What Are Slab Leaks?
In the plumbing and home services industry, the concrete foundation beneath your house is known as a slab. Underneath this concrete slab are your home’s water lines. A leak can occur in these water lines because of a shift in your foundation (possibly from an earthquake or other disaster,) poor placement/installation, or general corrosion.
You may notice a plumbing slab leak on either side of your property, as they can occur in the pressure side of the drainage side of your foundation. When slab leaks occur on the pressure side, they can usually be taken care of fairly quickly, though they may still cause a lot of damage.
Drainage leaks, on the other hand, are tougher to detect but can cause a ton of destruction to your property over time, potentially even leading to the collapse of your foundation. This is why it is important to watch out for the signs of a slab leak and call an experienced plumber ASAP if you believe you are dealing with one on your property.
How to Detect a Slab Leak
Though plumbing slab leaks are more difficult to detect than other types of plumbing leaks, there are signs that you can be aware of. As a homeowner, it is good to be mindful of the symptoms of a slab leak. The sooner you can call out a professional plumber, the less likely you will suffer extensive damage to your home.
Signs You Have a Slab Leak
Signs you may have a slab leak include:
- You hear water running under your floors, but your taps and plumbing appliances are off
- Carpets are damp or wet without an explanation
- You smell mold, mildew, or a general mustiness
- There are warm spots on your floor
- Floorboards are warped or buckling
- Your water pressure has decreased
- There is water pooling on your floor without a clear sign of where it is coming from
- There is standing water around your home's foundation
- Your water bill has spiked
How to Find a Slab Leak
You can use your water meter to help you test if there is a slab leak. Turn off all plumbing fixtures and appliances. Then go and watch your water meter for 15 minutes. Your water meter will register whether any water was used during that time frame. If there was, this is a good indication that you have a leak somewhere, and you should call for professional plumbing slab leak detection.
How to Fix a Slab Leak
Slab leaks are notoriously complicated to repair. This is because accessing the leak involves digging into the concrete slab. Your flooring will have to be removed, and your plumber will have to hammer down into the concrete, uncover the broken pipe, and fix it.
If you need a slab leak repair, you must work with a licensed, professional plumber like ours at All City Plumbing. Our plumbing slab leak detection experts can pinpoint the leak's location, diagnose the leak's severity, and provide you with all viable slab leak repair options.
Many people worry that repairing a slab leak will involve repiping their whole home. However, this isn't always the case. Depending on the nature of the leak, it may be simpler to reroute your home's plumbing instead of repiping. Rerouting your plumbing after a slab leak does not involve digging into the slab, and consequently, is faster, less expensive, and causes less damage to your home.
Will My Home Insurance Cover Rerouting My Plumbing?
Home insurance plans often provide coverage for plumbing leak repairs, including slab leak repair. This means that if your plumber recommends rerouting your plumbing to fix the slab leak, your insurance provider may very well cover that service. Before scheduling your repair service, contact your insurance provider and discuss your repair options. In many cases, they will require an official quote from a plumber before they will approve the work.