Being a Florida resident has its perks. There’s year-round sunshine; beautiful beaches; mild to moderate temperatures; a booming economy from the never ending string of tourists; and the discounts to Disney World are pretty great, too. Of course, with every great thing comes something not so great. Enter, sinkholes.
In general, Florida is more prone to sinkholes forming than elsewhere in the country. Sinkholes are categorized as part of Florida’s karst landforms, along with caves, disappearing streams, springs, and underground drainage systems under the earth. “Karst” is a term used for terrain that has characteristics of erosion as a result of chemical weathering of limestone or dolomite — the two most common carbonate rocks in Florida.
Essentially what is happening is that, over many years, the persistent erosion of the limestone and dolomite under Florida’s immediate surface has created a system of streams and rivers underground. This causes weakened land and structures, and can sometimes lead to serious damages.
What happens if you are on a sinkhole that goes unnoticed?
Sinkholes can vary in size. While some may not be large enough to swallow your entire home and the area around it, some can be just that dangerous. In the event that a sinkhole is smaller, these can be almost as dangerous because they go unnoticed, causing your foundation to slowly crack. This weakens the overall structure of your property, while also opening your foundation and walls up to moisture and the opportunity for mold to grow inside your walls. In a word, sinkholes are scary.
What does all of this mean for you?
When purchasing a piece of property in Central Florida, one of the most critical aspects to pay close attention to is the structural integrity of the foundation design. If the immediate area around this building is known to have had sinkholes, you should hire a structural engineer to come assess the land and foundation of your building to ensure that you’re making a sound investment. Having a trained pair of eyes is absolutely essential in the process of looking for a new home or business in Florida.