Slab leaks rank among the most serious plumbing issues that a homeowner may face. In and of themselves, they’re not that extraordinary: just a leak in a pipe similar to the kind that plumbers deal with every day. The only problem is that the leak takes place in a pipe located beneath the foundation of your home, or sometimes buried in the concrete itself. (Slab leaks can also take place under cement porches, pools, and the like.)
Not only does that make reaching the leak difficult (though in some cases plumbers can divert the water by laying down a new length of pipe), but it means detecting it can be very difficult. Slab leaks can often go for months or even years before anyone notices them, and in that time the damage can be considerable. Dripping water can literally split your foundation open given time and opportunity, and unless the slab leak is addressed in a responsible way, you could be facing some very serious costs to correct it.
The good news is that a trained plumbing team can identify the spot of the slab leak and take steps to correct it, as well as helping to ensure that it never happens again. The bad news is that you need to be able to spot the signs of a problem first. They can be subtle, but they are distinctive. They can include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Puddles. Water from a slab leak may end up spreading around the porch or foundation of the home. This will result in puddles forming along the foundation, often without any apparent source.
- High Bills. In most cases, you’ll pay for the water lost in the leak, which will result in an unexpected spike in your bills (despite the fact that you’re not using your water any more often than normal). This is usually the easiest way to spot the problem. Though depending on the severity of the leak, it can cost you quite a bit.
- Warm Spots or Cold Spots. If the leaking pipe is a hot water pipe, it may warm the floor or the concrete above it. Cold water will create a cold spot in much the same way.
- Sounds. A slab leak will sometimes leave sounds of dripping or running water. In most cases, the sounds will have no obvious cause and take place in parts of the home where no such sound should be.
- Cracks. In the later stages of a slab leak, cracks and fissures will form in the cement. This is a serious situation requiring the immediate attention of a professional technician.
The usual response to a slab leak is to cut off the water and run a new length of pipe around the foundation. In some cases, the cement will need to be dug into and re-poured in order to fix the problem the right way.
If you detect a slab leak in your Irving, TX home, shut off the water and call Earthwise Home Services immediately!