What To Do if You Suspect a Slab Leak
Most residential homes are built on top of broad concrete slabs. Because of various causes like external pressure, poor installation, and corrosion, these slabs are vulnerable to leaks, which can majorly affect the foundation of your property or home. As any homeowner knows, foundation damage is the worst kind of damage – especially to your pockets.
Learn what to do if you suspect a slab leak, and get in touch with All Dry USA if you need a clean-up crew.
How Common Are Slab Leaks?
The frequency of slab leaks varies depending on where you live. In a state like California, they can be quite common, as the earthquake-prone land shifts and buckles frequently. They’re also more common in states that experience wide fluctuations in temperature, like North Carolina.
Another factor that impacts the commonality of slab leaks is the median age of homes in the area. The older the home, the older the pipes; the older the pipes, the dicier the foundation. If you’re curious whether you should be on higher-than-normal alert for foundation issues, look into the history of your home and neighborhood. You can visit the local library or historical society, check out the deed, or talk to neighbors who have been around longer than you.
What Causes Slab Leaks?
Many different things cause slab leaks, but we recommend looking out for these five leading causes.
Time isn’t kind to any pipes, but improperly installed pipes are doomed from the start. Whether the fitting is off, the lay is misaligned, or some other quality issue, poorly installed pipes are a leading cause of slab leaks.
Pipes must encase in the hard concrete of a foundation and then be buried under the earth – sometimes many feet of it. That pressure can build to a breaking point for some pipes.
External pressure can cause cracks in your home’s foundation, which can easily damage your pipes. Once a pipe has become damaged, a slab leak is imminent. The only solution is to call a plumber as soon as possible and have them dig to the site of the break.
Abrasion and Corrosion
Corrosion and abrasion often lead to slab leaks. Over time, the temperature, quality, and speed of water rushing through pipes can wear down on them. Even reinforced pipes with anti-corrosion waterproofing can still be subject to the slow and continuous wear of abrasion.
Check the pH level of your water if you want to get an indication of how worried you should be about pipe corrosion. Water between 6.5 and 8.5 on the pH scale is safe and won’t cause corrosion. But as water gets more acidic, dropping below 7, or more alkaline, rising above 7, you’re in the danger zone for corrosion and abrasion.
Time and Age
Using concrete for slab foundations goes back as far as 1902 when the French architect August Perret first built one for his Paris apartment. You can rest assured that the slab foundation that Perret first put down has had to have some serious maintenance over the years because time and age wear down on all foundations.
The older your home is, the more wear your foundation has undergone. Before you move into a new home, check on the health of the foundation. And if you haven’t ordered a recent check-up on the foundation of the home you currently live in, we recommend getting to work.
Reasons To Suspect You Have a Slab Leak
It won’t always be apparent if you have a slab leak. Torrents of water won’t automatically start jetting from the foundation. You need to learn what to look out for to act fast. These are the top clues that you may have a slab leak.
Unusually High Water Bills
Have you noticed that your water bill has been creeping up, but your water usage hasn’t? Call a plumber and have your foundation checked out. It may be a slab leak.
Damp Spots on the Floor
There may be a few small wet spots on the living room carpet or full-on puddles in the kitchen. Pay attention to the ground floor (or the basement, if you have one). If you start to notice small wet spots in or around your property, it may be a slab leak.
Raised Dome in Floor
The built-up pressure resulting in a slab leak can gather under the floor and cause a swollen, dome-like growth. Don’t touch it, and certainly don’t try to release the pressure yourself. As with serious acne, let a professional take care of it before you cause even more serious damage. Leave this one for the professionals.
All mold needs is fresh air, dampness, and a little time. Within 72 hours, you could have mold spores hovering around your house. Look out for mold, as it can indicate a slab leak.
How To Address a Slab Leak
The first thing you must do if you suspect a slab leak is shut the water off and call a professional immediately. This is a serious issue that needs to be handled by trained experts.
Once you have a plumber over, they may have several options with how to proceed:
- Repair: If the slab leak was caused by a single broken pipe, the plumber can dig to it and fix it.
- Reroute: If a pipe is too old or weak to fix, the plumber may be able to divert the water flow to another pipe.
- Repipe: If repairing and rerouting aren’t options, the plumber may need to readjust and repipe.
Need Water Damage Restoration? Call Us!
For all your water damage restoration and mold remediation needs, call All Dry USA. Don’t let slab leaks keep you down. Keep it moving with All Dry USA, and get your home back to tip-top condition in no time.
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