Slab Leak

Do you hear the sound of running water even if there are no faucets or appliances running? Are there unexplained wet spots on your floor?  Perhaps there is a sudden spike in your water bill? These are signs that you may have a slab leak on your hands. 

 

So what do you do now? The experts at Honor Plumbing are here to help with the knowledge and equipment to restore your home and your peace of mind.

 

As the name implies, slab leaks occur when pipes underneath a home’s foundation develop leaks.  Because these leaks can seriously affect the integrity of a home’s foundation, it is important to address the problem as quickly as possible. 

 

If the issue is left unattended, slab leaks can seep into the soil under the home. Saturated soil can cause your floor to buckle and become uneven causing your home or building to sink into the ground.

 

Because of  slab leaks’ potential to seriously damage your home’s foundation, it’s important to act quickly and contact your trusted plumber for slab leak repair.

Common Causes of Slab Leaks

Improper Construction and Poor Installation

Improperly installed or poor quality pipes will cause major issues down the line. It is important for contractors and plumbers to do it right from the start when building on a slab. 

 

To prevent problems down the line, pipes laid out in trenches must be properly connected and hydro-tested to ensure that there are no leaks or issues before the slab is poured.

 

Strong Water Pressure

Water pressure can put a strain on the inside of pipes and eventually cause leaks.

 

Outside Pressure

Certain conditions can cause your foundation to move and lead to slab leaks, such as:

  • Shifting of soil 

 

  • Earthquakes

 

  • Presence of an underground stream

 

  • Soil erosion

 

Slab leaks arising from these causes need to be addressed immediately. They tend to be large and potentially very damaging. 

 

Water Quality

Water that is too acidic (hard) can corrode pipes and lead to slab leaks, as well. The ideal pH level of water is between 6.5 and 8.5. 

 

Hard water signs to look for:

 

  • Blue or green stains on the sink, bathtub, or shower

 

  • Chlorine-like smell

 

Commercial Drain Cleaners

Commercial drain cleaners do not really remove clogs but rather move them down the pipes where they can cause more damage than good. 

 

Corrosion

Since pipes are embedded underground, they are in contact with soil. Overtime, this will cause pipes to corrode. This is especially true for homes that used copper pipes in their plumbing system.

 

Abrasion

Pipes expand and contract during normal use. When this happens, they rub may against concrete, gravel, or even adjacent pipes. Over time, this constant friction can wear down pipes and cause them to leak. Hot water pipes are more susceptible to abrasion because they expand more as they heat up. 

Signs of a Slab Leak

Here are the common signs to look for that indicate you may have a slab leak problem on your hands:

 

  • Sound of running water. When taps or appliances are in use, you will be able to hear the sound of water running through the pipes. You may have a leak in your pipes when your hear running water even when the pipes are not in use. 

 

  • Sudden spikes in your water bill. This is not necessarily a sign of a slab leak but may indicate a leak somewhere in your home nonetheless. If there are no apparent leaks in the faucets or exposed pipes beneath your sink, you may have an unseen leak beneath the foundation.

 

  • Presence of water or dampness on the floor. This occurs when a pipe leak has already saturated the foundation and moisture is beginning to leak into your home’s floors.

 

  • Warm spots on the floor. This is the same situation as above but indicates that a hot water pipe may have leaked. 

 

  • Mold growth or mildew under carpeting. With moisture seeping into the floor, mold and mildew will eventually develop. 

 

  • Low water pressure. This is a good indicator that there is an issue somewhere along the pipeline.

 

  • Soggy spots near the home’s foundation. Unusual, particularly persisting, wet areas around your foundation indicate an unseen water source, very likely a leaking pipe.

 

  • Cracks in the baseboard or walls. Structural cracks show structural weakness which may be linked to water damage.

 

A slab leak can saturate the soil underneath the home and cause the ground to move and shift.  This often causes serious damage to your foundation. If the leak seeps into your home, flooding can damage your belongings and increase the risk of mold due to water damage. 

 

For people sensitive to molds, this may lead to health problems including asthma and other allergic reactions.  

 

It is important to have water damage repaired as quickly as possible to prevent further deterioration.

 

If you suspect a slab leak in your home, call Honor Plumbing for professional detection and slab leak repair.

Slab Leak Detection

Knowing the signs of a slab leak is a first step towards addressing the problem. However, the exact area of the leak sometimes cannot be readily located. Hard to find leaks require the use of specialized equipment. Electronic amplification can help the plumber pinpoint the location of leak.

 

How does the equipment work?

 

The device is essentially a listening device. After the water is shut off, air is pumped into the lines to force out any residual water. The plumber listens for escaping air coming from a damaged pipe. Unlike the old listening devices used by plumbers before, this specialized equipment uses a computer program that takes the guesswork out of the whole process.

 

Once the leak is identified, your plumber can recommend the slab leak repair method that is best for your particular situation.

 

Slab Leak Repair Techniques

 

There are many ways to fix a slab leak. Depending on how old your home is and its plumbing system, the type of leak, and its location, your plumber may choose one of these slab leak repair methods:

 

Cut open the foundation and fix the pipes. This method is used for newer homes with newer pipes. Among the 3 methods, this is the most invasive one. It requires boring a hole into the slab to expose the leaking pipe(s). 

Repiping. This is done for older homes with galvanized steel piping and where leaks may be chronic and recurring. If this is the case, or if the water line is hard to reach, a repiping may be the best solution.  Rerouting water pipes from under the slab is often an easier and less expensive option than dealing with frequent leaks or removing a bathtub, for instance, to access a leak.

Pipe Coating. This slab leak repair method is recommended for cases when it isn’t cost effective to open up the foundation and expose the problematic pipe. Using an epoxy coating, the pipe is fixed from within.

 

A slab leak is a serious problem that needs to be addressed quickly. Quick response can save your home from significant damage, and your wallet from major repair expense dollars in the long run. 
 

If You Suspect a Slab Leak, Call Us Today

 

The experts at Honor Plumbing will be happy to discuss solutions to any of your home’s plumbing problems. Call us at 866-245-9313.

Tags: slab leak repair, slab leak problems, slab leak detections, causes of slab leaks

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