Slab leaks are one of the worst plumbing disasters that any homeowner or business owner can have. They can cause damage that is incredibly expensive to fix. When caught early, it can save a person a large amount of money. Slab leaks can also cause health issues amongst the occupants of the structure. Therefore, it is extremely important to know what a slab leak is and recognize the signs of one so that you can contact a commercial slab leak detection and repair plumber immediately. Do not hesitate; slab leaks can become a huge problem in only a short period of time.
What is a Slab Leak
So what is a slab leak? Slab leaks are essentially when fractured water lines cause a leak under slab of your home or business. As your structure ages, a water leak in slab foundation becomes more and more likely. The soil that the slab sits on shifts over time, causing your foundation to shift along with it, affecting the pipes under your home or business. Your business likely sits on a watershed, resulting in the runoff from rainwater causing shifts in the foundation and leading to a slab leak. Slab leaks are a dangerous and damaging problem for any person to have. Along with the foundation problems, slab leaks can also cause problems to the health and wellbeing of the occupants of the structure that rests on the slab. Slab leaks that go unnoticed can cause a haven for the growth of mold. This can lead to serious respiratory problems amongst people breathing that air. If you find mold under the carpet of your home or business, it is essential that you contact a plumber that specializes in slab leak repair.
What Causes a Slab Leak
It is important that you are able to recognize what causes a slab leak in the foundation to occur. Catching a slab leak early can save you a tremendous amount of money and time. A few of the things that can cause are as follows:
Shifts in the Ground
Over time, the sheer weight of your structure can have a tremendous impact on your slab foundation and the soil below it. This pressure can inevitably cause shifts in the ground that your foundation sits on as the building re-settles. This pressure will then affect the water lines that run through and around the slab, resulting in leaks and fractures.
Damaged Water Line
There are a few instances where the workers laying a concrete foundation cause some sort of small damage to the water line. This can go unnoticed in the initial inspection due to the small size of the nick or cut. Over time, the water that passes through this line can erode the lining until there is a leak.
The quality of the water where your home or business is located can cause damage to your plumbing system. The acidity of your water has an adverse affect on
your pipes. If it is too acidic or too basic, it is cause for concern. Therefore, it is important to conduct a simple pH test of your water. Some of the signs that your water’s pH balance is off is if you notice a teal-colored ring in the tub or sink; also, if there is a chlorine smell when you turn on the water.
High Water Pressure
Another reason slabs leak is the high pressure that water can put on the pipes. This pressure is often caused by design flaws upon initial installation of water lines in your structure. If you notice water pressure that is abnormally high, contact a trusted local plumber to come and do an inspection of your system.
These are just a few of the causes of a slab leak. It is important to stay vigilant and aware of any odd things happening with your system.
7 Signs of a Slab Leak in Your Foundation
Now that we’ve looked at what causes a slab leak, let’s dive into the warning signs to watch for when water leaking from concrete slab is occurring.
1. Higher than Normal Water Bill
One of the most common ways to discover that a slab leak is occurring is through a water bill. If you notice that your water bill is unusually high and you’re using the same amount of water as you usually do, then there is a high likelihood that there is a leak somewhere. If you check all of the pipes in your home or business and notice nothing unusual, then there is likely a non-visible leak underneath the foundation.
2. Running Water Sound
If you can hear running water, but there are no faucets running, then there is likely a leak somewhere.
3. Drop in Water Pressure
This warning sign is one of the easier ones to notice. If you’re taking a shower or waning your hands and the water pressure isn’t as strong as it usually is, there is likely a leak somewhere.
4. Damp/Warped Floors
This might seem like an obvious warning sign, but it can be difficult to notice. When a slab leak occurs, the water has to travel somewhere. Often times, that is to the flooring. What happens to the flooring depends on what type of floors you have. If you have carpet, it will become damp or even drenched. If you have wood or laminate flooring, you will notice the floors will become warped.
If there is a slab leak that goes unnoticed for a period of time, then mold can begin to develop. Drywall and carpet become a breeding ground and a sanctuary for mold to thrive. If you notice mold growing anywhere in your home or business, it is important to contact a plumber to come do a free plumbing inspection to find the source of moisture.
6. Foul Smells
This mold buildup will lead to a foul, musky odor engulfing your home or business. If the leak is to the sewer line, the smell will be much worse than just musky. This is a clear indicator that a plumbing-related issue has occurred that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
7. Warm spots on the floor throughout the building
Sometimes, if warm water is leaking underneath the foundation of a home or business, there will be hot spots sparsely scattered throughout the flooring system. If you notice any warm spots, and you don’t have heated floors, then there is likely a leak occurring.
It is important that if you notice any of these warning signs to contact an expert plumbing service to find the source of the problem. If you hesitate too long, the problem can turn into a disaster.
Plumbing Leak Under Slab
When a plumbing leak under slab occurs, the worst can happen. It can take a tremendous amount of time and money to fix if it is not caught in a timely manner. It is extremely important that you take immediate action to solve any plumbing problem before it becomes a disaster. However, don’t take it on alone. Contact a local plumber that specializes in slab leak detection to do an inspection of your property to see what further action needs to be taken. Plumbing leaks under the slab can be caused by a variety of different factors. These factors include, but are not limited to shifting earth, poor construction of foundation, high water pressure, poor water quality, plus much more. Noticing any of these signs is key to getting ahead of the problem and finding the best solution to fix it.
Why it is Important to Call a Commercial Plumber if You Suspect a Water Leak
Unless you are an expert plumber, it is extremely important that you don’t take on a plumbing disaster alone. There are many plumbers in my area that are more than equipped to take on any plumbing problem you might have. So if you suspect a water leak, don’t hesitate. Every day you put off solving this problem is just another day for damage to continue to occur and get worse. Many people believe that simple internet searches of DIY plumbing articles or how-to tutorials can help you solve this problem. While it might cause a temporary fix, there is nothing like getting an expert plumber to get straight to the source and fix the problem once and for all.
It is also important to contact an expert plumber because they will take all of the necessary precautions. Many home or business owners try to take on the plumbing project themselves and neglect proper safety procedures that should be taken to complete it. In fact, it can be dangerous and even deadly for a person that has no plumbing experience to take on such a task.
If safety isn’t reason enough for you to forgo a slab leak repair project, then maybe the warranty reason will. Most plumbing companies offer warranty on all projects they complete. This warranty can end up saving you more money than if you took on the project alone and made an error. It can also give you peace of mind in knowing that you’ll be covered no matter what.
Free Camera Inspection for Slab Leak Detection
Many plumbers are able to offer a free camera inspection for slab leak detection. This incredible service utilizes a technology where a camera is snaked through your plumbing system. This helps the plumbers locate the exact location of a problem that is occurring within the pipes of your home or business. Utilizing this service allows you to save an enormous amount of money on potential unnecessary plumbing repairs. There are some plumbing companies that actually include a free video inspection of your plumbing system after the procedure is complete so that you know exactly what was done. If you own any sort of property, whether it be a home or business, it is highly recommended that a sewer camera inspection should be conducted on an annual basis. This can ensure that if there are any small issues with your plumbing system, they can be addressed before they become to big of a problem. Slab leaks are a serious issue and it is important to avoid one by all means necessary.
Does Insurance Cover Slab Leak Detection and Repair
Let’s say that a slab leak has occurred and you’re anxious that the price might be out of the range you’re willing to pay. That’s when insurance can come in handy. Thankfully, most slab leaks are covered by homeowner’s insurance. However, it is important to read into your insurance policy to see for how much you are actually covered. If you are covered for accidental emergencies, then there is a high likelihood that you will be covered by your insurance provider. However, if an adjuster concludes that the leak was caused by failure to properly maintain the pipes, then your insurance company might not cover the cost to repair your slab. Also, if you wait too long to address a slab leak, then your insurance company might not be able to cover problems that have advanced passed a certain point. It is always good practice to talk with your insurance agent to see for what plumbing issues you are covered and see what you can do if you’re not. There are many cases where people are not covered for the actual repair of the plumbing system, just the things it damaged or destroyed. These include floors, personal belongings, appliances, etc. Again, it all just depends on your insurance policy.
Do I Need a Slab Leak Repair Plumber
Slab leaks cause homeowners and business owners alike major stress and headaches. So, how do I know if I need a slab leak repair plumber? Earlier, we discussed some of the warning signs associated with slab leaks and why it is important to stay on top of it. If a person lets a slab leak go undetected for an extended period of time, then the leak can begin to saturate the soil around the foundation of a building. Once that ground becomes over saturated, it can cause major problems to the foundation of any home or business. The foundation can begin to shift or even crack, causing major structural damage to the building. In addition to the foundation problems, the leak can find its way into the building or home, causing damage to any belongings within the structure. If you suspect that a leak is occurring, it is better to be safe than sorry. Contact a plumber that is an expert commercial slab leak detector to analyze and diagnose the problem. These plumbers have the equipment, knowledge, and experience to repair any plumbing disaster; they will be able to solve the problem in a timely and cost-effective manner, so you can have peace of mind in knowing that it will get done right and with little to no hassle.
How to Fix a Slab Leak
Now that a leak has occurred to your slab, you might be wondering how you should go about getting it fixed. You might also be thinking, “hmm, I wonder if I can do it myself?” Unless you are an expert plumber, it is not recommended that an unexperienced individual takes on this project.
Now that you know that a person should not take on this massive project alone, you still might be a little curious as to how a plumber solves this disastrous problem. There are several different techniques that plumbers approach to fix a slab leak; some of these are more intrusive than other methods. It is important that you know each method plumbers utilize so that you can be in constant communication with your plumber and know exactly what is going on. The following is a list of a few of the methods plumbers utilize:
Repiping the Plumbing System
One of the methods that plumbers approach to solve a slab
leak is by repiping the entire plumbing system. This method is usually utilized when the home or business’ pipes are old and leaks have become a common problem.
Open Up the Foundation
If the home or building is newer, then the plumber might choose to completely cut open the foundation in order to repair the fractured pipe.
If completely opening up the foundation to repair the pipes isn’t a cost-effective solution, then the plumbers might approach the problem by applying a pipe coating. These pipe coatings utilize an epoxy coating that can solve almost any problem within the system. It is a cost effective, environmentally friendly solution that can restore any pipe. Talk to your plumber to see if a pipe coating is right for you.
Each of these solutions also depend on the location and severity of the leak, so be sure to remain in constant communication with your expert plumber.
What to Do When You Find a Water Leak Under Concrete Slab**
You might be wondering what to do when you find a water leak under concrete slab. This might seem obvious, but contact a plumber immediately. But what if it is the middle of the night? Not to fret, there are many plumbing companies that offer 24 hour emergency plumbing service. Plumbing disaster never seem to happen at a convenient time of day, so it is important to find a plumbing service that is available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These plumbing companies have many expert plumbers on standby who are ready to go to work for you now. If it is the middle of the night and you cannot get into contact with a 24 hour plumber, turn off the water supply to your house and call a plumber as soon as the morning breaks.
What Does it Cost to Repair a Slab Leak
It is very important to any homeowner or business owner to know the price of slab leak repair. Although it varies amongst plumbers, you can get a general idea of how much a project like this costs. The average cost of slab leak repair is as follows:
Typical slab leak detection service can cost anywhere from $125-$400. This price includes a knowledgable plumber and all of the unique equipment that is associated with detecting a slab leak. Some plumbing companies include this as part of their repair costs. It is important to check with the company to see what your options are.
If the method of opening up the foundation is chosen to repair the leak, then costs can run anywhere from $500 to $4,000+. The price depends on local rates and the severity of the problem. This is why it is extremely important to catch slab leaks early before they become a huge expense.
If it is concluded that the pipe system running through your home or business is old and prone to fracturing, then the repiping system might be chosen. Replacing an entire plumbing system can run anywhere from $2,000-$15,000. There is virtually no way to avoid this one.
If the pipes need to be re-routed, the cost can be anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. This procedure usually occurs when pipes are being bombarded with too much pressure, making it more susceptible to leaks.
Also, check with your insurance to see if there are any expenses that they might be able to cover. Often times, insurance companies only cover water damage that has occurred to floors, personal items, etc.
What are Some Slab Leak Repair Options for Commercial Buildings
Foundations differ between residential and commercial properties. Many plumbing companies only have experience working with residential foundations, so it can be difficult to find a plumbing company that specializes in slab leak repair for commercial properties. Usually, a simple search of the plumbing company’s website will inform you of their experience dealing with commercial properties. It is important to get a plumbing company that has experience dealing with businesses and other commercial structures because the content within your business is invaluable.
Finding a knowledgable plumbing company for commercial slab leak detection is important to every business and property owner who has suffered from a slab leak. Thankfully, there are expert plumbers who are highly equipped to solve any plumbing related problem that your property faces. It is important to start the process of repairing your leaking slab as soon as possible before it turns into a huge, expensive problem. Give yourself the peace of mind you deserve an contact an expert today.