Imagine this scenario: You walk out across your kitchen floor. You notice a warm spot. Your dog is nearby—perhaps he was napping there? You shrug it off and don’t give it another thought.
A week later, you think you hear the sound of running water. Perhaps you get your water bill and notice it is higher than usual. Again, a problem you shrug off—it’s not that much higher.
Another week goes by… that warm spot hasn’t gone away and your dog is in an entirely different room. The sound of running water is still in your ears, despite no plumbing appliances being on. Now you’re getting worried, what should you do?
Call a Plumber!
If you ever find yourself facing the above-mentioned scenario, please give our professional plumbers a call! The fact of the matter is, you’re likely dealing with a slab leak—that is, a leak that’s coming from beneath the foundation (slab) of your home.
The biggest problem with this type of leak is that, as we alluded to in the scenario we described, it can go on for a long time before you even notice it. This means you might not only be facing significant water damage beneath the foundation of your home, but depending on where specifically it is and how long it’s allowed to go on, it can actually damage your home’s foundation.
Additionally, in order to access the slab leak to repair it, there’s no choice but to go through the flooring of your property.
“So, How Do Slab Leaks Occur and Can I Prevent Them?”
There are a few things that can cause a slab leak, which we’ll get to below. To answer the second part of this question, yes they can be prevented. One to prevent them is to have your plumbing re-routed—that is, have your plumbing lines installed in the walls or around your property, rather than under it. This will likely involve repiping—slab leaks are most likely to occur in older, degrading pipes.
Now, onto the cause:
- Pressure: If too much pressure is placed on the pipes beneath your home, it can create a crack in them. This pressure can be caused by shifting in the soil, or even a poor home construction job.
- Corrosion: Most of the time, slab leaks occur in hot water lines versus cold water lines. This is why in the above mentioned scenario we mentioned a warm spot (but that said, if you notice an unnaturally cold spot it could be worth calling a plumber. That said, corrosion is more common in hot water lines, and this can very well lead to a slab leak if those hot water lines are old.
- Abrasion: When two pipes are installed to close to one another, they can rattle against each other, and therefore cause abrasion to one or both of the pipes.
If you suspect a slab leak, are curious about your plumbing systems vulnerability to such a problem, or want to schedule repiping services, we are the team to call.