I am a single mother who scrimped and saved by flipping properties and bartending, while raising two children until I could pay cash for my dream home. It's only a cottage but it's on the river here in Florida. But I'm starting to become concerned with the settlement of the house, and reports from the neighbors that the houses in this neighborhood were built on poor fill dirt. I am beside myself that we will have a sinkhole and the kids have been worried sick and having nightmares that we are going to fall into the ground and be buried like the guy in Plant City Florida who was entombed in a sinkhole. I am now back in school getting my Masters degree as I want to be a substance abuse counselor and I make just enough money to get by. I don't have a clue what needs to be done except I know if I call one of these sinkhole places it will cost me many thousands of dollars. Hope you can help..
Mike doesn't respond to posts here, only other viewers of HGTV and DIY.
I'd check with your insurance agent to make sure you're covered for ground subsidence issues. I'm not sure it is included in standard policies in Florida.
I don't have any answers for you on this one and I doubt HGTV will offer anything. Possibly someone on the boards is familiar with the situation in Florida.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Sinkholes are not caused by fill on the lot but by underground erosion of soft rock like limestone caused by underground springs and streams. Caverns are formed and as the erosion continues they eventually collapse; if large enough they can swallow a house. You need to find out if there are underground streams and limestone in your area. I'm not sure who can tell you; maybe the county, maybe a local college, maybe the US Geological Survey. You can get access to maps as easily as the "professionals" can and that leaves out the hard sell on improvements you may not need.
I think the OP is using the term sinkhole in a generic way to describe any sinking of ground.
I know of other states where dump sites, wetlands, etc were improperly filled and in time the ground started to settle as what was beneath it deteriorated in the natural course of things. Is this the type of thing you were thinking about?
Right now you seem to be concerned about rumors. Try to get some facts by going to your county or other local government. They should have records of your property and be able to tell you what was located there before the house was built. Then you can tell whether you should be concerned or not.
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