Warning Signs of Sinkholes In Volusia County
Sinkholes are a common problem throughout Florida and become more of a risk during the spring and summer months. In 2020, they wreaked havoc throughout the Daytona Beach area, causing extensive property damage for both homeowners and businesses. This year, make sure you know the signs of sinkholes and what to do if one happens.
Are There Sinkholes In Volusia County?
As their name applies, sinkholes are holes or depressions that slowly occur in the ground due to collapses of the surface layer. They can happen in areas where limestone, salt beds, or sand lay under the soil, eventually getting worn away or developing caverns due to heavy rainfalls and accumulations of groundwater. They can also happen in areas where extensive mining took place in the past.
Florida has long been susceptible to sinkholes but they were generally most common in the middle of the state or along the west coast. However, over the past five years, sinkholes have become an increasingly common problem throughout the Daytona Beach area. In the summer of 2020, ClickOrlando reported that three separate sinkholes opened up near DeLeon Springs State Park, flooding homes with mud and water and causing some residents to evacuate.
While sudden ground collapses can occur, it is far more common for sinkholes to take a gradual approach, slowly causing indentations in the ground over a period of months or even years. To protect yourself and prevent structural damage on your property, be aware of the warning signs to look for:
- Cracks in your home’s foundation or in stucco and exterior blocks;
- Windows and doors that increasing stick or appear uneven;
- Gaps and cracks in sidewalks and parking areas;
- Sloping floors or areas with soft indentations;
- Crack ceilings or walls within your home;
- Unexplained loss of water in pools.
What To Do If You Suspect A Sinkhole
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection warns residents and commercial business property owners to take the threat of sinkholes seriously. As there are no state agencies that offer sinkhole inspections or other services, you will need to address the problem yourself and with your insurer. Steps to take to protect yourself and your rights in a claim include:
- For small indentations, fill with soil or sand and watch closely for further signs of sinking;
- For deeper depressions and those in the process of sinking further, notify 911 and consider evacuating the property;
- For sinkholes on public roads, notify local police and the city or county Highway Department;
- For sinkholes near or impacting structures on your property, notify your homeowner’s insurance company so that they can send an adjuster to assess the damage.
Let Us Help You Today
Sinkholes can cause extensive damage to your home or business. Unfortunately, insurers often balk at paying. To get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim, reach out to our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation today.