How To Detect A Slab Leak

How To Detect And Fix A Slab Leak

A slab leak is a break in a pipe that runs beneath the concrete foundation of your home. When the pipe breaks, water seeps into the ground and your home’s foundation. Slab leaks can occur in either water or sewer lines.

Slab leaks cause costly damage, so early detection is important. To catch this problem at the onset, homeowners with concrete foundations must know what warning signs are indicative of this type of leak.

Symptoms of a Leak

A typical slab leak can resemble other plumbing problems, making this issue difficult to diagnose. The following symptoms are common of slab leaks:

  • Sounds of running water: When water courses through the pipes in your home, you’ll be able to hear the sound of running water. If you can hear the sound of running water, but cannot attribute the noise to an appliance or a faucet, this is a sign that you have a leak.
  • The water bill is unusually high: A high water bill is a common sign that there is a leak somewhere in your home, but does not necessarily signify a leak beneath the foundation. Check the faucets and the exposed pipes beneath your sink for the source of the leak. If your water bill is very high, this could be a sign that you’re losing a great deal of water somewhere. If the plumbing inside your home seems to be intact, then you could have an unseen leak beneath the foundation.
  • Warm or wet spots on your floor: If warm water is leaking from a pipe beneath the foundation, it may create mysterious hot spots, or small puddles, on  the floor of your home.

Wet Floor

  • Cracking or buckling foundation: If your foundation buckles, you’ll see cracks in the foundation around the outside of your home, or in the floor and walls inside your home.
  • Carpet mildew or mold: This occurs when the foundation becomes saturated and moisture begins to leak into the house.

If a Leak Goes Undetected

If the soil on your property is expansive, saturation can cause the soil to heave. When the ground beneath your home moves or shifts, this often causes serious damage to your foundation. Buckling, cracking and other problems may lead to cosmetic and structural damage. If the leak enters your home, your belongings are likely to become damaged or destroyed.

Repair Techniques

There are many methods for repairing slab leaks, some more invasive than others. Depending on the type of leak and the location, your plumber may choose from one of these techniques:

  • Cut open the foundation and fix the pipe: This is a common method for fixing newer pipes in more modern homes.
  • Repiping the entire line: This method is commonly used in older homes where leaks are a frequent and chronic problem.
  • Pipe coating: This treatment is used in the case of pipes that can’t easily or cost-effectively be repaired by opening up the foundation. The pipe is fixed from within, using an epoxy pipe coating.

Taking Action: Tips and Advice

Contact an experienced and qualified plumber at the first signs of trouble: Plumbers have special, non-invasive equipment that can be used to make a definitive diagnoses. Pressure gauges, electronic amplification equipment, camera inspections and electromagnetic pipeline locators are all examples of the devices used to detect and locate a leak beneath your foundation.

If your home suffers damage, contact your insurance company: Not all homeowners insurance policies will cover this type of damage. However, there are documented cases of homeowners successfully filing claims for damage from slab leaks. Read through your insurance policy carefully, and contact your insurance agent for help.

If you’re concerned that your home in the Pittsburgh area has a slab leak, or that there is a leak elsewhere on your property, contact Terry’s Plumbing for advice and a quote.

2 thoughts on “How To Detect And Fix A Slab Leak”

  1. tara says:

    I was wondering why it sounded like water was running all the time. I thought the house was haunted by a water ghost! I’ll have to have someone come in and take a look for me. I wouldn’t want any damage to be done to the walls.

  2. All Aspects says:

    Thanks to you provide the complete information
    about slab leaking. its a bigger problem to detect of leaking of slab and to repair its a challenge ….

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