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If you have suddenly noticed damp spots on your carpets or floor and experienced low pressure in your shower, you could be dealing with a slab leak. This can also raise your water bill significantly.
Slab leaks can strike on cold or hot water lines. They are also likely to appear on any drain line from any of your appliance that uses water. As a homeowner, you should know what causes and how to identify slab leaks. As a result, you can promptly undertake slab leak repairs to avoid further damage.
What Is a Slab Leak?
A slab leak is a term used in the industry to describe a leak that occurred in the water lines running beneath your home’s concrete foundation. If such leaks develop above the ground, in the ceiling or wall, they are referred to as pinhole leaks. These leaks occur due to long-term corrosion to copper water pipes.
Even though these leaks may seem small and insignificant in the beginning, slab leak repair is necessary to avoid major damages and costly repairs. If you leave slab leaks unattended in your Arlington, TXhome, they can saturate the soil under your home. Your floors will become uneven, and the building will slowly sink into the ground over time.
Where Can You Find the Slab Leaks?
You can find slab leaks either on the drainage side or pressure side of your house foundation. If it occurs on the pressure side of the drains, you can unearth it before it triggers further destructions. Although you can quickly identify these leaks, they can cause irrevocable damage.
On the other hand, leaks on the drainage side may be trickier to spot as they are considerably more veiled. As a result, they can leak for long without showing a sign. Slab leaks can make your home foundation collapse; hence, you should ensure that the plumbing is examined frequently.
As a homeowner, you may not notice a slab leak in time, making it go undetected for ages. As a result, your foundation may run into further problems, such as termite infestation and mold damage. That said, you should hire a professional to inspect your foundation for more subtle signs that may reveal stab leaks.
What Causes a Slab Leak?
To avoid further damages, you should be aware of the primary causes of slab leaks and undertake slab leak repairs in time. If you suspect that your home has a slab leak, do not hesitate to call us at 817-405-0434 as soon as possible to help you prevent serious damages.
Below are some of the major causes of slab leaks:
Pre-Damage and Improper Installation
One of the most common causes of slab leaks is poor-quality or improperly installed pipes. You should ensure that your pipers are not dented, bent, or kinked during installation. Otherwise, the affected areas may lead to pipe leakages or bursts due to abrasive properties of flowing water. If the pipes are installed improperly, they are likely not to function properly once the entire house sits on top of them. In particular, the copper pipes are at high risks of failure due to corrosion. Copper pipes are valuable to elements and are naturally soft. At times, slab leaks may need new pipe replacements instead of slab leak repairs.
Additionally, it is normal for building material to be a little banged up as you build your home. In these cases, the pipes may experience the damage and could cause major problems with time.
Abrasion is also a major cause of slab leaks. Pipes rub against gravel, concrete, other nearby pipes, and other materials during their course of use. The constant friction makes them gradually wear down and eventually leak. Note that hot water pipes have higher abrasion risks than cold water pipes. They naturally expand as water flow through them and rub against other elements, creating leaks.
Since water pipes are located underground, they are exposed to the soil in the ground. The soil can make the water pipes corrode with time. It is common, especially in the plumbing systems with copper pipes.
Poor Water Quality and Chemistry
You should keep an eye on the pH level of your water. If your water is hard (excessively acidic) or soft (excessively alkaline), it can corrode your copper pipes. Without slab leak repair, slab leak caused by hard or soft water can cause irreversible water damage. At this state, you will need slab leak repair services.
Normal water in your Arlington, TX home should have a pH value of between 6.5 and 8.5.
Outside Pressure (Ground and Foundation Shifts)
Soil can shift under your foundation, causing your house to move slightly. This puts pressure on the pipes beneath, leading to slab leaks.
The following can also cause outside pressure:
- Soil erosion
- An underground stream
- An earthquake
This type of pressure leads to large slab leaks, which can be potentially damaging. If left unchecked or unattended, such slab leaks can cause a bit of flooding. At this state, you will need slab leak repair services.
Time is the biggest culprit in slab leaks. The older your home is, the higher the risks of slab leaks. Your galvanized steel pipes or copper pipes are likely to fail over time. For instance, corrosion is highly likely to happen with time. Besides, extended periods of pressure or stress may make your slab leak. Regular maintenance, check-ups, and early slab leak repairs help ensure that the plumbing of your house is proper.
Signs You Have a Slab Leak
- A moving water meter dial when pipes are not in use
- Sudden spikes in your water bill
- Mildew or moisture under carpeting
- The sound of running water when pipes are not in use
- Unusually low water pressure
- Standing water around the perimeter of your house
- Warm or damp floors
- Cracks in your baseboard or walls
- Moldy smell (mold problems)
If we detect a leak, depending on the extent of damage, we may give different recommendations. We may consider slab leak repair by capping off existing the existing pipes with durable and flexible piping. Sometimes, a complete pipe replacement may be necessary.