Slab Leaks: What Causes Slab Leaks?
Leaks in plumbing can occur in several places. Leaks can rage from minor to serious. One of the more difficult leaks to detect and repair is a slab leak.
What Is A Slab Leak?
A slab leak gets its name from them occurring underneath the concrete foundation of a home or property (known as a slab). The leak comes from failing hot or cold water lines, and can either be a small drip, or produce large amounts of water leaking from the pipes.
Slab leaks are caused by improper soldering, corrosion, improperly wrapped copper, general wear and tear, poor water quality, or concrete eroding the pipe. There are other causes but these are the most common.
How Do I Know If I Have A Slab Leak?
Slab leaks are often harder to detect because they are located underneath the foundation of the home and the leak is not as visible as other leaks (such as faucets, running toilets, or leaky lines). Because slab leaks are harder to detect they may go unnoticed until the symptoms worsen enough to be seen. One of the first signs of a slab leak is seepage of water through the floor.
Hot water slab leaks can cause the floor to feel warm to the touch. For floors that have hardwood flooring, buckling of the flooring, or moisture on the walls, can be the tell tale signs that there is a slab leak. One of the more unpleasant ways of detecting a slab leak is an extremely high water bill.
If signs of a possible leak appear, it is easy to check the water meter after ensuring that all of the water outlets (such as faucets, toilets, washers, and other water using appliances) are all shut off and no water is flowing. After being sure that no water is visibly running then check the water meter and see if it is still spinning. A spinning water meter indicates water is flowing somewhere, and a professional should be consulted to pinpoint the leak.
Professional will use specialized equipment to locate the leak (such as listening devices, thermal imaging cameras, air tanks, moisture readers, and other location devices).
How Long Does It Take To Repair A Slab Leak?
Repair times for slab leaks vary depending on the location of the leak, the type of flooring, patching time, painting time, and how severe the leak is. The plumbing side of the repair usually takes about two days to complete.
Because slab leak repair details tearing into the foundation of the property, it is important to choose a qualified professional that will do the job right the first time.
Going through a slab leak repair is stressful enough the first time for a homeowner, so imagine going through the process a second time due to faulty work, or miss diagnosing the location of the leak.
A good plumber will want to minimize how much of the foundation will have to be removed, and will want to do a clean job utilizing equipment such as plastic containments, scrubber equipment, and foaming agents to prevent dust, possibly asbestos, or other containments from entering into the water supply. Be sure that the plumber is certified and has the proper credentials such as OSHA 3 training.
Are you seeing signs of a slab leak in your Winchester home? No time to waste here, Call Powell’s Plumbing at 540-665-8196 to see what is causing that slab leak.