Sinkholes are common in a number of areas around the world, and the causes vary depending on where they occur. However, water leaks from underground pipes can be one cause for sinkhole formation - which means that it might not just happen to your house!
Sinkholes can be a problem for homeowners, and before you decide to do any repairs yourself it's important that you understand the risks. Sinkholes come in various shapes and sizes but usually appear along outside walls or on your lawn or garden. You need to know whether this sinkhole is deep enough so there isn't another one underneath - which could cause more damage if not fixed quickly (you should get an estimate from professionals).
What Is A Sinkhole?
A sinkhole is a depression in the ground that has no natural external surface drainage. Basically, this means that when it rains, all of the water stays inside the sinkhole and typically drains into the subsurface. - U.S. Department Of The Interior
There are many different reasons for the formation of sinkholes. The most common cause is when water saturates a layer of soil and then evaporates, which causes an empty space to be formed underground that creates instability in the ground above it.
When this happens on land there might not seem like anything wrong at first but if you're standing next to one suddenly everything starts shaking! That's because they can grow quickly sometimes within just 24 hours or less from being tiny cracks near the surface all by themselves without any warning signs as long as conditions below continue favorable such as recent rainfall erosion etc...
Sinkholes In Georgia
In June 2021, CBS46 news reported a story of a sinkhole larger than the size of a car reopening in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Once in a while, whole chunks of the Earth just fall out. It's called sinkholes and they happen all over Georgia where tectonic plates are shifting around each other causing seismic activity that can be felt on every level.
You're probably wondering what makes them so dangerous to our environment: it's not actually the hole itself but how fast it happens! As soon as you see one developing near your home or office building, make sure to get everyone evacuated quickly before even more damage is done.
How Do Water Leaks Cause Sinkholes?
Sinkholes are basically caused by an excess amount of water that erodes the ground. Whatever is above that ground can (and usually does) get swallowed into the hole once the ground breaks.
The ground beneath your home isn't all stable; when digging far enough down, one will eventually come across pockets filled with both air and water known as groundwater. This usually doesn't happen unless a lot of rain pours on top which shakes things around and makes the ground under the foundation unstable.
Water leaks cause sinkholes by weakening the foundation of buildings which causes them to collapse into these pockets filled with air and water under the surface.
When it comes to leaks, prevention is the key. A major leak in your home could cause a sinkhole if you don't properly fix and detect them early on. That's why it's so important for homeowners to have regular inspections of their plumbing system by certified professionals.
If your home has a major leak, you may notice that the ground around it is starting to sink. So what should you do? Well first things first! You better get those pipes fixed because if they keep leaking and making more of an erosion in the dirt underneath (which eventually leads to collapse), then there's no telling how big this hole will become or when it might happen. Don't let yourself be surprised by a massive disaster on top of everything else!
Pools and Sinkholes
Pools and sinkholes are the most common culprits of destabilizing land. The water in a pool is not only heavy, but also depletes the soil of its natural components like clay or sand. When there's no longer enough foundation to support it, the ground beneath can collapse into a hole.
It doesn't matter if it's an above ground pool or an inground pool - both types of pools can contribute and/or cause a sinkhole in your yard.
Where does a sinkhole start? It starts developing long before it appears. That's why detecting water leaks early is so important! Early detection of water leak in your pool will save you loads, from money to time and headaches-- the list goes on.
There are several reasons why a pool would leak.
- Shifting ground
- Broken plumbing
- General wear & tear
- Loose fittings
- Pumps and motor problems
Pool leaks are sneaky. You might not notice the leak in time, and water can do a lot of damage to your house! It's important that you pay attention to how much pool water is being used so you'll know if there's any leaking happening.
How Do You Know If You Have A Water Leak Underground?
If you are unsure whether or not your home has an underground water leak, there are a few clues to look for.
The Signs of An Underground Water Leak
- Cracks in your home's foundation, driveway, sidewalk and/or pool
- You notice that an area of your home seems to feel lower (the house may be leaning)
- Doors aren't closing properly
- Spots of your lawn seem to be very lush and green and/or brown and dead for no apparent reason
- Your last water bill is all of a sudden higher than it normally is
- The water pressure to your home has suddenly dropped.
- You think that you can hear running water when there are no faucets that are turned on.
If you notice any of these signs and suspect that you may have a water leak, contact a professional plumber immediately.
What Damage Can A Water Leak Cause?
Besides the severe damage of a sinkhole, a water leak can cause havoc in other ways.
There is an increased risk for mold or fungus as moisture builds up in a closed space like your basement. As time goes on, these fungi will cause structural problems which can lead to considerable further repairs.
Water leaks can cause structural damage to your home. This means damage to wall framing, wooden decks and any wood framing in your home, ceiling joints, rafters, roofing and much more.
If you suspect there may be water leaks near your property then it is important that you attend to them quickly; otherwise they could end up causing more serious damages than just damaging floors and ceilings.
What To Do If You Have A Sinkhole
For your safety, here is a list of what you should do if you discover a sinkhole on your property.
- Don't go near the sinkhole - the ground around it is unstable and could collapse underneath you and cause you to fall. Keep your family and pets away from that area.
- Leave your home immediately - sink holes can grow in size and if that damage is in your yard, there's no telling if and when your home will be impacted.
- Call your water and sewer company immediately. They should come out to inspect the area to determine what caused the sinkhole and who to call to repair it.
- Call your insurance company to find out what coverage you may have for this type of damage.
- If you can rope off the area surrounding the sinkhole that would be advisable. Or have whomever comes to inspect it rope it off.
If you have any questions about water leaks and sinkholes or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We Offer Water Leak Repair in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
Fulton County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, and Douglas County.
Acworth GA, Atlanta GA, Austell GA, Cartersville GA, Doraville GA, Douglasville GA, Hiram GA, Kennesaw GA, Lawrenceville GA, Lithia Springs GA, Loganville GA, Mableton GA, Marietta GA, Powder Springs GA, Rockmart GA, Roswell GA, Smyrna GA, Tucker GA, Villa Rica GA, Vinings GA, Woodstock GA, and Surrounding Communities.