Sinkholes: Warning Signs for Home Owners

by Ann Harrison

Image @ Wikimedia

Do you live in an area where sinkholes have occurred over a number of years? Sinkholes are geologic disasters, which cause structural damage, resulting in costly repairs. These disasters can cause water from lakes, streams, and other water sources to drain away.

In the United States, sinkholes mainly occur in Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Alabama, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Although sinkholes appear to open up overnight, they open up beneath the ground, long before any evidence occurs on the surface.

There are warning signs you should be aware of, should a sinkhole occur in your neighborhood. Warning signs in your yard are as follows: if you see puddles in your yard, where no rain ever puddled before; if your well water is cloudy, where it used to be clear; if you see fence posts sticking up out of the ground that were buried before; if trees, fence posts, and other objects appear slumping, sagging, or if they fall altogether; and if you find slopes or dips in your yard.

Doors that do not close properly, or doors that hang open, when they closed tightly before, slanting foundation, cracks in the concrete, tile, grout, or walls are indoor signs of an impending sinkhole. Please note, that not all of these signs mean that a sinkhole is opening beneath your home. Some of these signs, like cracks in your walls, could be a sign of the house settling. However, if you see several of these and other sighs, such as the walls separating from the floor, then it’s highly likely that a sinkhole has opened underground.

If your home falls into a sinkhole, be sure to keep your family safe. It may be necessary to evacuate the house and move to a safe location. Once you have moved your family and your valuables, place a rope around the hole, to keep other people out of danger. Please note that if anyone falls into the sinkhole on your property, you are held responsible for any injuries that occur as a result. Notify your county’s emergency management team, your county or city building inspector, and your insurance company of the sinkhole. If possible, reach out to the emergency management agency at the first signs of a sinkhole to find out what you can do to protect yourself and your family before a disaster happens.

About the Author

Ann Harrison is a totally blind author, who grew up in the small town of Rochelle, Georgia, and has moved back to her family home after living in North Georgia for several years. Ann has written many articles of general interest for a number of clients since June of 2010, including the Cordele Dispatch. She has also published a short story entitled “The Big Climb” in Awethology Light. Ann also published a story entitled “The Woods” in December Awethology Light Volume by The #Awethors. She is currently working on several novels, and a self-help book. To read more of Ms. Harrison’s inspirational writings, visit her blog at www.wwannwrites.wordpress.com.

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