land surface are able to be naturally dissolved by groundwater circulating through them. Some of these soluble rocks include sale beds and domes, limestone, gypsum, and other carbonate rock. Given that Florida is largely underlain by limestone it is highly susceptible to sinkhole activity.

When it rains, the water moves down through the soils and these types of rocks can begin to break down and dissolve. This process can lead to underground spaces and caverns. Sinkholes are usually dramatic occurrences because the land will typically stay intact for a period of time until the underground spaces get too big. Once this happens and there is no longer enough support for the land on top of the open spaces, a sudden collapse of the land surface can happen.

Sinkhole Experts

Camrock Foundations specializes in sinkhole repair. We are based out of Lutz, Florida, and service the entire Tampa Bay Area. Staircase cracks, depressions, and a shifting foundation will continue to settle and get worse over time. The team at Camrock Foundations has experience stabilizing some of the largest residential and commercial projects across the state of Florida for over 20 years. Our team prides ourselves on being the experts in crafting and designing the best recommended repair approach for your specific needs.

Call us today for a sinkhole evaluation or a review of your existing engineers report.

Signs of Sinkhole Activity

There are several signs of a sinkhole that you should look for if you suspect you have potential sinkhole activity at your home or business. The signs of a sinkhole are similar to what you would find with other foundation issues. It is important to have a sinkhole/foundation expert inspect your property as soon as possible to identify your specific issue. It is important to identify a sinkhole before it collapses which can potentially save you a lot of time, money, and your safety. The below list includes the most common signs of a potential sinkhole developing at your property.

·Staircase Cracks – Most of the time when you have cracking on your exterior walls, the crack will be in the shape of a staircase.
· Sloping Floors – The floors could start to slope and sink lower in different areas due to sinkhole activity.
· Floor Cracks – The cracking of your floor tiles are a common sign of sinkhole activity. They may become loose or pop up.
· Sticking Doors & Windows – If your doors or windows are sticking, this could be from weakened walls as a result of a sinkhole.
· Foundation Cracks – The majority of homes with sinkholes will show cracking which can be on the interior or exterior walls, or the floors or ceiling.
· Window & Door Frame Cracks – Your structure could be weakened if you notice cracks around your windows or door frames.
· Interior Wall Separating – If your walls start to separate from the ceiling this could be a attributed to sinkhole activity.
· Higher Electricity and Water Bills – A sinkhole could cause your structure to shift which could cause damage or loss of insulation.
· Ground Surface – If you see holes, depressions, or soft spots in the soils it could be caused from a compromised foundation.
· Driveway Cracks – If your driveway is sloped, has cracks, or holes it may be a sign of a sinkhole.
· Fencing – If the ground is sinking, it could cause your fence to slump or dip.

How to repair a sinkhole

There are a few different sinkhole repair options which are determined by the type and size of the sinkhole.

Chemical Grouting: Chemical grouting is a process that is used to densify the soils under the foundation and stabilize the structure. This type of repair will fix poorly compacted soils, base, and sub-base, within the first 10 feet underground. This technique involves injecting a lightweight polyurethane grout under the concrete slab to stabilize the foundation. Our polyurethane grout is environmentally friendly and does not release any harmful chemicals into the soils. This repair is very fast and cost-effective solution which will allow you to start using the slab immediately.

Compaction Grouting: Compaction grouting uses a special type of grout that will seal the limestone and also densify the soils above which will stabilize the at-risk structure or building. The team would leverage a map of the property and mark out all grout point locations that are needed for the repair. The grout is then pumped into the ground to fill in any gaps at the recommended locations. This grout material does not mix well with the soil or limestone.

Underpinning: The underpinning process involves driving underpins which are steel piers into the ground. The pins are embedded into the ground and underneath the structure to stabilize and support the integrity of the foundation. This type of sinkhole repair can be used to repair a newly damaged building or an older structure that has settled since previous sinkhole activity.

If you suspect that your property has a potential sinkhole, call Camrock Foundations right away for a free evaluation. It will not get better on its own and will continue to get worse over time.

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