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Question DetailsAsked on 4/30/2013

I have sink holes in my yard who can I contact for help

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As always with a homeowner problem, first thing is to determine the cause.

1) If they line up in a nice straight line, then you may be looking at a failed water or sewer line washing out soil, causing surface collapses. See if your local utility locate service will do a locate in your yard for all utilities (usually free), so you can see if they line up on top of a utility line. If the house is newly built and the sinkholes are more of a straight swale than a hole, then may just be settlement of the trench backfill (which may be up to a foot or so after a few years). Just top off with compacted gravel fill covered with a couple inches topsoil and reseed.

If not a general swale along th run of the line, then if on top of water or sewer line call a plumber - you probably have a broken pipe. If over telephone, cable TV, or electric line than again you are seeing settlement of the uncompacted backfill over the cables - just need to add gravel fill to within 1-2 inches of surface, topsoil to about 1/2 inch above surrounding area (to allow for settlement) and reseed.

2) Are you familiar with the rodents in your area - is it by chance mole or gopher or badger excavations caving in ? If so, then your "sinkholes" will only be from 3-12 inches in diameter and from 4-18 inches deep, depending on animal size. To see, try digging carefully down into one with a sharp shovel or trowel and poke around with a sharp stick to see if there are tunnels connected to it. If so, then look into rodent control - traps, poison, or call an exterminator.

3) If not 1) or 2) and truly a "sinkhole" - more than 6 inches or so deep, or that you can see down into an actual hole, contact your local building department to see if you are in an area where true sinkholes (dissolving limestone, gypsum, salt, etc causes sinkholes) occur. If so, contact a geotechnical engineer who does residential consulting.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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