Settlement cracks and Sinkholes

Florida Home Inspectors have a dilemma. Insurance co’s are no longer writing sinkhole coverage. In some instances mortgages and refinancing are being held up by inspectors calling out settlement cracks for further evaluation. Soil testing and evaluation cost around 1200.00. Before licensing I had no problem calling out a settlement crack as a settlement crack. Now with all this sinkhole crap going on I am not so sure. Any advise for us/me

I cringe when I hear people, especially inspectors, use the word settlement… I have never used nor will I ever use that term… is misleading.

Even when the footing is poured correctly soil expands and contracts at different rates based upon the type of soil and weather conditions… add other factors involved then its common to have small cracks here and there.

If I believe the crack(s) is not structural then I simply state that…and I put it within the body of my report not the Summary Page. I also put it in a no nonsense manner that cracks are common with most masonry type homes; what is important is to fill the cracks and monitor same.

In regards to insurance companies… I would simply advise my clients to treat insurance policies like any other commodity, shop around. If more and more people would do that then insurance companies would not have as much leverage as they do.


I had that happen at a friends house in his back yard, it was not that big but about the size of a small swimming pool.
I also agree with Jeffrey.

I am sure your right…I will refrain from using that term in the future.

I would agree with Jeff, 99% of the cracks that I see are common shrinkage, or thermal expansion/ contraction. Both Cemex and Tarmac provide educational on site seminars. As you are a multi inspection firm you may be able to get them too come too your office and conduct a class for all of your inspectors. I have been too both and found them to be very informative