How neighborhood sinkholes can affect you
Question: I am aware that at least one home in our neighborhood has had a confirmed sinkhole as the cause of structural damage. Is there a relationship between the presence of sinkhole activity nearby and the potential cause of the damage to my home?
The general opinion of most geologists and geotechnical engineers is that the presence of sinkhole activity in a nearby area is relevant in determining whether a sinkhole investigation may be necessary at a particular home.
How do you find old sinkholes?
Note, as a general rule, this is relevant. The more important issue for most professionals will be the specific investigation they conduct at the residence. In most cases, it is important for the professionals to have a comprehensive understanding as to the nature of the area in which a property is located.
Given the ease with which information can be shared on the web, most confirmed sinkholes will end up in a sinkhole public database and can be easily reviewed. But
However, keep in mind that these databases will be focused on the information collected in the past 5-7 years. Therefore, if a sinkhole appeared at any point beforehand, those sinkholes will not be included in the database.
Check for neighborhood sinkhole activity
If you are aware of a homeowner who has had sinkhole activity confirmed at their home, you should consider approaching them about it. Of course, some homeowners may be uncomfortable in sharing this information due to the sensitive nature of the topic.
Many times, you will hear engineers comment that they had been in a neighborhood previously, and may have found other homes with sinkhole activity in a neighborhood by simply looking at their own files. Therefore, while it’s suggested that you approach the subject delicately, this information could save your home.