Slab Leaks: Common Causes and How to Fix It

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( — September 22, 2021) — Slab leaks are fairly common and affect millions of households worldwide. Water lines that are found beneath concrete slabs may begin to erode or crack due to soil instability. As a result, slab leaks will develop and cause problems for many homeowners.

The basement slab is susceptible to shifting soil, which may cause cracks and subsequent leaks to occur. Here, we will discuss the common causes of a slab leak and what you can do to fix it.

Common Causes of Slab Leaks

Excess water pressure can cause slab leaks, as can earthquakes. Highly acidic water and abrasion may lead to slab leaks as well. Copper pipes will also suffer from corrosion over time.

Copper pipes will deteriorate unless they are fixed, and old copper pipes can cause slab leaks.

Subterranean water pipes will also begin to leak unless they are maintained on a routine basis. Concrete foundations may be poorly built due to shoddy or rushed craftsmanship.

How to Spot Slab Leaks

If you notice a spike in your water bill, even though your usage level has not gone up, then you may be dealing with slab leaks. Foundational cracks may also suggest that you are dealing with slab leaks.

Any damp or warm spots that you can feel on the floor should be investigated for slab leaks. As well, if you can hear flowing water even when your valves are sealed tight, then you may be dealing with slab leaks.

Wet or discolored floor coverings and low water pressure are warning signs that you should not take lightly. Another telltale sign that you should be on the lookout for is foul odors emanating from the walls and floors of your home.

In addition, if you notice visible alterations in the soil around your home, then you may want to call a plumber to inspect your home for possible slab leaks.

How to Fix Slab Leaks

Failure to fix slab leaks will lead to damage to both your home’s foundation and its basement. One way to tackle slab leaks is through pipe rerouting. You can reroute your plumbing above ground instead of opting to dig.

Rerouting may be less disruptive and, also, quicker than digging. You may be able to install new plumbing lines if the source of the issue is a short section of pipe. 

In some instances, your plumbing lines may be encased in concrete. As a result, you may need to repipe your entire home

Another option is to break through the slab. Going straight down through the slab itself may be disruptive and expensive, but the distance that you will need to cover in order to reach the source of the issue will also be shorter.

Breaking through concrete slabs should be used as a last resort. It requires a lot of manpower and tools, and can also be quite costly.

You may want to consider tunneling beneath the slab. Tunneling beneath the slab actually has many benefits. For example, you can still remain in your home while the work is taking place.

The mess that is generated is kept outside of your home, which may make it easier for you to clean up the mess. Tunneling beneath the slab is also the least expensive of all of the options, so it is a superb choice if you are on a tight budget.

Trenchless pipe repair is yet another option. If your water lines are broken, then all you will need to do is line the interior of a damaged pipe with an epoxy coating. The coating will dry and harden, thus leading to the formation of a brand new pipe.

Trenchless pipe repair has many benefits, including not requiring any trenching. The amount of digging involved in order to gain access to the issue is also kept to a minimum. 

If your underground pipes have cracks or holes or have become corroded over time, then you may want to consider trenchless pipe repair in order to fix the problem.

A plumber can help fix slab leaks, without damaging your property or leaving a mess.

What happens if you don’t fix a slab leak?

Mould will begin to form and foul odors will spread throughout your home if you fail to fix a slab leak. Your home’s foundation will also become severely damaged, and your floors will be ruined in the process.

The Time to Act is Now

If you want to quickly, safely, and effectively fix a slab leak, then you should call a licensed and bonded plumber to address the issue. They will permanently fix the problem in a timely fashion and will provide you with tips to help prevent slab leaks from forming in the future.

If you decide to take matters into your own hands, then you may end up damaging the foundation, thus leading to added costs and more headaches.