Leaking pipes is never good news, especially when they are buried underground.
After all, it’s not as easy to repair a pipe that you cannot easily access compared to a normal pipe, and slab leaks fall in this category. Here is a small guide to understand what slab leaks are, why they occur, why are they so dangerous and what are the signs to watch out for.
What Is A Slab Leak?
In simple words, a slab leak is the leakage of pipes that are buried under the foundation of a home. As these pipes are not visible, the leaks are hard to detect and you only learn about them when the situation has become drastically serious. Such leaks are not easy to repair, and can put you in a bind in regards to the solution.
What Are The Signs Of Slab Leaks?
Here are the five common signs of slab leaks.
The Water Bill Is High:
Whenever there is a leakage in your home, your water bill will most assuredly rise. This is not just for slab leak, this holds true for leaks from any other place in your home. After all, high water bills implies that too much water is being used. Abnormally high water usage may be an indicator of a slab leak somewhere.
Foundation Is Damaged:
Excess moisture can cause walls and foundation to buckle and crack. The cracks on the floor of the home due to the damaged foundation are very easy to see, and will not go unnoticed. This is actually a very serious symptom, and needs urgent attention.
Floor Is Swelling:
It’s not uncommon to see some areas in your floor raised like bumps or domes. This is because the expansive soil underneath the slab puts more pressure on the floor upon absorbing the water, causing the floor to bump and swell in a weird manner.
The Floor Is Wet:
The water puddles are actually very easy to spot, and the same is the case with wet spots. It is actually very easy to determine that it is a slab leak if the spots are only on the floor and there are no visible sources of water nearby.
What’s That Noise?
Damaged pipe will often produce creaking and groaning sounds that become louder in the quiet of the night.
Why Do Slab Leaks Occur?
Earthquakes are not just responsible for the visible damage to the infrastructure. During the earthquake, the ground is shifting due to immense force, which puts pressure on the underground pipes buried beneath the foundation of your home.
As the pipes are buried in the ground, corrosion due to the pressure and substances in the soil is not exactly uncommon. This process takes some time.
Like everything else, poorly installed pipes under the foundation of the building will sooner or later give away.
If the pipes were already damaged somehow before installation, it will not be long before the inevitable happens.
Why Are Slab Leaks So Dangerous?
Slab leaks are unfortunately not easy to detect, as the pipes are buried in the ground. This presents a hidden danger, as no owner will think about checking for slab leaks when running an inspection due to spikes in the water bill and decreased water pressure. And even if someone suspects there may be slab leaks, it is very difficult to check and confirm.
Foundation Will Be Damaged:
As strong as your home might seem if the foundation gets damaged or heaves, the building will not remain stable for long.
Floors Will Be Ruined:
With the uneven bumps and rise in the floor, it will look uneven and generally very unattractive.
Mold Can Grow:
All mold needs is an excessive amount of moisture and humidity, and voila! You got an infestation. Mold can cause health problems regarding the breathing system and allergies, which is more dangerous for people who have asthma or allergies.
Not Easy To Repair:
As we have mentioned again and again, slab leaks are the underground leaking pipes underneath the home’s foundation. These pipes are not easy to access as they are not in the open air, so you have to go through the trouble of either digging up the floor or rerouting the pipe. Either way, even a simple slab leak can take a long time to be repaired.
Well not that unbearable, but still it is not an easy stench to live with. The smell will persist day and night, and no air freshener will hide it for long.
The Damage Is Too Much:
By the time a slab leak is discovered, the damage done to your home is already weakening the foundation and infrastructure considerably, even if by some miracle it gets discovered early, the damage could still already be done.
How Are Slab Leaks Repaired?
There are four ways a slab leak is repaired.
• Breaking Through the Slab:
By far the most involved solution, this process involves cutting down the slab directly to reach the pipe. The water has to be turned off, the floor will essentially be removed, requiring the floor to be replaced, all of which makes it the most expensive and unwanted solution.
This actually saves you from the trouble of digging through the floor. All that is needed is to install new pipes around the slab while removing and closing off the old section and.
• Tunneling Through The Slab:
By far the least expensive option although the plumber has to be mindful of structural integrity.
• Pipe Lining/ Bursting:
Little to no digging required. All that is needed is to line the pipes inside with an epoxy coating. The coating will harden and seal any leaks.
How Can LifeTime Sewer and Drains Help You?
Our company provides you highly qualified and experienced service technicians that will inspect your home for any suspected slab leaks and do repairs in a timely and efficient manner. We provide quality services to our customers, and ensure completing the job right the first time.. With our vast satisfied client base and years of experience, you can feel safe with us working in your home. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today to make an appointment and book our services. After all, your home is one of your biggest investments, so it needs all the care it can get.