Homes can have several types of foundations. Your home might have a basement, a crawl space, or be built on a slab foundation. If you have a basement, all your pipes will be located inside the house. If you have a crawl space, some of your pipes will be located inside the crawl space. Since the crawl space is exposed to outside air, you will need to take extra precautions to make sure that the pipes don’t freeze in the winter.
If your home is built on a slab foundation, then some of your pipes will run directly underneath that concrete pad that your home is built on. A leak in those pipes that run under the foundation is known as a slab leak. A slab leak can be difficult to locate and repair because it cannot easily be accessed. In a basement or crawl space, you can visually examine the pipes for signs of problems. However, you have no visual access to the pipes when you have a slab foundation.
You can use an electronic leak detection service to help you locate a slab leak. Once the leak has been isolated, you are more prepared to choose how you want to make repairs. This typically involves removing sections of the flooring to get to the damaged area of pipe.
Signs of Leak
You may be wondering how you would know that you have a slab leak, since you can’t see the pipes. There are a few signs to watch for that can warn you of slab leaks. One warning sign that you might have a slab leak is an increase in your water bill. If your water bill is noticeably higher than usual and you don’t know why, it could be that the pipes under your home are leaking. Another indication of a slab leak is wet spots on your floor. Sometimes you may not feel a wet place on the floor, but you may notice that the floor feels hot in certain areas. These are warning signs that you have a slab leak.
Slab leaks can be caused by the age of the home, by a shift in the home’s foundation, by clogs and cracks or even by water velocity. Regardless of the cause of the leak, the most important thing to do when you suspect a slab leak is to react quickly and have the problem repaired before it turns into a bigger problem. An untreated slab leak can lead to damage to the entire foundation of the home.
Slab Leak Repair
Plumbers can use electronic leak detection to find the source of the slab leak. This involves using specialized equipment that allows the plumber to listen for the leak and pinpoint its location without digging up your floors. When you know where the slab leak is located, you can decide how you want to proceed with repairs. The plumber can perform direct access repair, which means cutting the slab just at the area of the problem and repairing the damaged pipe underneath. When the repair is complete, the hole can be compacted, and new cement poured to fill the hole.
Another option for dealing with a slab leak might be to re-route the line. These options all depend on your particular situation, so get the advice of a professional plumber.
If you suspect a slab leak, call Scott English Plumbing. We pride ourselves on being experts in slab leak detection and repair. We offer electronic leak detection, and we can provide you with options to get your slab leak repaired and return your home to normal as quickly as possible.