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Located in downtown Atlanta, Morgan & Morgan is a national law firm serving clients throughout Georgia and the Southeastern United States who have suffered property damage and personal injury through the negligence of others. When discussing sinkholes, most people think of large holes that suddenly — and often disastrously — appear in the ground.
Usually unseen until the damage is done, sinkholes are a threat to property and safety. If you notice signs of sinkhole activity, our lawyers offer skilled help navigating insurance claims and disputes. Fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form to learn more today.
Where Do Sinkholes Appear?
While a sinkhole can open anywhere, the geology of the following states lends itself to damaging sinkhole activity:
Contributing Factors to Sinkhole Activity in Atlanta
Two prominent types of ground movement cause significant physical damage to commercial and residential property, including:
Solution sinkholes: Rain and water percolate downward over the terrain. When the ground is composed of limestone, salt beds, or carbonate rocks, acidic rain gradually dissolves the minerals beneath the soil, leaving holes, crevices, cracks, and cavities. Over time, these solution sinkholes cause the ground to shift, fill in, slope, open, and fill again. This type of ongoing sinkhole activity may not be overtly noticeable in above-slab structures.
Ground cover collapse: Large, sudden sinkholes are caused by ground cover collapse. With several contributing factors, ground cover collapse occurs when the soil underlying surface terrain suddenly gives way, causing significant property damage and sometimes taking lives.
While the composition of soil and minerals beneath your property has a big impact on the incidence of sinkholes, other causes of such geological activity include the following:
- Construction, drilling, vibration, and blasting can hasten or cause the development of sinkhole activity.
- Intense rain following a period of drought can trigger such activity or a ground cover collapse.
- Inadequate or aged underground piping that splits or breaks leads to saturated ground that can open a sinkhole suddenly or over time.
- Construction of new neighborhoods increases weight on underground terrain, potentially causing sinkhole activity in areas prone to it.
Signs of Sinkhole Activity in Georgia
Our sinkhole lawyers have years of experience helping clients navigate the insurance claim process when sinkhole activity is detected. While ground cover collapse is often not predictable, signs of the presence of solution sinkholes sometimes include:
- Creeping wall cracks, which could signal shifting ground beneath a structure
- Doors and windows that no longer close tightly or properly, which could mean contortion caused by ground movement
- Floors that were once level starting to slope
- Loud cracking and popping sounds in your house, perhaps indicating strain on the structure
- Sinkholes and depressions in your area or around your property
- Exterior structures like fences, sheds, and posts sinking, slumping, or tipping
- Standing water or unusual water stains
When you notice a sinkhole or suspect such activity in or near Atlanta, contact your insurance agent. Following inspection, your insurance company may work with you to resolve the issue or deny your claim. If your claim is denied, our sinkhole attorneys help you develop options for additional expert testing and negotiate your claim with the insurance company.
Sinkhole activity does not go away. If you notice signs of one on your property or on that of a nearby neighbor, speak with your insurance company as soon as possible. Early action can slow property damage, economic loss, and possibly physical injury.
Contact Our Atlanta Law Firm Today
If you have questions about property damage caused by sinkholes in Atlanta, we can help. Located on Peachtree, our office is close to the Downtown Connector. Contact us for a free case evaluation or call us at (404) 965-8811 today.