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A Homeowner's Guide to Slab Leak Detection and Repair

Van Nuys HVAC and Plumbing

A Homeowner's Guide to Slab Leak Detection and Repair

A Homeowner's Guide to Slab Leak Detection and Repair

A slab house is constructed on top of a concrete slab. It’s the foundation of your home, and anything that goes wrong with it can have an impact on your property. If your pipes start leaking from under the foundation, you face a major problem that needs to be quickly addressed, requiring professional slab leak detection technicians.

Slab Leak Causes

The soil surrounding your house contains a variety of chemicals, both organic and human-made. These chemicals can corrode the water pipes going into the slab, particularly the ones carrying hot water. If the ground shifts around your home, the movement can cause cracks or damage.

Your slab might have been set up for failure from the time the contractor poured it. If it was not installed correctly, failed to accommodate for the grade of the lot, or messed up other details, you may not find out until years later when it leaks.

Slab Leak Detection: Signs to Look For

slab leak detection

You don’t have the option of going under your slab to visually inspect the pipes for any problems. If you think something is wrong with your house, keep an eye out for these telltale signs that can help you detect a leak:

Water Bill Increases

You can’t see any of the leaks under the slab, but your water meter certainly knows when they happen. If you see exponential increases and you can’t find any accessible holes, you’re probably dealing with a pipe problem under the slab.

Running Water Sounds in the Pipes

Listen closely as you walk throughout your home. Does it seem like water is moving even though the sinks and bathtubs are not in use? If so, it’s moving to a breached area in the pipe and draining out.

Cracks

The soil around the slab absorbs the liquid and shifts from its original position. Cracks in the floor or your walls may appear due to this issue.

Hot Spots

Take your shoes off and take a stroll. Do you feel any warm areas on the floor? A broken hot water pipe radiates the heat through the floor. It might feel great, but it’s a major indicator that you have a slab leak.

Stains

Look for water stains on the floor and walls.

Odors

Detecting a mildew or musty scent in the air? If you don’t see an apparent cause for these smells, you might be dealing with a serious issue under your home.

Mold

The leak increases the moisture content in the air. If the humidity gets high enough, mold starts growing in the damp spots.

Not Enough Hot Water

Your water heater might not be to blame if your steamy shower gets cut short. An active leak under the home’s foundation pulls some of your water away from the main system.

Locating a Slab Leak

Slab foundations don’t have a crawl space that gives you visibility into the areas where the pipes enter your home. You can confirm that you have an active leak in your slab by making sure everything that uses water is turned off. Take a look at your water meter. If it’s still going, you’ve eliminated multiple suspects but have a bad situation.

The typical homeowner does not have the tools required to find the source of slab leaks or perform proper slab leak detection. Professional plumbers with a set of specialized tools can locate the problem area and develop a plan to fix it.

What to Do if You Have a Slab Leak

If you have confirmed that water is pouring out in and around your slab, get an experienced plumbing service on the phone right away. A slab leak is only going to get worse over time, and you could end up with major property damage if you put off a repair.

Once you schedule an appointment, set up a dehumidifier or use another way to remove moisture from the air in the affected areas. You want to limit the interior damage and keep the mold at bay. Use a mold cleaning spray to remove any that is already present. Some products inhibit future growth, which is helpful while the repair is going on.

How to Choose a Plumber to Fix Your Slab Leak

Don’t have a plumber on tap for your home? Here are a few tips for finding a company capable of fixing your slab leak.

  • Consult online reviews, and see whether previous clients mention slab leaks.
  • Reach out to your social network to find friends, family and coworkers who may have gone through a similar situation. They will give you an honest review! Find out who they called.
  • Look through plumbers’ websites to see whether they spend time educating potential clients on slab leak detection.
  • Pay attention to plumbers who call you back quickly and talk you through the entire process.

A slab leak represents a major problem that’s capable of causing widespread damage to your home. Everything from your foundation to your house systems can experience issues when water starts pooling in the soil. Get a professional plumber to your house as quickly as possible after you confirm that you have a slab leak.


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