Slab leaks are common in areas where soil has been moved. Movement can happen from erosion, earthquakes, and even high water pressure. During a slab leak, the pipes inside or beneath a home’s slab foundation begin to leak.
At first, leaks are small and may go unnoticed. However, they worsen over time leading to significant damage and costly repairs. If left, they can wreck the soil under your home, causing your foundation to become uneven and, in worst case scenarios, slowly sink your home into the ground.
What Is a Slab Leak?
Houses are built on a concrete slab. Water supply lines and drain lines are often embedded into a concrete slab to make construction more economical.
If you don’t fix slab leak quickly, the foundation of your home can move, crack, or start to sink. The flooring and walls in the home can split or collapse, creating much larger issues than a small leak.
Signs You Have a Slab Leak
Here are some signs for slab leak detection:
- Suddenly high water bills
- The sound of running water with no open taps
- Cracks in the foundation
- Discolored or damp floor coverings
- Warm or damp spots on floors
- A bad smell from the floor or walls
- Uneven growth in the lawn
- A visible shift in the soil around the home
If you have one or more of these signs in your home, it’s important to contact professionals to see if you’re dealing with a slab leak.
Why Do Slab Leaks Happen?
Slab leaks can happen for several reasons, including:
One of the most common causes of slab leaks is improperly installed or poor-quality pipes. Water pipes that are kinked, bent, or dented during installation make them weak at different points.
Soil shifts, including earthquakes, can affect the pipes and the concrete slab. The vibration in the ground can trigger joints to become loose between pipes, or directly crack, and cause leaks.
But it’s not just earthquakes. The expansive soils that homes are built on absorb water, causing expansion. The soil moves, bending and weakening the plumbing pipes and connections. Then, the slab leak keeps adding water to the ground, exacerbating the soil expansion and increasing the damage.
Poor Water Quality
In cities and suburbs, the water can be very hard and acidic. Typically, hard water has a pH between 1 and 4. Over time, this water can degrade pipes and lead to weaknesses and leaks. Repeated exposure to hard water causes limescale to build up, damaging your pipes.
Abrasion is a common cause of slab leaks. During the course of regular use, pipes rub against gravel, concrete, nearby pipes, and other hard materials. The friction wears them down over time, creating weak points for holes and leaks.
Fix Your Slab Leak with the Pros
Older homes often have copper or galvanized steel pipes, which are more prone to corrosion and other damage. Extended periods of stress or pressure also contribute to damage and increase the risk of slab leaks.
Call the professionals at Adeedo if you think you have a slab leak.