Average Cost of Fixing Sinkhole Damage and How to Save

A sinkhole can be expensive to repair whenever a professional contractor is used. Even so, it is often necessary to use a contractor because its size or location makes DIY repair dangerous to perform.

Testing

When a sinkhole is underneath a roadway or building, it can be difficult to tell exactly how deep or wide it is. Testing could be required in order to develop a plan for fixing it. This involves hiring an engineering company to assess the damage by doing a walkthrough or by using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to detect the sinkhole. The cost of testing can be anywhere from $8,000 to more than $10,100, and includes a plan of action for correcting this deficiency.

Grouting or Underpinning

After testing is completed, engineers will likely recommend that grouting, underpinning or a combination of the two be used to repair the sinkhole. These techniques fill in the hole, stabilize the earth so it will not move again, and secure the foundation of a building. The cost can depend on the size of the sinkhole, amount of materials needed to fill it, and the extent of damage to a home’s foundation. Typical costs for repairing a very large sinkhole range from $35,000 to $75,000. This cost can be higher whenever a sinkhole is beneath a roadway, as the surface will also need to be broken up and repaved. In these instances, the cost could be several hundred thousand dollars.

Temporary Relocation

It may be necessary to relocate temporarily while a sinkhole is being repaired. The average length of time required to repair sinkholes can be anywhere from one to three weeks. Repairing damage to a home’s foundation could take an extra one to two weeks. The cost of a hotel can range from $200 to $400 per week. Meals away from home could cost around $20 to $40 per day per person, and laundry costs can be approximately $10 per person each week.

Saving with the Proper Insurance

Sinkhole damage is often covered by insurance, which can be a welcome relief for those faced with this problem. Before experiencing a sinkhole, it can be important for homeowners to review their policy with an agent in order to make sure they have this type of coverage. This is especially true in areas that are prone to sinkholes. Premiums will vary based upon the number of sinkhole claims in a given area over the past few years. As a result, rates vary wildly, and can be as little as $150 per year or as much as $4,000 annually for a rider covering strategic earth collapse.

Saving by Catching Damage Early

Sinkholes are less costly to repair whenever they are caught early. Some early indicators of sinkholes include cracks in the walls or foundation, sediment in drinking water, sloping floors or water collecting in a yard. As soon as any of these signs are present, call an engineering team to inspect for signs of sinkhole damage. This can not only reduce the amount of property damage, but can help residents avoid becoming injured as well.

When getting estimates from contractors, going with the cheapest one is not always recommended. No price can be put on quality workmanship, so the qualifications of a repair company should be highly considered above anything else.