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Unlike a leaky pipe that is quick to fix and inexpensive, slab leaks are often a homeowner’s nightmare. Since the early 1900s, slab foundations have gained popularity due to their cost-effectiveness, practicality, and durability. A great deal of engineering is involved but simply put, a slab foundation is created by pouring concrete onto the ground. The house is built on this foundation while the main water pipes are installed below it.
When a slab leak occurs, usually, it is a water pipe beneath the concrete slab foundation that is leaking. Since the water pipes are under your home, you aren’t likely to realize when you have a significant plumbing issue. If you are looking for experts experienced in slab leak repair in Mansfield, TX, Benjamin Franklin is a reliable 24/7 slab leak service you can contact.
What Causes Slab Leaks?
Soil expansion and contraction
Often, expansive soil shift is to blame when houses require slab leak repair. The shrinking and swelling of soil result from changes in ground conditions, from dry to wet. When the soil under your foundation shifts, it causes your house to move ever so slightly. However, this exerts pressure on your pipes. This could also be caused by soil erosion, underground streams, and earthquakes.
As water leaks due to the pressure exerted by the shift in soil, this causes further soil flexibility enabling the soil to shift even further. This pressure is potentially damaging and can cause flooding if left unchecked.
Improperly installed or poor-quality pipes are also a reason why you may need a repair. Suppose during installation, your pipes are bent, kinked, or dented. In that case, the affected parts could eventually cause a leak or even burst due to the abrasive properties of water flowing and varying water pressure.
The kind of plumbing materials used also can be a contributing factor that may necessitate slab leak repair. Some of the pipes that particularly suffer from corrosion are copper pipes because they are naturally softer hence more vulnerable to the elements. Most older homes are likely to have galvanized pipes and cast iron which are durable but prone to clogging and rusting as they age.
Abrasion and outside pressures
During the regular course of their use, pipes grind against nearby pies, gravel and this constant friction eventually wears them down. Ultimately it leads to leaks. Hot water pipes are at a higher risk of abrasion. This is because as they heat up, they expand and further rub against gravel and concrete, which leads to leaks necessitating slab leaks.
Poor water chemistry and quality
Besides your water pressure, it is crucial to keep an eye on your water’s pH level. Water that is either excessively alkaline or acidic can corrode your pipes. To quickly identify acidic water, look for green or blue stains in your sink, shower, or bathtub. You may also notice a chlorine-like smell in your water. Even with good pipes, the quality of your water can compromise their strength and health leading to corrosion, thereby necessitating a repair. Ideally, your water pH should range between 6.5 and 8.5.
Another reason why you may need a repair is time. Older homes with galvanized steel pipes or copper are likely to experience certain factors that may inevitably be caused over time. One of these factors may be corrosion, pressure on pipes, or extended periods of stress.
A great way to ensure your home’s plumbing is in great shape is by having regular maintenance and check-ups. It is advisable to be watchful of any irregularities to avoid leaks that may need repair.
Options for Fixing a Slab Leak
You need to immediately contact a slab leak expert in the face of a slab leak. They can quickly diagnose the problem and find the location of the leak. Once the source of the slab leak is identified, you have several options on how to handle it.
Trenchless slab leak repair
This type of slab leak repair requires minimal demolition. Your slab leak company needs to create access holes to fix the damage. It is non-destructive and cheaper compared to traditional methods of addressing slab leaks. The slab leak repair specialists will first carry out a camera inspection to see the damage then use epoxy pipe liners to seal the broken pipe. If the damage was extensive, they might opt for pipe splitting, which involves inserting new pipes which are larger than the old ones. The entire process takes only a few hours.
Tunneling under the slab
Tunneling is a repair method opted for by homeowners who do not want to rip off their flooring. Generally, the mess will be outside your home, and your day-to-day lives will not be interrupted. The slab leak experts will dig tunnels under your home without compromising your home’s structural integrity. The necessary repairs will then be done, and the soil that was removed returned.
Re-routing or re-piping
If the damage is severe and multiple pipes are involved, your slab leak repair specialist may opt to re-pipe. Re-piping involves putting in new pipes to eliminate any leaks. The process is extensive and involves demolishing the pipes under your floors and walls to have them replaced. It will take a few days, and you may even need to leave your home for the said period.
A Trusted Specialist for All Your Slab Leak Repairs
Slab leak repair needs to be entrusted to experts with proven experience, such as Benjamin Franklin Plumbing’s Slableak.com. We are the leading slab leak repair specialists in Mansfield, TX. With over sixteen years in the plumbing field, we are skilled at dealing with slab leaks from their potential causes to the most suitable solution for you. Unlike other companies, we work with a set price rather than an hourly rate and our estimates are free. Get in touch with us today for more information about our services and get a free estimate.