Here in Southern California, homes are often built on a slab foundation. A slab foundation is a type of concrete pad which forms the base for the home. A slab foundation is used in place of a crawl space or basement. If your house is built on a slab foundation, then the plumbing pipes that supply water to the home are located beneath the concrete slab. Sometimes, those pipes below the concrete slab can begin to leak. This type of leak is known as a slab leak.
One of the major concerns about slab leaks is that they can be difficult to detect because they are underneath the home, and so you may not notice the warning signs of the leak right away. You may not be able to see water leaking, but if you have a slab leak, damage is still occurring whether you can see it or not.
So, how can you tell if your home has a slab leak? The truth is that you probably can’t definitely diagnose a slab leak on your own; you need a professional plumber to do that. The inability to see the pipes due to their location makes a slab leak tricky to pinpoint. However, there are some common warning signs that you can watch for. These warning signs can give you an early heads up to the problem so that you can deal with it right away.
Increase in the Amount of Your Water Bill
One of the things that you should watch for is an increase in the amount of your water bill. Pay attention to how much you normally pay for your water bill each month. If that amount suddenly increases, it’s time to ask why. Sometimes, there are reasonable explanations for the increase. Perhaps you have filled your swimming pool, run your lawn sprinklers, or hosted overnight guests. If you are sure that there hasn’t been any increase in your actual water consumption, then it is possible that there is an undetected slab leak.
Sound of Running Water
If there has not been any noticeable change in your water bill, there are other ways that you can spot a slab leak. One common symptom of a slab leak is the sound of running water. When the house is quiet, take note of whether you hear water running. Is someone in the house using water when you hear this sound? Can you identify where the sound of running water is coming from? If not, this could be an indication that there is a slab leak. That running water noise could be the sound of water running out of a crack in the pipes in the slab foundation. Another important warning sign to look out for is a warm spot on the floor. When you are walking across the floor barefoot or in your socks, take note of whether there are any areas in the floor that feel warmer than the rest. A warm spot in the floor is a warning sign of a slab leak. When the pipe in the slab has a leak, hot water collects in that area. This can make the floor feel warm in certain areas.
Wet Spots on the Floor
You won’t necessarily see puddles of water on the ground if you have a slab leak. It is possible that there will be wet spots on the floor inside the home, although this isn’t always the case. The ground outside, around the perimeter of the home, might also seem very damp.
If you suspect that you may have a slab leak, you should call a professional plumber for assistance right away. The sooner a slab leak is located, the sooner you can minimize the damage and begin repairs. If you think that there may be a slab leak in your home, call Scott English Plumbing.