3 Dangers of Slab Leaks

A slab leak visualization.

Why are slab leaks considered more dangerous than the typical leaking faucet or showerhead? For one, slab leaks are more difficult to detect unless you get the services of a professional plumbing service to check your system. This means that it can go undetected until it is already causing unspeakable damage to your home & family members. Here are some serious issues that can make slab leaks the bringer of doom to your home.

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.

The Dangers of Slab Leaks

1. Health Issues

Any kind of health issue should never be taken with a grain of salt. One of the potential dangers of slab leaks is that because water can stand so long and remain undetected that it begins to become a breeding ground of mold. Mold growth is a sign and side effect of slab leak that can slowly infect your home without you knowing about it.

When you breathe in mold for such a long time it can result in respiratory problems. As time progresses, rotting will begin to take place and create more serious problems. Mold will thrive in damp environments, which is essentially what slab leaks provide.

Mold growth in your home can lead to problems like coughing and wheezing, asthma attacks, and other upper respiratory tract conditions. The effect can be more severe in children and infants with the Center for Disease Control suggesting those who are genetically susceptible developing asthma.

Once the respiratory system begins to breakdown, the body becomes susceptible to other potential diseases. The good news is that all of these can be easily avoided with the services of a slab leak detection specialist.

2. Structural Damage

Slab leaks have a tendency to weaken the integrity of your home’s foundation. This holds true even for steel and concrete because the water pressure it creates can result in foundation shifts that will cause cracking and eventually collapsing.

The problem created by slab leaks can be more prevalent in homes that were built around the 1980s using concrete slabs as foundation. These same homes usually have soft copper piping for their water plumbing; in many instances, this combination has proven dangerous. The evidence of ruptured copper pipes may not be immediately evident, sometimes it can take months before you notice the problem.

This is why it is important to understand that slab leaks go way beyond being an irritation. The foundation damage can be both severe and costly requiring considerable time to repair or replace. A structurally damaged home also becomes an unfit place to live in especially if you have children in your family.

3. Financial Consequences

Another potential danger with slab leaks is that your insurance policy may not cover such an incidence. Yes, it is true that there are numerous repair options when it comes to dealing with slab leaks. Normally repair can set you back about $2,000 to $5,000, which covers detection, isolation, and patching of the affected pipe to remedy the leak.

When professionally done, the entire process can take roughly around two days. The leak detection and preparation for repair is done on the first day. On the second day the actual repair will be done based on the appropriate solution identified by the professional plumbing company.

Typically the cost of plumbing repair will not be covered by insurance companies. The good news is that the cost of leak detection, isolation, access, restoration, and drying of the property would be covered depending on the type of insurance policy you have.

Are you ready to face all of these dangers? If not, then you should have a comprehensive and affordable slab leak detection service. The important thing to remember is that not all plumbing services are capable of delivering this service so call Scott English Plumbing today for all your plumbing needs.