Life throws curveballs, especially when you own a home that obviously has a plumbing system. If all your plumbing is working fine, but you’ve noticed an unusually higher water bill, there is definitely a problem somewhere. You may not have seen any leaks, but that water bill is high for a reason. A slab leak could be the cause of the high water bills.
What is a slab leak? If you need to get more familiar with what a slab leak is, Flow Pros Plumbing will explain more below.
Learning What a Slab Leak Is
To put it in simple terms, a slab leak is a leak in the pipes under your concrete slab’s foundation. A slab leak can be a few drops or a major crack in the piping. As soon as you notice a high-water bill or anything that’s off with your plumbing, it needs to be diagnosed as quickly as possible. If a slab leak goes too long without being fixed, there will be more plumbing problems.
What Causes a Slab Leak?
Sometimes slab leaks happen due to the natural shifting of the ground beneath the home. There can be other reasons as well that we will list for you.
Friction Caused- Sometimes, the pipes beneath your home will rub against the concrete foundation causing leaks. Also, hot water pipes expand and shrink naturally due to the heat of water running through them. This causes even more friction when it comes to a hot water pipe in your home’s concrete foundation.
Water Corrosion- If the water that comes out of your pipes at home is extremely soft or hard, it can cause corrosion of your pipes. This will lead to pinhole leaks that, over time, become major slab leaks.
Older Home- Older homes that have slab leaks tend to have a combination of reasons for the leak itself. This is often because of the overall age of the pipes that causes the slab leak. And unfortunately, you can only do something about the time and age of your pipes if you replace or repair them.
Earth Movement- In some parts of the world, earthquakes can be the cause of a slab week. But even if you live in a place where you don’t feel earthquakes, underground waterways and soil erosion can shift the ground below you, adding pressure to your pipes and causing a leak.
Foundation Was Built Incorrectly- If you live in a newer home, you typically wouldn’t expect to have a slab leak. Still, it is essential to have a plumber and a home inspector check your home’s foundation to ensure it is appropriately laid. Slab leaks can happen at any time. The age of your pipes just increases the likelihood of a slab leak.
Slab Leak Warnings
You can never be 100% sure you have a slab leak until a plumber comes out and inspects it, but here are some symptoms and warning signs that you may have a slab leak.
- Noticing mold underneath your carpets.
- A higher-than-normal water bill.
- Low water pressure.
- Noticing cracks in your foundation.
- A foul smell is coming from your floors or wall.
- Hot spots on your floor that you have never noticed.
- Your carpets and flooring are wet.
- Hearing the sound of water running even if all of your faucets are off.
Does a Slab Leak Have to be Fixed?
You may ask yourself if you can just ignore the slab leak that is happening at your home, especially if it’s a small one. Ultimately you need to address a slab leak as soon as possible. Even if your water bill isn’t higher than normal, you can have a lot of new problems to fix if you do not get your slab leak fixed first.
Slab leaks can cause mold issues within your home, which lead to serious health problems and complications. A very bad slab leak can cause your home’s foundation to collapse. So, in the end, a slab leak is not something that can be ignored.
A slow slab leak will keep putting water into the ground beneath your home. This water underground creates more soil expansion that ends up leading to substantial damage. The hydraulic pressure build-up under the slab will need to be released somewhere. Upward pressure will eventually find its way to a crack in the slab or to any weakness it can find. This is where you will start to notice wet spots in your carpets or hardwood floor. Worst case scenario, your floor erupts from pressure.
Number One Cause of Slab Leaks
Materials that are used and installed under the concrete and how they are installed are essential when it comes to the function of your pipes and how long they last. Engineers have said that about 25% of all homes in the United States have experienced damage to the home and plumbing due to soil expansion.
As a matter of fact, the” ASCE estimated the total cost of damage caused by expansive soils is around $2.3 billion per year in the US alone. According to geology.com, that is more than the cost of property damage caused by floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined!”
How is it Fixed?
There are several different ways a slab leak can be repaired. The first step is to hire our trustworthy plumbers from Flow Pros Plumbing. Our team will come to your house and detect whether or not you have a slab leak issue, to begin with. Our plumber will then advise you on the best way to have your slab leak fixed. Repairing and detecting the slab leak as quickly and as efficiently as possible is our top priority, so further damage is not done to your property.
One way our plumbers will determine if you need a slab leak repair is by using electronic sound detection devices to find where the leak noises could be coming from in the slab. Line tracing equipment and scanners will also help narrow down the leak’s origin. Once this is diagnosed, the plumber will decide if this slab leak calls for a replacement of a part, a repair, or an entire re-piping of your plumbing system.
1| Pipe Rerouting/ Re-piping
2| Breaking Through the Concrete Slab
3| Tunneling Beneath the Slab
4| Trenchless Pipe Repair
Will Homeowners Insurance Help?
This surprises homeowners when they realize that their homeowner’s insurance typically only helps a little bit with paying for a slab leak repair. It’s important not to assume that you are covered, so ask your insurance company for more details.
Unfortunately, insurance companies blame the homeowner for poor maintenance to the point where they are unreliable for a slab leak. This isn’t always the case, so check with your homeowner’s insurance.
Contact Us for Slab Leaks and More
A slab leak occurs when the plumbing beneath the home fails for any reason. It may go for years undetected from slow drips, eroding soil, and weakening of the foundation and slab.
Slab leaks may also be caused by weakened water lines, faulty installation, chemical reactions of metal plumbing lines to the metals in the earth, and shifting soil.
Knowing the warning signs we listed above can help prevent significant repairs while hopefully saving you money.
Flow Pros plumbing provides service in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and surrounding areas. Our technicians are trained and certified in everything they do to successfully take care of all customer’s needs.
Ask around in your area, and you will soon find that we are a top-rated company striving to provide the best customer service experience. We stand behind fair prices while providing top service. Reach out to us today to get on the schedule.