The good news is that sinkholes can be repaired. The bad news is that the larger they are, the more difficult the repair process becomes. Sinkholes can be anything from a nuisance to a shocking event. They occur without warning and can potentially do a lot of damage to your property, community, city, or beyond. Sinkhole repair is not impossible, but it can be a tedious process depending on the severity of your sinkhole.
Sinkholes are caused mainly by water drainage and erosion; however they can be caused by human interference as well. Man-made sinkholes are pretty dangerous because they usually occur in heavily populated areas and can potentially harm a lot of people, property, and buildings. These sinkholes often occur near construction sites after heavy rain because the ground is loose and the soluble bedrock is vulnerable. Natural sinkholes occur over time and can appear without warning in lots of places. Roads, streets, intersections, communities, shopping areas, etc can all be affected by sinkholes. These holes are caused by water erosion in soluble bedrock under the crust of the earth. When this bedrock weakens, it wears away allowing water to trickle in and chip away at the surrounding dirt and soil. Soon, an underground cavern has been created that either continues to widen or becomes filled with the water. The latter option is known as a cover subsidence sinkhole. These do not open suddenly and are the least likely to do damage. However, the sinkhole type where a large underground void is created is known as a cover-collapse sinkhole. Cover collapse sinkholes are the ones that appear suddenly and often make the news. They can swallow cars, houses, buildings, and entire street intersections. The ground above the void can no longer support itself, and subsequently falls away, opening up this gigantic, gaping hole.
Small Sinkhole Repair
Small sinkholes that occur on your lawn or in your back yard are the easiest to fix. They usually aren’t so deep and can be repaired in a matter of days or weeks. You can repair small sinkholes by cleaning out the initial hole, filling it in with tightly packed soil, watering it, and repeating this process as needed. Over time, the hole should fill up the ground on your yard or on your lawn and become solid again.
Large Sinkhole Repair
Larger sinkhole repair is done by the same process as small sinkhole repair. However, insurance companies, contractors, cosmetic contractors and a professional sinkhole repair company have to get involved. It’s not as simple as filling a hole with dirt anymore. Larger sinkholes require the ground around them to be reinforced as well as the hole filled and the surface strengthened. Usually entire streets are shut down, homes are blocked off, and people can be dislocated when these holes are being fixed.
Some sinkholes, however, must simply be left alone. There have been sinkholes that have opened under water, in large fields, or other uninhabited areas that do not cause problems to people. Sinkholes are both scary and dangerous, but they do not have to be completely devastating. Both large and small sinkholes can be successfully filled with slightly similar processes.