A slab leak is a homeowner’s worst plumbing nightmare. Most are not familiar with a slab leak; and unfortunately there usually hard to spot because they start underground. Regrettably, some damage usually occurs before detection. Experts will define a slab leak as a water leak under or in the foundation of your home. If not addressed quickly, they can cause major water damage in your home. Some can go undetected for days, weeks, and even months. In almost every case, the leak will occur in older homes 30 years or older. Whether the leak starts in or under the foundation, the water will rise to the top over time. Your plumbing specialist will have hi-tech equipment that will detect the leak before it can do further damage. A small pinhole leak in a copper pipe can inflict major damage to your home, so knowing the signs is the first step in locating the leak.
Knowing The Signs Of A Slab Leak
- A high water bill is the number one sign of a slab leak. Suppose you encounter a water bill that is more than normal. Immediately turn off the water in your home. With all the water shut off, check your meter. Most meters have a red triangular wheel called a leak indicator; if it’s spinning, you have a water leak. If your meter does not have a leak indicator, wait for a short time and see if the numbers on your meter increase. If they rise, you have a water leak. Assuming your home has a separate irrigation shut-off valve, you can shut it off and recheck your meter. If the meter stops, the leak is coming from your irrigation and not your slab.
- The second sign of a slab leak is low water pressure. Should your water pressure drop off throughout your home, first check with neighbors to see if they experience the same thing. In some instances, the neighborhood may be having the same low water pressure. If they are, then the issue may be due to construction in the area. Call and check with your local water company for an update. Make sure the water pressure is low throughout the home and not isolated to one area.
- A dark area on your garage floor could mean moisture is rising to the top. Discolored grout lines and buckling tiles are another sign of moisture. Wet carpeting, mold, and laminate flooring that’s popping up is a sure sign you have a slab leak.
- Another sign of a slab leak could be hot spots on the floor or the sound of running water. Look for signs of mold growth, damp floorboards, wet baseboards, or a shifting foundation. You may also hear the sound of running water under the slab.
Causes of Slab Leaks
There are several reasons you may experience a slab leak, but the five main reasons are:
- Corrosion of Pipes: Corrosion is one reason your pipes will begin to leak. According to experts, the main reason for corrosion is a combination of water chemistry, poor installation, bacteria, environment, low-grade copper piping, electrical grounding, soil acidity, and copper pitting.
- Poor Construction: Pipes installed improperly or were a part of faulty construction practices on the builder’s part may lead to slab leaks.
- Ground Pressure Problems: Shifting soil can exert pressure on your pipes and cause them to break or spring a leak. For those of us in California, our pipe could experience shifting soil caused by earthquakes.
- Water Pressure Problems: Do you have high water pressure? Pressure regulators fail and lead to excessive water pressure in the home. That excessive water pressure will cause our pipes to leak and our appliances to fail.
- Small Pebble: A small pebble in the foundation pressing against a copper pipe for 20, 30, or 40 years under intense pressure will cause a pinhole leak.
Solutions to Slab Leaks
Locating and repairing a slab leak is not for the average do-it-yourselfer, it requires an expert technician with the knowledge and expertise to find the leak and make the repair. At Big B’s Plumbing, our technicians are well trained in the latest slab leak repair techniques and high-tech equipment. Hiring a professional from Big B’s Plumbing means you’ll have the best and most efficient solution to solving slab leaks. Your specialist will look at all your options, and rest assured that the old antiquated way of jackhammering up your concrete is not an option. The method used depends on whether you have one or more leaks, the condition of the existing pipes, and the leak location.
Suspect A Slab Leak? Call Now!
If you suspect you have a slab leak, take action today. Contact Big B’s Plumbing right away and talk to one of our experienced slab leak specialists. We provide leak detection services to help find any leaks in your home. We also offer 24/7 emergency service and will have you up and running faster than you ever thought possible.