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What is a Slab Leak?

What is a Slab Leak?

Slab Leak
Slab Leak

Have you been told you have a slab leak and are wondering what it is? A leak in the pipes and plumbing within your homes slab foundation is a slab leak. When one of those pipes bursts, a slab leak occurs. When these same leaks are above ground, in a ceiling or wall, they are known as pinhole leaks. Such leaks are often a result of long-term corrosion to copper pipes.

Homeowners might not be aware that the water pipes in their home are run under the slab or concrete foundation, and although it makes leaks harder to find and repair, it is the most cost-effective way of getting water into the home. The lines are then connected at manifolds and routed to individual fixtures such as showers, faucets, toilets, and washing machines. Since slab leaks are not clearly visible to a homeowner, they can often go undetected for long periods of time. Leaving a potential leak unattended can lead to much larger, oft times dangerous problems, such as mold damage and termite infestation.

In What Areas Do Slab Leaks Occur?

Slab leaks can be found either on the pressure side or the drainage side of your foundation. If the leak is on the pressure side of the drains, it can be dug up and fixed or replaced before extensive damage occurs. While these leaks are usually found quickly, they can cause significant damage. Leaks on the drainage side can be hidden, making them trickier to spot. They can leak for years, with no outward signs. Over time- these leaks can make your foundation collapse. To prevent this from happening, you should have a plumber check out your plumbing system regularly as preventative maintenance.

Leaks that occur on the pressure side of the plumbing are most common in newer homes build in the last 20 years. They are easier to detect because you’ll hear the water leaking or notice a considerable increase in your water bills. Cleanup and repair is easier and less expensive if the leak is detected and repaired before the water seeps under the slab. Once the water has filled up the area under the slab, serious damage may occur. The water continues to seep into along cracks all over the house.

Leaks that occur on the drainage side of the plumbing are most common in older homes. These leaks aren’t as easy to detect. In fact, they can leak for years without causing visible signs. As the leak continues over time. The foundation of the home may buckle and as it settles. The foul smell of exposed mold and mildew may permeate the home.

Any signs of a slab leak should be addressed immediately. The longer a pipe leaks, the larger the scale of damage and more intrusive the repair.

Signs of a Leak Under Your Slab:

  • Dark spots, wet spots, or warm spots on the floor.
  • Mildew or mold growing underneath carpeting.
  • A sudden inexplicable increase in water bills.
  • A water heater that runs incessantly.
  • Visible cracks in the home’s foundation, floors, or walls.
  • A cold water faucet that delivers hot water.
  • Running water even when all taps are shut off.
  • Water meter activity even when there’s no water running in the house.
  • Low water pressure not due to the regulator valve.

How Do Plumbers Locate Slab Leaks?

Fixing a slab leak takes advanced training and specialized tools. A Professional Plumber first uses leak detection equipment such as acoustic listening discs and thermal scanners to pinpoint the exact location of the leak. The plumber can then either excavate to reach the pipe or use lateral repair techniques to insert a new pipe to bypass the older one( known as a pipe reroute). The plumber will use the best method to repair the leak fast and with minimal disruption to the house.

Are Slab Leaks Covered By Insurance?

According to the standard terminology of most homeowner’s insurance, insurance providers will “usually” cover the cost of tearing out and replacing the slab, but they will not extend that coverage to the plumbing repairs itself. However, everyone’s policies are different, especially in the State of Texas, where slab leaks are very common. It is best to ask your insurance agent for your particular policy coverages.

Please call Augerpros Plumbing & Drain if you suspect you have a slab leak. Leaks never go away on their own and they will only get worse over time. Our courteous professional technicians will help you every step of the way.