Sinkholes can be a very scary situation. Since you cannot see underground, there is no way to tell just how dire the situation could potentially be. There have been many sinkholes made famous by the news over the recent years such as this sinkhole in Marietta http://www.wsbtv.com/gallery/news/marietta-sinkhole-spreads/gTtK/ and this sinkhole in Atlanta http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/homeowner-worried-about-sinkholes-in-her-yard/v7GB8/ that Bailey Construction & Landscape Group repaired. Sinkholes are very unpredictable, but there are certain "trends" that we have observed over the years. Remember, burying debris (garbage, tree stumps, limbs, etc..) is not illegal in the state of Georgia, but is supposed to be disclosed on your plat given by the builder.
One of the trends we have noticed for homes with sinkholes in areas such as Marietta and Atlanta is that they are generally manifesting in the 20-30-year mark. Homes in these areas are generally older versus the newer cookie cutter homes built in the 90's in other areas that have just started growing in recent years. These newer growing areas are having sinkholes manifest as early as 5-10 years!
What's the cause? Well, it has been observed that sinkhole debris in Marietta and surrounding areas were buried much deeper during construction 20-30 years ago, while newer construction from the 90's and on, tends to bury sinkhole debris in pits that are much more shallow. Now with saying this, it's not an exact science. This is not a fact, just a growing observation that the Sinkhole Experts here have observed over our many years of repairing sinkholes. There are still just too many determining factors that determine how quickly a sinkhole will manifest. Many people hold the opinion that after 20 or so years everything in a sinkhole has fully decayed, but here is some food for thought. Something will continue to decay until it's completely gone and inert material (trees, limbs, etc..) is no different.
Two other factors that do tend to speed up the decay process in sinkholes are moisture and heat. If you have noticed a crack, hole or depression in the ground (sinkhole), generally it will grow after a heavy rain or when the temperatures surge like they do here in Georgia. Unfortunately, the sinkhole has always been there underground, it was just a matter of time before the hole, depression, or crack manifested on the surface for you to see.
Just some more interesting sinkhole facts to keep everyone informed. You can read more about sinkhole by clicking on our sinkhole page here. If you think you might have a sinkhole and would like a free sinkhole estimate, just call Bailey Construction & Landscape Group at 770-466-8766.
Look for more sinkhole blogs to come!!