Rarely do homeowners think about the pipes that run under their homes’ slabs. But maybe you should think about them a little more often. Slab leaks can cause severe damage to your home, especially if you wait too long to phone a plumber for repairs. Learn the most common signs of a slab leak to determine when to call Best Service Plumber. Knowing these symptoms could save you thousands of dollars in costly repairs to your home from the damage caused by the leak.
What Is a Slab Leak?
Most homes have a slab foundation made of poured concrete. Before builders add the concrete, though, plumbers run supply and waste lines for your home. When you move in, these pipes unobtrusively sit encased in the concrete of your foundation. However, sometimes, the pipes may develop cracks, causing them to leak. When this happens, you have what plumbers call a “slab leak.”
Symptoms of a slab leak include the following:
- Mold growth, especially on the floor and baseboards
- Shifting foundation
- Water sounds not associated with plumbing fixtures on the lowest levels
- Damp flooring or carpeting on the lowest level
- Unexpectedly higher water bills
- Drop in water pressure
What Causes a Slab Leak?
Several things can cause a slab leak. The most common include environmental stresses, poor construction, and time.
1. Environmental Stress
In Southern California, earthquakes are a way of life. However, the frequent, tiny ones that you don’t feel could cause soils to shift under your home, resulting in the pipes in your slab moving and leaking. Underground streams and other causes of shifting soils can also contribute to slab leaks.
2. Poor Construction
Builders may not have chosen the best pipes for your home. In older homes, copper pipes were especially popular for a time, but copper is a relatively soft metal, subject to hard water damage and abrasion.
Like everything, pipes running through your slab can wear out over time. Pipes do not have an infinite lifespan. Even the best-rated piping that we use at Best Service Plumber, PEX, has a 25-year warranty, meaning that it lasts for decades but not forever. Eventually, the pipes in your slab may need repairs or replacement.
What Kind of Damage Can a Slab Leak Do?
The damage done to your home by a slab leak can be severe. Slowly leaking pipes may cause subtle damage such as mold growth over time. Those in the home sensitive to mold may experience health issues from breathing in the mold spores.
If you have a more severe problem, the damage increases, too. Your home may have damage to the flooring, baseboards, and lower walls of the lowest level in your home.
The worst damage occurs when the slab leak impacts the foundation of your home. Foundation problems can lead to cracks in the walls and a decrease in your home’s strength, in the most severe cases.
Are Slab Leaks Expensive to Repair?
Calling a plumber to detect and repair a slab leak actually costs much less than dealing with the aftermath of the problem. A slab leak will not repair itself and only worsens the harm to your home over time. Get the problem fixed now to save on costly repairs to your home’s flooring, foundation, and more.
Slab Leak Detection and Repair
If you suspect a slab leak, phone 951-520-8557 to reach us at Best Service Plumber. We have the specialty equipment that lets us find the location of the leak and make repairs. If you have a severe problem that requires replacing the pipes, we also offer re-piping services with long-lasting PEX pipe. Trust us with your home’s plumbing.