How to identify if your home is at risk for a sinkhole

Posted at 3:38 AM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-17 06:54:26-04

Your home is your biggest investment so may be wondering how can you figure out if it is at risk of being sucked into the ground by a sinkhole.

Sinkhole experts at University of South Florida say there are three things you can do to alleviate that fear.

The scientists say thousands of sinkholes happen in Florida every year. While most sinkhole are not as big as the one in Land O' Lakes, they can happen anytime and anywhere at random.

"It was a perfect round hole," Chuck Holloway lives in Seffner.

RELATED | Sinkhole swallows 2 homes in Land O' Lakes neighborhood; cleanup could take months

Holloway is reminded every day of the sinkhole that killed his neighbor and swallowed an entire bedroom four years ago. It happened on Faithway Drive.

Afterwards. the county demolished three homes and filled in the sinkhole only to see it open up again. Crews came out and filled it a second time. Holloway says he is constantly worried because his house is just two doors down from the sinkhole.

"I watch it and worry about different things any noise at night, a crack at night, you get up and you take a look around," said Holloway.

PHOTO GALLERY | Sinkhole swallows 2 homes in Land O' Lakes

If you are concerned about sinkholes when buying a home, you can search your county's property appraiser website. If a previous homeowner dealt with a sinkhole issue in the past, it will be listed there

To search homes in Pasco County, click here. In Hillsborough County, click here.

Holloway says a woman moved in just down the street from his home, even knowing what happened in 2013.

"If they know the sinkhole is here and they buy the house, they are taking all their chances," said Holloway. "What they want to do is what they want. You can't stop them. We have houses all around this place that are for sale."

USF experts say ask around the neighborhood. If any of the homes have sinkhole activity, the neighbors will most likely know.


If you do buy a home and are still worried, you can ask an engineer come out and test the ground. Loose soil is an indicator of sinkhole activity.

If engineers believe the ground is unsafe, it can be stabilized.

USF lists reported sinkholes in Florida county-by-county. Click here to search.