When you have any type of water leak in your home, you are looking at the potential of serious damage. The best way to handle any leak is to deal with it immediately. Even small leaks can turn into major trouble if they are left alone to grow into large leaks. If you do not take care of leaks in your home, you can have problems with mold and mildew, which can not only create physical damage to your home, but can create serious health problems, too. All leaks need to be dealt with, but the slab leak is one of the most challenging to both detect and eliminate.
Where do slab leaks occur?
The slab is the concrete foundation of your home and most homes have plumbing installed below the slab. When a slab leak occurs, most homeowners do not know it because they are difficult to recognize and they are even more difficult to repair. The challenge comes in accessing the water line below the foundation and in most cases, the slab needs to be broken to repair the leak.
How is a slab leak diagnosed?
There are several ways to detect a slab leak. When it comes to realizing that your foundation has a leak, you have to diagnose the symptoms. These are a few of the most common ones:
Water bills skyrocket: If you do not notice any leaks around the house and you have not been using any more water than you normally do, then you probably have a slab leak. This symptom tends to happen quite quickly, usually over a few billing cycles.
Water spots develop: If you are beginning to see water spots on the floor, this is indicative of a slab leak as water has nowhere else to go but up to your floor. You might even be able to feel wetness when you walk around barefoot. Some homeowners have even reported hearing water flowing under their floors.
Floors begin to swell: As the water moves from the foundation to the ground, it is common for the ground to swell. This causes your foundation to become uneven and lift. If this occurs in your home, you will notice areas where your floor is raised as a result of the leak.
Water and air create sounds: Plumbers have a special listening tool that helps them detect a slab leak. They pump air into your pipes so they can hear the gurgling noise of water and air leaking from the pipe. They turn off the water so the air can empty the pipes and if a particular noise appears, your plumber will be able to diagnose the problem with ease.
What damage comes from slab leaks?
If you do find that you have a slab leak, it is important that you have the leak repaired immediately. Otherwise, your home could have one or many of these consequences:
Foundation damage: This is one of the most costly repairs, but the most necessary. Slab leaks create swells that can crack foundations and move parts of them, too.
Flooring damage: If your foundation is leaking, your floor can suffer from the leak. Carpet can become moldy, tiles can crack, and wood floors can warp.
Yard damage: When the slab leaks, water can build up under it. The water will move to the lowest place in your yard, which can cause flooding and damage plants and grass. If you have an in-ground swimming pool, you could see potential damage there, too.
Mold growth: No one wants to experience any type of mold growth in their homes. This is a serious problem that can exacerbate asthma and create other breathing problems. Drywall often acts like a sponge and can quickly develop mold. The steps to remove mold are rather costly and lengthy. Mold growth can also be quite smelly, too.
At Scott English Plumbing, we specialize in repairing slab leaks. If you think you might have a problem, contact us immediately at 714-987-9801 or 949-462-9773.