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Old 03-16-2006
LassofaSailor LassofaSailor is offline
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Post Is a big battle about to ensue???

I just notified my insurance company of the possibility of sinkhole activity on my property and am already nervous about what will happen. I called my insurance broker to have them contact the insurance company and even they started saying it was earth settling BEFORE I even got a few words out. I live in Hernando county in Brooksville and when I bought the home 2 1/2 years ago I noticed some small cracks on the side on the house that is on the downward part of my sloped property. In that 2 1/2 years that small crack (which had been previously patched by the former owner) has cracked to almost 2 inches in width. I have stair-stepped cracks all over that side of the house with a giant 1/2 inch crack running throughout the entire floor on my house literally "cutting" the house in half. I also have multiple cracks along the walls and ceiling in that half of the house. It is also pulling my front concrete steps away from the house. I know there is clay beneath the soil of my property but I have also noticed a depression last year which I thought was caused by rain in my yard. It looked like someone had dug a shallow ditch down my property (unfortunately I filled it without taking pics). I also know some of the other houses on my block have been repaired for this same activity but I am not sure exactly who...Can anyone tell me what to expect and if my house being on a slope will be a major factor? I am a disabled vet and am limited in the ability of being able to leave my house so this is a big concern and worry. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2006
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I would make the opinion that with this much damage on the property, you should have no concerns about making a claim.

Don't worry about what your insurance agent says, he is neither a claims adjuster nor is he a geologist. I seriously doubt that he has ever stepped outside his office to physically inspect any property.

What you need to do is call your carrier and have them start a claim file. The adjuster will come out after that and you can listen to what that man says versus what your agent (salesman) tells you.

If you are having this much damage, then the insurance company should investigate.

Call us if you have further questions.
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2006
LassofaSailor LassofaSailor is offline
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The engineers came out and did intial testing in March which consisted of x-raying the ground and level testing. I am not sure of the proper terms. In the mean time my house started cracking at a very fast rate. Initially, only one side of my house was cracked but now every wall ceiling and floor, interior and exterior is cracked. They then did bore drilling testing in April. I was a little confused on where they chose to do the testing as the engineer who was in charge told me if they had to fix my house they would underpin in the four corners of my house. This is where they chose to do the bore drilling....not really where the cracking was occuring. the geologist became very excited during the drilling when he hit hard rock at 38 feet and stated that was very good. I was confused and asked him whether he was drilling for a sinkhole or to fix my house and he said BOTH. He said this would make it cheaper to underpin. Hmmm. In May I finally got word that the bore drilling results were "inconclusive" and that they would have to do one final test. An elasticity (sp?) test where they shock the ground. They did this test around my entire house and I just received word that on the really bad side they found three anomolies which they told me where sinkhole activity. However, they are now saying they must drill agin to "make sure." My home has cracked so bad that they had to do temporary emergency repairs to fill the gaps as spiders, snakes, lizards, and all kinds of bugs were coming in to my home. I am allergic. Also, no window will open or close, they are all askew and one of my doors have completley pulled off its hinges. The crack running through my home is now more than an inch and a quarter wide with outside cracks 2 inches or more. the rebar was even exposed but now they have temporarily sealed it. The plaster in my ceiling is coming down and that is on the other side of the house where in March there were no cracks. My question is....is this extra drilling really necessary or are they trying to desperately disprove sinkhole activity. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I am losing my home day by day.
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Old 05-30-2006
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No need to worry at this point. I believe that they are doing their best to try and figure out what is going on. If they come back with an opinion of "no activity" then you have the option to have another professional look at the results and have them see what it means. I would not worry at this point, just wait for the results and then decide what to do.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2006
LassofaSailor LassofaSailor is offline
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Default sinkhole activity

They did the final two bore drillings and came back and said I do indeed have sinkhole activity. In both places they drilled, this time, they found evidence of sinkhole activity. I know for sure on the hole they drilled by the worst part of my cracked house...I saw the pole drop. I then watched as the water kept sinking into the ground . They must have filled the bucket/pan around the hole 6 or 7 times which took 5 minutes to fill but it would then take only about a minute to drain into the cavity. My question is this...my insurance adjuster called and said I do have confirmed sinkhole activity and he is sending out two contractors to bid on the piering and underpinning of my house this week. I asked what they were going to do about the sinkhole and he said the engineer's report did not indicate the need to do any grouting. I am challenging this with them as I do not understand how you can fix the house but not fix the sinkhole. The engineer's report claims that due to large amounts of clay underneath, it is not really necessary. I am worried about future activity and how I should handle this. I am relieved they found the sinkhole but am now worried about proper repairing. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I thought the FIRST STEP was to grout the sinkhole....
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2006
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When the engineer recommends a repair is it usually based on the soil conditions below. Sometimes the soil conditions call for compaction grouting and sometimes the soil conditions call for underpinning. If there are large voids in the soil structure, then grouting should be the repair method and if there is no large voids then underpinning should be the repair method.
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