Easy Do-it-yourself Methods for Sinkhole Repair
When they are caught early on, sinkholes can sometimes be repaired without calling in a professional contractor. You should only attempt to repair sinkholes that are relatively small in size and located in areas that do not pose a risk to others. Never attempt sinkhole repair underneath a building or roadway, and always report them to the proper authorities as soon as possible.
One of the most common methods of filling in sinkholes is with grouting. This involves filling the hole with concrete in an effort to stabilize the earth above and beside it. Small sinkholes can be repaired with concrete that is mixed by hand, but larger holes may require a concrete truck to pour it into the hole. Some gravel may be placed into the hole first in order to reduce the amount of concrete thatís needed. Grouting is only effective whenever the sinkhole is no longer active. If rock beneath the sinkhole shifts again, the opening may reappear at a later time.
Filling with Dirt or Other Material
Very small sinkholes in a backyard can sometimes be filled in with dirt. When doing so, even small holes could require a large amount of dirt be added, which is why it is sometimes necessary to have a load hauled in. This material can be shoveled in by hand, and should be kept rather loosely on the bottom. When the hole is about half full, begin tamping it down with the shovel lightly, and then continue to fill the hole tightly with dirt until you reach the top. Mark the area with a safety cone, and then check it in a few days to see if any of the dirt has settled. If so, you may need to add some more dirt and continue to check until there is no more settlement taking place.
If your ground contains limestone, you may want to perform sinkhole repair using rubble, which is essentially broken stone. Place a light layer of this material on the bottom of your sinkhole and then cover it with either sand or clay. Add enough sand or clay so that none of the gravel is visible beneath it. Once this is accomplished, begin adding fill dirt to your sinkhole, pressing down lightly with the blade of your shovel to ensure it is packed tightly.
Eliminating the Cause
Many residential sinkholes are caused by poor drainage or erosion issues. Identifying these issues and then resolving them is important if you are to completely eliminate sinkhole problems. Check your yard for any broken pipes, standing water, or tree limbs that are disrupting the soil. Replace and reroute plumbing lines, dig a drainage ditch, or have the tree removed in order to prevent future sinkholes from occurring.
Even if you successfully repair a sinkhole, there could be others on your property that you are unable to see. Document the size, location, and characteristics of the sinkhole you repaired, and then call a professional in order to have a thorough inspection of your land performed.