FREE Mine Subsidence Inspection and On-site Consultation.
If you are new to the area or simply unfamiliar with the term mine subsidence, we will be glad to discuss this serious geological issue that can have a tremendous impact on the structural integrity of your home. Get house foundation crack repair, pier work and all remedial needs.
What is Mine Subsidence?
First, it is important that you understand there is a big difference between the words “subside” and “subsidence.” When we think of something that is “subsiding”, we think of something that is getting better, like when the pain of a headache begins to subside. In the case of the word “subsidence,” though, the very opposite is true.
Subsidence is a term that is used to describe the downward shift of the Earth’s surface. In terms of mine subsidence, it means the downward shifting of the Earth’s surface due to the collapse of an abandoned mine shaft located beneath the foundation.
Room-and-pillar mines were created by excavating coal in a manner that left large columns of the carbon ore intact. These columns – or pillars – of coal were intended to prevent shaft weakening and collapse. However, coal is not a structurally sound building material, and without proper supplementary supports, the pillars give way, sink and cave in.
The greatest dilemma with incidents of mine subsidence is that they are unpredictable. There is no way of safely surveying old mining shafts and foreseeing their collapse. However, geological and mining engineering experts believe that all room-and-pillar mines will experience some level of collapse, whether it takes 50 years or 500.
Types of mine subsidence
Mine subsidence presents itself in two forms: Pits and Sags. Pits, which are similar to sinkholes, are holes in the surface of the earth that range from 6 to 8 feet deep and encompass an area of anywhere from 2 to 40 feet in diameter. Sags, which are sloping depressions in the Earth’s surface, cover broad expanses, and they are generally several hundred feet wide and several hundred feet long.
As you can imagine, an 8-foot drop in elevation for your home would result in serious damage, and likely render the property uninhabitable. However, if you pay close attention to the signs that a problem is developing, you may be able to save your house by taking immediate action.
Indications of mine subsidence
- Popping, creaking and cracking resounding from the inside components of your house
- The appearance of cracks in your foundation or exterior walls
- Shifting and tilting – doors may begin to swing open or shut on their own
- Windows and doors beginning to stick or jam
- Windows cracking or shattering for no apparent reason
- Hairline cracks in the basement or garage floor that appears and begins to widen
- The foundation of the home separating from the frame
- Long, continuous cracks developing in the ground around the home
Assisting you with remediation
Dealing with mine subsidence can be a confusing and worrisome process. You don’t want your home unexpectedly destroyed, and when mine collapses occur, the answers that you need can never come quickly enough.
Our foundation repair team has worked extensively with homeowners throughout southwestern Indiana in their fight to save their properties from the damages of subsidence. We can help you develop a plan to address the structural issues that you are facing. We can work directly with your insurance company to be sure that they have the information they need to process a claim for benefits against your insurance policy.
Filing a Mine Subsidence Claim.
In order to file a claim for mine subsidence, you must have a separate mine subsidence policy. The standard terms of a traditional homeowner’s policy do not cover this type of damage. If you know that your property is located above a site that was formerly used for mining, consider taking out a subsidence policy. This coverage can be added to your main policy at any time, but you must purchase coverage before you have a mine subsidence.
If your home has sustained damage due to mine subsidence in Newburgh, Evansville, Boonville and surrounding areas, call us today. We will provide you with a free inspection and on-site consultation, and help you devise a way to save your property.