Sinkholes are both terrifying and fascinating things. The idea that the earth could just open up and swallow you, part of your house, or a couple of city blocks is freakishly amazing. Most people would avoid purchasing properties that have known sinkholes underneath them. Not you; you want to buy them and flip them. Of course, you want to make these properties as safe as possible for human habitation, but can it be done? The answer is "yes," and here is how you do it.
Hire a Geotechnical Engineer
First and foremost, if you have already bought the properties, and the sinkholes are just lying in wait underneath, hire a geotechnical engineer. This type of engineer is able to map out the exact dimensions of the sinkhole underneath the surface of the soil. That is vital information you will need to give your concrete contractor.
Hire a Concrete Contractor Who Does Chemical Grouting
Concrete contractors who do chemical grouting are able to fill in the presently invisible sinkholes with chemical grouting. Chemical grouting is a fast expanding foam grout product that bonds with loose soils and rapidly expands to fill the dimensions of the sinkhole. Following the data produced by the geotechnical engineer, the contractor can place reinforcing posts in the ground to support the foundation of any home or building placed over part or all of the sinkhole. Then the chemical grouting is injected into the ground, filling the space of the would-be sinkhole, had it ever evolved and dropped into the ground below.
Have Both the Geotechnical Engineer and a Property Inspector Check the Grouting Job
Before you can develop the property or build on part or all of the sinkhole, you have to have the grouting job pass inspection. Your geotechnical engineer has to verify that there is no danger of a sinkhole anymore. A property inspector has to be present at the same time as the engineer so that the two can confirm that the property is now safe for residential or commercial development. Even though the property is now deemed safe, the chemical grouting contractor may have to return in the future to inject more grouting into the ground because of shifting earth underneath the grouting itself.
Be Sure to List Conditions of the Property Prior to Selling It
Each of the sinkhole properties you fix, and flip has to be listed with the sinkhole condition. You have to provide proof to the county and state that you fixed the sinkhole issue and that it has passed inspection. This alerts all buyers to the fact that they cannot excavate on the property, but they can build up from a slab foundation.
For more information, contact a company like A-PAC Pressure Grouting Inc.