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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 8702
Experience:  Retired contractor, 51 years experience
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A sink hole has developed on our property. What do we need

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A sink hole has developed on our property. What do we need to do? We have roped it off - t really haven't a clue what to do next - we live in Vermont - should this be reporte to a State Geologist? How do we know who to hire to help fillit in? Thanks for any help
Welcome to Just Answer!

This is a dangerous situation. Sink holes can grow and envelop entire homes in some cases. TIny sink holes that you can see the bottom of a few feet down are often the result of a leaking water line and are not nearly as dangerous. If there has been 'fracking' in your area it will become a huge legal issue as well.

The cause of the sink hole needs to be determined before you can reliably get it filled in. It needs to be reported to the City and County right away... take pictures and get their report form and fill it in with the pictures attached. They will send the right people to investigate... it is more of a city/ county problem than your problem in some aspects.

Tell me how deep and wide the sink hole is.

We can go from there.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Phil -

The hole at this point is about 5 feet across & getting bigger & about 7-8 feet deep. Living in Vt I'm at a loss of what dept to contact & ask the right questions - you suggest - "contact the city /county" is a little vague. I was hoping for more specifics. Who determines what the cause is? There is no fracking in VT - well at least in our county (Rutland). Thanks for your help.

Hello again, tell me which city you are nearest, and if you are within the city limits or not and I will get some phone numbers for you to call.

For now, this will connect you with the public works engineering department. in Rutland City Hall. P. O. Box 969.XXXXX Rutland, VTNNN-NN-NNNN(NNN) NNN-NNNN Just tell the operator you want to speak to the public works, engineering department. She will connect you.

The city and county investigators will *attempt to determine what the cause is, the cause of many sink holes is never discovered. Yours is 8 feet deep, that rules out most domestic water leaks from your plumbing as a rule... underground springs can create huge caverns in the calcium carbonate deposits that riddle the area... then when a hole develops in the roof of the cavern, soil from above begins falling into the cavern. then as spring water keeps cleaning out the cavern more soil from above the cavern falls into it... Its good that is no fracking in the immediate area, those situations can get to be a real problem.

I spent a few months in the area back in 1990, investigating problems with a calcium carbonate mining and processing plant... thats beautiful country you are living in.

I continue with you here until you get all of the answers available... there is no time limit, but this can be many step process.

Keep me posted, We keep going as necessary... they may refer you to the County offices also depending on your location in the county.

Stay in touch as necessary, there are no time limits. As long as you continue to rate my assistance *positively i will hold the question open for you.


Phil and other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again.

CLICK HERE for a video of why the city or county is concerned with sink holes and why they are most likely to bear the cost of researching it and most likely pay for the repairs.

If it gets bigger though, they may condemn the property... in which case you will need an attorney to look over your home owners insurance for coverage.

GOOD LUCK! and do stay in touch