How Do You Stop Sinkholes From Forming?

Protect your home and your peace of mind by understanding the risks of sinkholes and taking preventative measures. In this article, we explore the causes and ways you can protect your property from this destructive force.

As a homeowner, you want to protect your home and your investment. But are you worried that sinkholes could be a threat to your property? While they may seem like a rare occurrence, sinkholes can form suddenly and cause significant damage to your home. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of sinkholes and what you can do to prevent them from forming on your property. By understanding the risk factors and implementing preventative measures, you can take steps to help protect your home and keep your family safe.

Why are sinkholes a problem in Florida?

Sinkholes are a natural part of the erosion process that occurs over thousands of years in the state’s limestone terrain. In fact, many of central and north Florida’s lakes are actually the result of old sinkholes. These geologic phenomena typically happen when the limestone is close to the surface of the land. While most sinkholes are only 10 to 12 feet in diameter, they have the potential to grow to hundreds of feet in diameter and can be extremely damaging to your property.

Not all sinkholes are the result of natural processes, however. Human activities can also contribute to their formation, which is why understanding the causes of sinkholes and implementing preventative measures can help reduce the risk of sinkholes forming.

While most of Florida ‌is vulnerable to sinkhole formation, the karst limestone environment in the state’s central west increases the risk significantly. Located in west central Florida, the counties of Pasco, Hernando, and Hillsborough are collectively referred to as “Sinkhole Alley” due to their high risk of sinkhole formation. By contrast, Brevard County is considered low risk. However, it is still essential to keep informed and take preventative measures to protect your home.

Causes of sinkholes

The formation of sinkholes often starts with rainfall. As rainwater seeps through the soil, it increases in acidity as it absorbs carbon dioxide and reacts with decomposing plant matter. This somewhat acidic water then works its way through fissures and crevices, dissolving limestone, expanding the pores and cracks, and ultimately allowing even more acidic water seep through. Eventually, the land above collapses or sinks into these cavities – and a sinkhole is formed.

A lack of rain, on the other hand, can also contribute to the problem. A prolonged period of dry weather (which may result in excessive groundwater pumping – another risk factor for sinkhole formation) can raise the likelihood of a sinkhole forming when rain finally arrives, increasing the pressure on the ground.

Unfortunately, we don’t have much control over the rain (or lack thereof), but there are human activities that can trigger sinkholes, which we can be mindful of. These include overusing groundwater, concentrating water in a single area (such as creating ponds), burst mains, or even draining a swimming pool.

Ways to prevent sinkholes

As a Floridian, sinkholes may seem both unpredictable and inevitable, but rest assured that the St Johns River Water Management District is promoting year round conservation practices as well as issuing restrictions to prevent the lowering of groundwater levels which exacerbate soil cavities and increase the risk of sinkhole formation.

However, as a homeowner in the area, is there anything more you can do to help keep your property safe? If you want to protect your home from sinkholes, there actually are a few steps you can take.

First, check your gutter system. Poorly draining gutters can cause water to pool around your home, which can increase the risk of sinkholes. Make sure your gutters are properly directing water away from your home to reduce the risk of sinkholes.

Second, check your insurance. Sinkhole insurance can be expensive, but it’s worth it to protect your home from the potentially devastating effects of sinkholes. While the extra few thousand dollars you’ll pay each year may seem steep, it’s nothing compared to the tens of thousands you could have to pay if a sinkhole opens and you aren’t covered.

Third, if you already have a depression or hole at your home, consider underpinnings for your foundation. These can be costly, but a licensed sinkhole contractor can help you stabilize your home’s structure to prevent further damage. Don’t let sinkholes ruin your home – speak to a contractor to protect your property.


Sinkholes can be a serious threat to homes, buildings, and infrastructure, but there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of sinkholes forming. By avoiding activities that can cause sinkholes, stabilizing your home’s structure, and monitoring for early warning signs, it is possible to prevent at least some sinkholes from occurring and minimize damage when they do.

Misty A. Morrison
‪321-574-8119‬ (mobile)