LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) – “The whole side of it was gone.” Ralph Terry lives down the street from the sinkhole house at 21835 Ocean Pines Drive in Land O’ Lakes.
“Very scary to stand here and watch a house just go,” said Gibby Fletcher.
She and Terry have been sitting in a Buccaneer-themed golf cart watching the house crumble into a sinkhole all day. Terry said he almost bought the house next door, 21825. A boat behind that house sank into the ground. He knows had he purchased the home, he would be watching the crumbling of dreams. It would have been his nightmare.
He decided not to buy, because he learned sinkhole stabilization had been done under the home at 21825 and the one now buried in the earth.
The Pasco County Property Appraiser’s website showed both houses had been “stabilized” for sinkholes.
“The only way to truly repair and re-mediate sinkholes is through compaction grouting,” said Jay Silver President of Helicon.
Two years ago, his company did work underneath 21835. He told me the house started cracking so the owner contacted their insurance company, who in turn hired a company called MCD of Central Florida.
They recommended compact chemical grouting.
Silver said the homeowner however, decided on underpinnings, which are foundation piers placed beneath the house. They only secure structures, not sinkholes.
“That would be able to lift and close up some minute cracks but would not protect a home from massive cover collapse,” Silver said.
He added, compact chemical grouting deals with soil and had that been done this sinkhole likely never would’ve happened.
“In my professional opinion if they had gone with the sinkhole repair technique and chemical grout at the upper soil levels, this would not have occurred at this residence.”
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SINKHOLES: