When it comes to deciding if you should plump for slab leak repair services now or later, consider both the immediate and long-term consequences. For homes in Mansfield, TX, that have copper pipes running through their foundations, some consequences are far more likely to occur.
1. Bad Odors
Unnoticed water accumulation under your home can lead to unpleasant odors. The smell of standing water can not only make your home smell damp and unpleasant, but it can also cause headaches and nausea. If the repair needed affects the sewer line, odors can be especially potent!
Erosion is another immediate consequence. It can occur under the home or all around it. The dirt and sand beneath the foundation will be removed by water leaking from broken pipes on properties in need of slab leak repair.
3. Yard damage
The landscape around your home will change over time. The landscape around your home may change because of earthquakes, soil erosion, or an underground stream. Vegetable gardens and flowerbeds can be destroyed. Ground levels might also change because of shifting foundations.
4. Damaged Carpets
It might take a while for the water to seep through the foundation and cause damage to the flooring. However, when it does, you might notice prevailing damp spots and musty smells. You might not even notice the problem until your wood floors begin to discolor or warp, which means you may end up needing to replace flooring as well as pay for slab leak repair.
The cost of finding and fixing slab leaks in the short-term is frustrating and costly. Slab leak repairs can easily cost a couple of thousand dollars, more if the slab leak is in a difficult-to-reach location. Fixing leaks, rerouting and replacing pipes in slab foundations each has a substantial cost. Total slab repair is the most expensive option, with slab thickness, cost of materials, and square footage all influencing the price range. The longer you avoid repair, the more expensive the repairs become.
1. Damaged Drywall
If you continue to avoid repairing a noticeable slab leak, your drywall will eventually succumb to damage. Extensively damaged drywall will also need replacement, alongside the broken pipe, damaged carpets, and other aspects of your yard and home affected by the slab leak.
Mold will grow faster if water is left to sit for too long. Mold can cause a problem in your basement, floors, and walls, as well as out in the yard.
3. Health Issues
Asthma, allergies, and chronic diseases affected by prolonged exposure to mold (both visible and unseen), can not only damage your Mansfield, TX home’s health, but your family’s health as well.
4. Damaged Foundations
Untreated slab leaks can lead to foundational damage. An undetected slab leak can cause damage to your foundation and ruin your home’s stability. Foundational collapse can lead to numerous costly repairs.
Two Ways to Prevent Frequent Slab Leak Repair
Avoid Or Upgrade Copper Tubes
Copper pipes are common in older homes. Copper plumbing is no longer used in slab foundation plumbing due to the potential problems, and placing new copper plumbing in your slab is not recommended. However, if you do have copper plumbing and the option to replace it, you can choose to upgrade to newer PEX piping options. PVC and CPVC are also commonly used in modern plumbing. Copper tubing in the foundation can cause many problems, including:
- Leakages caused by small dents and pebbles damaging pipes during the original installation.
- Copper can be damaged by concrete if it is not protected properly during foundation installation.
In many cases, you are putting your faith in the original plumber’s ability and the technology available at the time for the safe installation of water and sewage pipes on your property. Plumbing technology has advanced a lot in the last few decades and opting to upgrade pipes on your property when you need slab leak repair will help to prevent multiple slab leak repairs in quick succession. Foundations that have experienced at least one slab leak are likely to experience more if the underlying pipes are not upgraded or replaced.
Verify Your Water Quality
Some homeowners prefer soft water, while others prefer hard water. However, it is clear that hard water can be particularly damaging to copper plumbing. Minerals, which make hard water, can build up over time and cause problems in copper plumbing. Calcium, magnesium, and other metals can wear out a copper pipe’s inner lining, and cause pinhole leaks. Over time, these pinhole leaks can become much larger leaks, causing exorbitant water bills and foundation damage, amongst others. Water softeners and anti-scalers can improve water quality and reduce the potential requirement for extensive slab leak repair.
Copper Pipe Alternatives To Help Reduce Slab Leaks
Aside from previously mentioned PEX pipes, you can also opt for plumbing that utilizes several other materials. Brass pipes, for example, are corrosion-resistant on the inside, unlike copper piping, and are an excellent choice for hot water plumbing. For these reasons, you’ll often see them attached to hot water tanks and pumps.
Brass pipes do contain copper, but it’s an alloy that takes advantage of zinc’s properties. Typically, rust-resistant brass pipes are between 65% and 85% copper. This mixture of metals creates a pipe that’s easy to thread, rust-resistant, and often capable of lasting longer than stainless steel and other pipes.
Cast iron pipes are heavier but are capable of supporting underground water distribution systems and sewer systems quite easily. To suit their application, cast iron pipes are manufactured in a variety of sizes from 4-inches upwards. However, cast iron pipes have mostly fallen out of favor for new installations. PVC pipes offer great value, flexibility, and durability for homeowners looking to improve their water lines and prevent frequent slab leak repair calls.
If you’re worried about the consequences of slab leaks in Mansfield, TX, ask one of Slableak.com’s licensed professionals to perform a slab leak inspection. We can also test drains, perform pressure leak tests, and video camera inspections to locate problem areas accurately before undertaking the necessary repairs.