Have you discovered a sinkhole opening up in your lawn?
Also known as a doline or swallet, sinkholes are more than just a nuisance; they pose a risk of property damage as well as bodily injury.
While some sinkholes are minor, extending just a few inches into the ground, others can measure dozens or even hundreds of feet deep. As a result, you need to use caution when dealing with sinkholes.
Overview of Sinkholes
Sinkholes are typically created when water washes away a subterranean area that’s covered with a relatively hard material, such as granite or limestone.
Over the course of many years, water will absorb into the ground, causing the area to become unstable. Eventually, the hard material covering the area will collapse, thereby opening up a pit.
Assess the Severity
First and foremost, you need to assess the severity of the sinkhole. If the sinkhole is located next to your home – or if it’s particularly wide and/or deep – you should contact a building inspector for a professional evaluation.
In some cases, you may have to temporarily move out of your home until the sinkhole has been fixed.
Filling a Minor Sinkhole
The good news is that you can typically fill minor sinkholes yourself. Assuming it’s not too large, and it doesn’t pose a risk of property damage or bodily injury, you can simply fill it.
Most experts recommend filling minor sinkholes with concrete and dirt. First, pour concrete into the bottom of the sinkhole to create a hard, stable surface. The purpose of the concrete is to prevent the sinkhole from further deteriorating. After the concrete has dried and hardened, you can then fill the remaining space with sand.
Don’t just any sand, however. Instead, use clayey sand. Clayey sand is less permeable than standard sand, so it offers a higher level of protection against sinkhole formations.
Therefore, you should fill the sinkhole with it rather than standard sand. After the sinkhole has been filled, top it off with a layer of topsoil, at which point it should be stable.
It’s frustrating when a sinkhole opens up in your lawn. Even if it’s small, it will still disrupt your landscape while creating an eyesore that hurts your home’s curb appeal.
With a little work, however, you can fix minor sinkholes by filling them with concrete and sand.
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