Slab Leaks: What Causes Them and How to Repair Them
What exactly is a slab leak?
A slab leak is a term used to describe a leak in the pipes that run under a house’s granite foundation. Both hot and cold water slab pipes may leak, although hot water lines account for 80 percent of slab leaks.
Leaks in these subsurface pipes may occur as a result of a number of circumstances, including aging pipe material, contaminants in freshwater, galvanized steel pipe corrosion, and abrasion against granite. They will create a substantial quantity of water waste while staying concealed once they begin. They will ultimately destroy the foundation and threaten to flood the home. In the event of doubt, a slab leak detection service by a slab leak specialist should be used.
How can you even tell if you have a slab leak?
Fissures in the basement floor, warm spots on the flooring, damp spots near walls and on flooring, and the presence of mold and mildew in the basement are all red flags. Examine your water meter to discover if any water is being used despite all water sources remaining switched off. This will tell whether or not a leak exists anywhere.
If you suspect a slab leak, hire a slab leak specialist to schedule a slab leak detection service or slab leak repair service. We have advanced technology tools to identify and locate slab leaks. We can locate the source of the leaks and make the required repairs with as little digging as possible.
But what causes slab leaks in the first place?
A pipe immersed in concrete looks to be well protected against damage that may result in pipe breakage. A slab leak under a home, on the other hand, might be caused by a number of factors. Some of the most common causes of slab leaks are as follows:
Because slab foundations are poured straight into the soil, there is no room under the structure to add plumbing after it is built, as there would be with a basement or crawl space. This means that various plumbing lines must be installed prior to the foundation being poured, normally in an area that will later be covered with gravel and dirt to provide adequate drainage under the slab.
If this is not done thoroughly, or if the plumbers use low-quality materials, the pipes are prone to get kinked or broken, either during or after construction. This may lead to decreased water flow and leaks, and even little leaks can evolve into severe ones.
Another issue to consider is vibration. If the system was placed incorrectly, the vibrations caused by its operation may generate friction, which could lead to leaks.
While there isn’t much you can do to address issues after the home is finished, a periodic plumbing inspection may help prevent damage from building up to the point of failure. Your plumber should be able to detect bad workmanship and resolve any issues that develop.
A Shifting Groundwork
The earth underneath your home is not completely still. While your slab should have been thoroughly prepared before pouring, unexpected freezing and thawing, subsurface streams, or earthquakes might cause it to move. Even tiny changes might put additional pressure on your pipes, pinching, kinking, or shearing them and causing massive leaks.
If you experience any of these unexpected difficulties, you should hire a reliable plumber, particularly if you suspect your foundation has been affected even slightly.
Strong Water Pressure
The water pressure in your house is one of the most challenging components of your plumbing system to adjust. This is because it is reliant on your municipal water supply, which might fluctuate owing to a range of factors ranging from water shortages to increased demand.
When your municipal supply is required to service a dense population, such as a new high-rise building, they may increase overall water pressure in their system.
While enough water pressure is essential, high pressure may place extra strain on your plumbing, especially around joints, resulting in leaks. Call a plumber if you are worried about your water pressure, particularly if it has suddenly risen.
The pH level of water is indicated when it is classified as “hard” or “soft.” Hard water has a pH of less than 7 on a scale of 1 to 14. Water with a pH higher than 7 is referred to as basic or soft water.
Water should have a pH between 6.5 and 8.5 to keep your plumbing operating smoothly. If it runs outside of that range, it may cause damage to your pipes, producing severe problems in the long run. If you’re not sure what the pH of your water is, you may use a home litmus test to find out. If you are worried about the results of the tests, do not hesitate to call a plumber to correct the pH level of your water.
Earthquake vibrations in the earth may have terrible consequences for the pipes contained inside the concrete block underneath your house. Although slab leaks are difficult to detect due to the deterioration of the pipes underneath, seismic shocks cause the connections between the pipes to become loose. Furthermore, bottom movement will cause fractures and holes in pipes.
If you hear sounds in your yard that seem like rushing water, you may have a block leak. A hot spot on the ground within your house, on the other hand, indicates a pipe leak. Mold will appear on the flooring if a leak occurs in your slab foundation.
3 Methods for Repairing a Slab Leak
Repairing a slab leak under the soil has various solutions. The best method for repairing a water leak can vary depending on where the broken pipe is situated. In addition, the entire cost of repairing a foundation leak will vary from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more. To help you resolve a foundation leak, we’ve included three slab leak repair options.
It might cost thousands of dollars to remove concrete from your foundation in order to repair a broken pipe. Rerouting a fresh new pipe outside the concrete foundation or in your home’s attic is a speedier way to fix a slab leak without harming your lovely flooring.
Installing a new pipe that is readily accessible in the ground surrounding your foundation or in the attic makes it easier for you to control leaks in the pipe.
Drill a Hole to Replace a Portion of Pipe:
The conventional treatment of a slab pipe leak is to drill through the concrete slab and replace the section in which there is a leak. The method requires the removal of wooden or tile flooring to get access to the concrete slab. Homeowners prefer to avoid such repairs that involve a lot of digging.
Furthermore, just repairing a small section of a pipe does not ensure that a bigger leak will not develop in the future. If one portion of your old pipe is cracked, the rest might have degraded as well. In the future, another part of your pipe may fracture, needing another pipe repair.
Put in Pipe Lining
A non-invasive method for repairing a water leak under your foundation is to insert a thin layer of epoxy coating within your galvanized steel or copper pipes. When the epoxy is injected into the pipe, it hardens to fill the existing holes and fractures.
When you detect a leak, particularly a slab leak, the need for repairs is never greater. The reasoning for this is that little leaks may escalate to greater issues. They may start as inconvenient drips, but they may soon turn into severe floods in your house or, worse, mold development!
The sooner you repair them, the better your chances of avoiding future water damage under your home’s foundation.
Contacting a professional plumber for slab leak repair service is the simplest way to solve the situation. They’ll be able to assess the problem and determine what has to be corrected!