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What You Need to Know About Slab Leaks

Beware of Slab Leaks 

Homeowners should count themselves lucky if they have never dealt with a slab leak. Slab leaks are among the worst types of plumbing leaks because of the high risk of property damage and the potential cost of repairs. Our experienced plumbing contractors give a brief overview of everything homeowners need to know about slab leaks in this blog post. 

Slab leaks are a type of plumbing leak located under a house's concrete foundation. The leak's location makes it nearly impossible to detect and fix before extensive water damage can occur. 

slab leak

Foundation Leaks Explained

Most homes have a concrete foundation that anchors the structure into the dirt, and the “slab” is a solid slab of concrete that sits below the first floor. Some of a house’s plumbing, including important pipes that connect to the main water line and sewer line, usually run under the slab. Water can rise into the house through the slab when these underground pipes burst or leak. 

Tell-tale signs of a slab leak are unexplainable wet, cold, or humid patches on the floor and signs of water damage like warped floorboards or cracked tiles. An underground pipe leak can soften the soil with water, which might cause the foundation to shift and the leak to worsen. Sometimes it’s possible to tell if the soil has shifted around the foundation of a home after a rainstorm or earthquake by looking at how plants have shifted on the landscape. 

Slab Leaks Are Damaging Plumbing Leaks 

Slab leaks are particularly damaging plumbing leaks because of how long it takes to detect them. The underground pipes are hidden away out of sight, so homeowners often do not notice that there is a problem until extensive water damage has already occurred. The location of the pipes also makes repairs more difficult. 

It could take weeks for the water to leak up into the slab from underground pipes and through the floor to catch the homeowner’s attention. In the meantime, the leak could be causing mold to grow and throwing off the structural integrity of the building. Mold is harmful to human health when inhaled and leads to illness. 

Utility bills are another way that slab leaks cost homeowners money. A sudden, unexplainable spike in water bills could be due to underground plumbing leaks. 

Can Plumbers Fix a Slab Leak?plumber

It takes a skilled and experienced plumbing contractor to fix a slab leak. The location of pipes beneath the foundation makes it hard to find the leak and repair it. Slab leak detection is aided by specialized plumbing tools such as leak detectors. Leak detectors read moisture levels or listen for the sound of running water to find the leak. 

To avoid having to rip up the floor and drill through the concrete slab to repair the leak, sometimes plumbers shut off the water supply to the leaking pipe and reroute the plumbing instead. In some cases, it is necessary to remove the floor to fix the cracked foundation and repair the plumbing leak. Homeowners should trust an experienced plumbing contractor to fix the slab leak in the best way for the situation depending on the water damage and location of the leak. 

About RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning is a family-owned and operated company that has served its neighbors in South Plainfield and the surrounding areas since 1985. They provide upfront pricing, fast turnarounds, and a satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for plumbing services in South Plainfield, NJ.