At Simpson Plumbing, we’ve seen more than our fair share of slab leaks. Here are the answers to the most common questions homeowners have about slab leaks.
1. What Are Slab Leaks?
The “slab” is the concrete slab that’s part of the foundation of your home. A slab leak happens when a water pipe that runs through the slab develops a leak. A leak in your wall that happens to back-up water into the slab is also considered a slab leak and can cause many of the same issues as a normal slab leak if it is not fixed promptly. While these types of leak are rare, they can be expensive to fix, especially if they have gone unnoticed for a few weeks, as they often do.
2. What Are the Signs of a Slab Leak?
Slab leaks aren’t usually as obvious as burst pipes in your bathroom. Instead, these more subtle signs may indicate you have a slab leak:
- Water bill increases: An increased water bill means you’re using more water than normal. If you’re not sure where that water is going, it could be caused by a slab leak.
- Unusual sounds: The sound of trickling or even rushing water could be from a slab leak. Just check to make sure the sound isn’t coming from your speakers before you call a plumber!
- Foundation cracks: Pressure from the leak can cause a crack, or the cracks may have caused the leak. Either way, foundation cracks are serious and need to be dealt with promptly before your home suffers structural damage.
- Bulges in your floor: Bulges or swollen spots in your floor can stem from foundation problems of all kinds, or from water pressure and water damage.
- Damp flooring: The water from a slab leak can start to leak into your flooring, and may even ruin it.
- Smell: Where there’s water, there’s bacteria and, over time, that bacteria will cause a smell. Eventually this can become a health hazard.
- Mold: Wet conditions also increase the likelihood you’ll develop mold. This can also become a health hazard.
3. What Should I Do If I Suspect I Have a Slab Leak?
You should call a professional plumber. They can provide you with leak detection, as they will want to rule out other causes before searching for a slab leak. Slab leaks can be expensive to repair, so they won’t want to waste your money if you have another problem.
4. What Causes Slab Leaks?
There are several different causes of slab leaks:
- Construction defects
- Wear and tear on your pipes
- Pipe corrosion
- Improperly insulated pipes
- Pressure problems
- Pipe clogs, forcing a burst pipe
- Home settling, putting pressure on the pipes
After your slab leak is repaired, your professional plumber may be able to tell you what caused the leak, or what he suspects caused the leak. That way, you can avoid the problem in the future.