A slab leak ranks high among dreadful problems that homeowners experience. A pipe burst or leak that occurs in the foundation of one’s home is called a slab leak. There are several problems that are further caused by slab leaks ranging from water damage to high humidity in the home. If these problems persist, they can lead to very costly repairs. Although, a slab leak is simply just a water leak occurring below the concrete, it is crucial to detect it on time for the sake of safety and convenience.
What Causes These Leaks?
A leak below the concrete can be caused by many things; however, the most common cause of it is the constant shifting and the exerting of pressure on the clay under the concrete slab. Once the soil between the pipe and concrete shifts or cracks, you develop foundation problems. The clay can also shrink or expand due to excessive weather changes, which in turn affects the structuring of your house.
When slab leaks occur, they can go unnoticed for a while and their chances of occurring are higher in houses that were built before the 1980s. This is because these houses had a greater use for copper piping in them. Foundation leaks tend to weaken the entire structure, whether it is made from concrete or steel. Being constantly exposed to great water pressures causes the foundation to eventually crack and collapse. Therefore, foundation leaks can be extremely dangerous, especially, if repairing is delayed.
There are many signs and symptoms that indicate a slab leak, but sometimes these signs aren’t as prominent and visible, and detecting them without professional help is difficult. Even if you sense these signs slightly, or see them occurring prevalently, make sure to call a plumber right away so that he may diagnose your concrete with a proper equipment.
How to Detect a Slab Leak
As aforementioned, it is difficult to visually detect a slab leak and to identify which signs are actually indicative of slab leaks and not of other problems as many such problems show similar symptoms. Professionals with advanced machinery and tools can pinpoint exactly where the leak is without having to cut out excessive concrete. Homeowners, however, can be suspicious of the following conditions to ensure they need a slab leak repair:
– Noticing an increase in water bills (water leakage leads to excess water being wasted)
– Hearing sounds of running water (this may not be very audible unless the water is leaking through a high pressure)
– Seeing mold growth (moisture and humidity feeds on to bugs, mold and pests)
– Smelling and sensing a moist environment indoors
– Experiencing low water pressure in taps (when there’s a leak elsewhere in the house, it reduces the amount of pressure with which water releases in the taps and faucets)
These leaks must be taken seriously. Abandoning any slab leaks can prove extremely dangerous. You must call an expert as soon as you suspect there’s a leak anywhere inside the concrete. An expert plumber would make sure he not only fixes the problem but also restores the concrete layer without showing cracks or spaces for bugs to infiltrate.