Amy Boggs wrote a post yesterday, Sinkhole Repairs: Where’s the Grout?, that was followed by a story, Florida Sinkhole Reappears after Rain, which demonstrates that she is right–grout is not the proper method to fix most sinkholes:
A 20-foot sinkhole in Clermont, Fla., opened up this Monday between two homes, and the recent heavy rains could be to blame.
In 2001, a sinkhole appeared in the same spot and was filled with cement. It has now reopened and is causing some concern.
Boggs noted the following:
We are seeing an increasing number of cases involving the ineffective repair of sinkholes. I had a recent case where the homeowner repaired the property pursuant to the carrier’s recommended repair method, which called for grouting only. When the grouting failed to correct the problem, the carrier re-tested the property at our request. After drilling 65 feet below the surface, they found no evidence of the 270 cubic yards (27 truck-loads) of grout that they had previously pumped under the house. The homeowner and I were left asking: Where’s the grout? After the testing, the carrier re-thought its initial position that the repairs had been effective.
As recently noted in Sinkhole Proposed Law Only Pays Policyholder 25% of Available Coverage–Lessons of How the Insurance Lobby Spins a Message, the Florida legislature has a proposed law that would effectively prevent any type of sinkhole repair except for "grout only" repairs. Insurance companies should not lobby for insurance payments that do not fully repair homes and structures. I urge our elected representatives to vote against this type of legislation.
I suppose our Floridian clients have more in common with their neighbors from New Orleans than a legion of denied insurance claims. They also have homes and businesses that are gradually sinking into the great abyss. Perhaps a few of you remember a song from The Tragically Hip — New Orleans Is Sinking: