According to a Florida Geological Survey, most of the sinkholes in Florida are reported in the central and western parts of the state. As a result, it is important that those residents are aware of some of the potential warning signs of sinkhole activity on their property. Cracks in interior joint areas, windows, or doors are one potential indicator, as well as cracks that may be seen in the exterior rock or stucco of a home or building. Observations of deep cracks and separation of paved concrete walkways and driveways is another indicator. Windows and doors that become harder to close also indicate that the building or home is becoming uneven possibly as a result of sinkhole activity. Cabinets that are separating from the walls are also a warning sign. If there are depressions or holes in the ground, or circular patches of wilting plants in your yard, that may also indicate some kind of soil unraveling as a result of sinkhole activity. Finally, if neighbors are reporting sinkhole activity, it may mean that there are sinkholes around the rest of the neighborhood.
One or more of these warning signs may mean that a sinkhole is affecting the property. As we are in the peak of sinkhole season during the rainy summer months, it is imperative to keep an eye out for these warning signs. Additionally, as more and more sinkhole claims are filed, it is important to report the signs to your insurance company or an attorney sooner rather than later as insurance companies will look for different ways to deny coverage. Insurance companies have been known to try to argue that a particular sinkhole loss wasn’t timely reported to them and therefore the insurance company is prejudiced in having to handle the claim on late notice. If you notice or observe any of the warning signs, it is helpful to write down dates and monitor the cracks and depressions to record if they are increasing in size. If you believe you might have sinkhole activity on your property, you can always feel free to contact the attorneys at Givens Givens Sparks for a free case evaluation and understanding of what your rights are as a policyholder against your insurance company.