Slab Leak: Causes, Signs, Detection & Repair
Repairs are bound to to be needed when you are a homeowner. The majority of the time, issues with your plumbing system are relatively minor. These can be leaky faucets or clogged drains. Issues like these are easier to identify because they are visible, but what about plumbing issues that are out of sight?
Leaks can form anywhere along your plumbing system. When a pipe begins to leak within or underneath the foundation of your home, this is known as a slab leak. Slab leaks can become dangerous if not taken care of right away. However, because they occur under your home, they are incredibly difficult to notice.
With risks like these, it’s important to contact a plumber right away. Call Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating at (469) 240-5618.
Causes of a Slab Leak
Water leaks can occur for many reasons. One common reason why a leak may occur is pipe corrosion. This is especially true of older pipes. Another reason for why a slab leak may occur is tree root infiltration. As trees grow, roots can grow into a pipe, causing a leak. No matter what the cause, it’s important to know whether or not you have a slab leak. The quicker that you notice it and call a plumber, the quicker you can avoid major damage.
Common Signs of a Slab Leak
When a slab leak occurs, it impacts the entire home. An attentive homeowner will quickly recognize the visible signs that something is wrong. Here are some common signs to look for to help with slab leak detection:
Increased Water Bills
Slab leaks are not visible, like a leaking sink or toilet. A surge in your water bill can be a painful sign that there may be a larger issue that needs to be addressed. As a slab leak continues to waste water, your water bill will increase. As soon as you notice this issue, you need to call a licensed technician to provide plumbing repair services.
Keep an eye out for unusual spots on the walls or baseboards. When a pipe is leaking or has burst within a confined area, water spots are often the first sign that there is slab leak in the area. With water spots, you may not necessarily notice dripping water. Drywall will absorb moisture and start to discolor before any trace of water is visible. Repairing slab leaks includes replacing these affected areas. An experienced plumber will be able to address the issue with minimal destruction.
Just as the walls and ceiling can start to show signs of water intrusion, damp flooring is another clear indicator that a slab leak may be present. While water can certainly start to pool up, more common are damp areas that can be felt when walking across the floor. As the sub-floor retains moisture it will weaken over time.
Eventually, the flooring material will become visibly softer. If your home has hardwood or laminate flooring then you will most likely need to replace them. This may be more difficult to detect with tile flooring, but will often coincide with dark spots in the grout. You may also notice hot spots on your floors. A hot spot indicates that the slab leak occurred in the hot water pipe. Be sure to call a plumber if you notice any of these issues.
As a slab leak progresses, it will weaken the concrete slab and areas of the home may shift. Horizontal cracks can be some of the more identifiable (and frustrating) signs of a slab leak. You may also notice cracks in your tile or baseboards.
The challenge comes with finding the root of the issue. As a home shifts, cracks may appear on the opposite side of the house from where the slab leak has occurred. Be sure to contact a contractor right away for slab water leak detection if you notice visible cracks in your walls.
Mold or Mildew
Due to the retained moisture in the walls or floor, you may start to notice mold or mildew growth. Often, these patches will not become noticeable until they emit an odor or start to discolor the walls. This is a sure sign that something is wrong in your home. If you notice this along with cracks and other signs, you need to call for emergency plumbing services straight away.
Detecting and Repairing a Slab Leak
Slab leaks are serious business and should only be repaired by a licensed plumber. Because they affect the foundation of your home, failure to properly address a slab leak can have costly consequences. Slab leaks are one of the most difficult kinds of leaks to detect. This is because they are typically within or underneath inches of concrete. A plumber will bring in sonar equipment to detect the exact location of a slab leak.
Once the slab leak has been detected, the plumber will break through the concrete to reach the leaking pipe. The technician will then replace the damaged section of pipe using one of a variety of methods. Some plumbing companies will help to fill the affected area back up with concrete. If yours does not then you will have to contact a construction company to provide this service.
Knowledgeable and Quick Plumber Desoto, TX
Because slab leaks pose so many threats to a home, having a plumbing team that you can trust is imperative. At Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating, we know the importance of acting fast when an emergency situation is at hand.
Whether you require slab leak detection or a toilet installation, we have got the tools to help you. At Dial One Johnson, we are dedicated to providing excellent customer service and effective repairs. Our team is here for you no matter your plumbing, cooling or heating needs.
To schedule an appointment with the Dial One Johnson team, give us a call at (469) 240-5618 or contact us online.