Understanding Slab Leak Detection & Repair
Slab leak detection 101: Traditional homes have their incoming water copper piping installed in the foundation or slab of the home. The installation process would be to lay the copper piping into the freshly laid cement slab while it was still wet before it was set. They would then have an end of the pipe pop out of the slab in every room, bathroom, kitchen, laundry, where the floor plan indicated that they would need incoming water.
This seemed like a good idea at the time, but the fact is that the soft copper pipe could possibly be weakened by the installation into the cement. The pipe could be weakened by the bending, folding or contusions that it would be exposed to during the installation. Over time these could lead to a pin hole leak in the soft copper pipe. This type of a water leak from the foundation is better known as a slab leak.
Slab Leak Detection
Have you noticed dampness in the walls or flooring of your house? Are you wondering why you often hear the sound of running water even when your faucets have been turned off? Have you observed mildew under carpets? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there’s a high chance that you may have a slab leak.
Slab leaks are simply water leaks that happen below a concrete slab. It is usually caused by a leaking water pipe that is running below the floor of your home within the concrete slab.
Left unnoticed or repaired, a slab leak can cause more serious troubles. Mold and rotting, for example, can affect the supporting structures of your house. Also, slab leaks can be the reason why there’s an unexplained increase in your water bills.
How do you know if you have a slab leak?
How would you know that you have to call a slab leak repair company for professional help? Here are some tell-tale signs:
- Evidence of water on floors or damp areas on carpets
- Hearing running water when all faucets are off
- A noticeable increase on your water bill
- Reduced water pressure
- There is a buckling or warping of hardwood flooring
It’s almost impossible to detect slab leak at first because it works from the inside out. However, over time, it can worsen to the point that it can weaken a structure and cause substantial damage to your home.
Since slab leaks would go undetected for so long, you should pay close attention to indirect symptoms of a leak. It is recommended you call for assistance as soon as you notice any of the aforementioned signs of slab leak.
If you live in an older house, it is likely that your home still has the original old copper or metal pipes installed beneath your property. It may be proactive to call a professional to come over on a regular basis to inspect the plumbing system of your house for possible leaks. Since a slab leak won’t become noticeable or apparent for weeks, a plumber detecting the leak can save you damages and expenses down the line.
Advances in leak detection technology have made it possible to pinpoint the location of the leak. This can greatly lessen the amount of time for the repairs.
There are basically two options for slab leak repair, each with its pros and cons.
The first is called spot repair, which is best suited for newer construction. In this repair option, the leaking pipe is repaired after opening up the slab at the area of the leak.
Then there’s repiping or rerouting, which is usually done in older houses with plumbing systems that are beginning to show signs of pipe failure or have had a history of leaking. The entire pipe line will be replaced in this option. The repipe is a more practical option compared to spot repair as once the first leak is fixed, the pressure will go to the next weakest spot in the line and can create another leak.
What is Involved With Repairs
Some plumbing companies usually offer detection as part of their repair services. Slab leak detection firms, however, charge differently for detecting the leakage and finding the spot of a leak. The amount may differ depending on the specialized equipment required for the job.
Jackhammering the concrete slab as well as repairing the leaking pipe rates may vary depending on the ease (or difficulty) of access, and the extent of the problem.
Repairing a leak in a deteriorating pipe can add pressure on the rest of pipe. Over time, the deteriorating pipe may experience additional leaks. This is why repipes are usually a better solution. With repiping, new water lines are installed and the entire pipe system is re-routed above ground.
Leaks that go undetected or un-repaired for long periods can cause extensive water damage to the foundation. Walls, furnishings, and interior flooring can all be damaged eventually. It is important to take action immediately when a leak is detected to reduce the amount of damage and overall cost of the repair and possible replacement.
Unfortunately, homeowners insurance typically does not cover the cost of repairing a leaking pipe. Nor does it cover re-plumbing the house, rerouting pipes, or making foundation repairs. If there’s any consolation, water damage to flooring, carpets, cabinets, and personal belongings may be covered depending on the policy terms and deductible account.
But knowing the potential headaches that slab leaks can cause on your house and how it can cause health problems to your family, would you even entertain second thoughts about hiring a company that can take care of the slab leak detection and pipe repairs or replacement?
Call A Pro
Water leaks from the slab can be a serious problem in your home damaging carpeting, cabinets, appliances, etc… Slab leaks are quite common in the SW Florida area, specifically in Charlotte County. If you suspect that you may have a slab leak, please call Protek Plumbing and Drain Specialists at 941-575-7324 immediately for a thorough evaluation. We have the experience to evaluate the problem and we can offer the correct solution for your situation.
How To Detect A Slab Leak
Leaks in your plumbing system can happen at anytime and they are never pleasant. But, of all of the leaks that have a possibility of occurring, the slab leak probably tops them all. This is the name for a pipe leak in a water pipe that is located under your concrete slab and usually occurs on a copper pipe. It starts when an aging copper pipe begins to develop a pin hole leak. This small leak over time can start to bubble up through the concrete floor causing a flooding situation. These leaks usually start as a very small drip, but this drip can build up over time to create a major catastrophe.
Being aware of the signs of slab leak is the first step in dealing with them. If you are seeing signs of a leak, please call Protek Plumbing and Drain Specialists at 941-575-7324 for an expert evaluation.