A slab leak can occur when the home is built on a concrete slab and the pipes run underneath it. Unfortunately, a leak below the slab, resulting from cracks in the pipe, can become dangerous and cause extensive damage if let go. Your foundation and walls could become compromised over time. Bad odors from the leaking water could result. Mold spores could also be created, a threat to the health of everyone living in the house. This sort of problem does not get better and needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
How are slab leaks detected?
If you develop water spots that appear on your floor, caused by water seeping through the slab, and not, say, from the ceiling, you very likely have a slab leak. Other signs include a spike in your water bill and a perceptible drop in water pressure. Sometimes a slab leak goes undetected for quite a long time, so an annual check of your home’s plumbing is essential to catch a small problem before it becomes a big problem. A plumber has specialized equipment to detect leaks and locate where they are occurring.
How are slab leaks repaired?
Unfortunately, there are no cheap ways to repair a slab leak. Depending on the nature of the leak and how many exist, a plumber can cut through the floor and the slab to get at the pipe to effect repairs, or the plumber will dig under the house to access the leaky pipe and replace it. Another option is called trenchless pipe repair, which tends to be less invasive and cheaper to undertake. Everything depends on how old your house is and what material your pipes are made of.
If you think that you have a slab leak, or if an annual inspection detects one, do not hesitate to get it fixed. The consequences of letting it go far outweigh the costs.
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