Leaks around a faucet, toilet, water heater, and dishwasher are easy to spot. But, leaks can also develop in unseen areas of your home, such as the walls, basement, floor, or under any concrete slabs. These are called slab leaks, and they occur when the plumbing under the concrete foundation springs a leak.
If a slab leak isn’t immediately repaired, cracks can form in the foundation of you home, resulting to serious structural damage. Here’s more information about slab leak to help you identify its signs and causes:
How Common Are Slab Leaks?
They’re common in properties with improperly installated plumbing. Outside pressure such as an underground stream, earthquake, and soil erosion can also impact the pipes and cause a leak. They’re also quite common in older houses due to corroding copper pipes.
So, if you have a house that’s particularly old or recently affected by an outside pressure, it’s best to schedule a plumbing inspection immediately. Make sure that they thoroughly check all the pipes, especially the ones that aren’t exposed.
What Causes a Slab Leak?
Other than age, improper construction, and outside impacts, a slab leak can occur for multiple other reasons. The three most common are:
- Corrosion – Soils that have a high metallic content can cause galvanic corrosion to underground pipes. This leads to the formation of cracks and holes, which will eventually result in a leak.
- Excess Pressure – Too much pressure can fracture or tear underground pipes. This usually occurs around areas that have clay-heavy soil, which expands and shrinks drastically. This results in more shifting in the foundation, putting more pressure on the pipes.
- Abrasion – If your pipes are next to a hard surface like rocks, a wall, or a slab, the vibration from the flowing water can cause abrasions. This constant rubbing can wear down the pipes and create holes.
What Are the Signs of a Slab Leak?
Although a slab leak isn’t easy to spot, there are still a few signs that point to this issue. The most common indicator is random warm spots on your home’s floor. This could mean that the hot water line underneath your floor is leaking.
A sudden surge in your water bill when there aren’t any obvious leaks can also point to a slab leak. Other signs are the growth of mold and mildew, foundation cracks, and sounds of constant running water.
What to Do if There’s a Slab Leak?
The best way to deal with slab leaks is to call a plumber. This is a complex issue that should only be handled by a professional. If you need any plumbing repair or maintenance, get in touch with Premier Plumbing and Leak Detection, LLC.