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Understanding Sinkholes


The geological conditions that exist throughout large areas of our state make the occurrence of sinkholes not only common, but inevitable.  As an illustration of just how often they occur, the Florida Geological Survey reports that in Hernando County alone there have been 232 new sinkholes confirmed in the first eight months of 2012.

Understanding Florida SinkholesThe reason sinkholes occur is that the subsurface bedrock underlying much of Florida is made chiefly of carbonate, in the form of either limestone or dolomite. The shells we see along the seashore are also a carbonate mineral. And if you recall, many of the shells have been partially dissolved by the acid in the saltwater. The same thing happens to the carbonate bedrock when it is exposed to acidic water. Rain itself is slightly acidic and as it seeps through decaying plant debris and organic soils it becomes more so. When the acidic water comes into contact with the carbonate bedrock, small amounts of rock are dissolved and the water is neutralized. Small particles of rock are carried away by the water as it flows through the pores and crevices of the rock, further enlarging them. As time, (thousands of years),  goes by, large cavities, valleys, flutes and caves are formed in the rock. The geological formation caused by this dissolution process is known as Karst topography. Karst is the German name for the region of Slovenia, extending into Italy, where the first scientific research on Karst topography was made in the late 1600’s.

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Understanding Your Homeowners’ Windstorm and Flood Insurance

If you are a homeowner, you have undoubtedly seen your insurance premiums rise over the last 10 years, creating an additional challenge to “staying above water” with your home related expenses.  It is important for any consumer to understand the insurance they pay for, but as Florida residents during hurricane season, it is particularly important to understand two types of insurance coverage:  windstorm and flood. 

Windstorm Insurance:  What is Covered; What is Not

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