Slab Leak Repair is needed when you have signs of a leak
A slab leak repair is needed when water leaks below the concrete slab upon which your house sits. Slab leaks can have many causes, lead to significant damage, and become very costly to repair. It’s important to discover you need a slab leak repair. The most common causes of slab leaks are:
- Ground Shifts: Over time, the massive weight of a house takes a toll on the
concrete slab and the earth on which it was built, leading to the slab settling and
the ground shifting. If the shift is significant enough, it puts pressure on the
water lines, which leads to cracking and leaks.
- Clay Below the Foundation: Clay expands when it is wet and shrinks when it
dries. This expanding and contracting has the same effect as ground shifts and
causes the concrete to eventually crack. The underground plumbing is
connected to the slab and when movement occurs, a fitting can loosen or crack,
causing a leak.
- Natural Disasters: Natural disasters have the same effect as ground shifts, but
the effects occur more quickly.
- Faulty Wrapping: During normal use, pipes expand and contract. If the pipes are
not wrapped, or if they are wrapped improperly, they will rub directly against
the concrete in the slab. Over time, this leads to cracks and leaks.
- Nicked line: Sometimes, pipes are slightly damaged during installation. The
damage is not significant enough to cause leaking during the initial inspections,
but over time, the pipe will erode and the small nick will become a leaky crack.
- Electrolysis: Copper in pipes interacts with minerals in the soil beneath the slab,
causing a subtle electrical reaction that erodes the pipes until they leak.
It is important to detect a slab leak repair early, so it does not cause major damage. Once the slab leak is detected, it is important to act quickly. Each day you wait contributes more to the damage, raising repair costs. If you wait long enough, your home might end up severally structurally damaged in both the foundation and the walls- your windows can even shatter and cause significant bodily injury.
Signs you need a slab leak repair include:
- Audible running water when your water is turned off;
- Low water pressure;
- A hot spot in the floor can indicate a leak in the hot water line;
- Your carpet is damp or your flooring is warped;
- You find mold underneath your carpet;
- There is a musky smell, like that of a damp basement, or (even worse) there is a smell of sewage;
- If the leak is under your yard, you will see flooding in your yard, mushy patches of grass, or ruined landscaping;
- Though not conclusive, a cracked slab (especially if coupled with another indicator) is a sign of a slab leak;
- If your water bill is abnormally high, it might be due to a slab leak;
If you determine that you need a slab leak repair you must next find the location of the leak. To avoid having to smash up your concrete and dig into your foundation, it is best to use an electronic detection tool. Most likely, you will want to find a leak detection specialist to find the location of your slab leak repair spot. You should be able to find a quality specialist for around $150-$400. Slab leaks are very difficult to fix on your own and attempting to do so can lead to more severe damage to your property. When faced with a slab leak, it is best to leave the DIY book on its shelf and call a professional. The professionals have several different options for fixing a slab leak:
- Epoxy restoration: If your leak can be fixed by epoxy restoration, you are lucky.
Epoxy restoration requires very little demolition of your home and is
consequently the least expensive method of slab leak repair. In epoxy
restoration, the professional makes two access holes to access the leak for
- Re-piping: Re-piping is the method of choice when a house has multiple slab
leaks. Re-piping is also good because it puts a permanent stop to leaks. In re-
piping, the professional installs an entirely new, durable piping system that
utilizes expansion to ensure the fittings are secure and the system is leak free. If
you go this route, be sure to inquire about the system’s warranty (look for a
- Pipe re-routing: Pipe re-routing requires the demolition of concrete and is the
method of choice when pipes in both the walls and floors must be replaced.
The pipe re-routing method is ideal if only a short amount of pipe needs
replacing, because that will limit the high demo and labor costs associated with
this method of slab leak repair.
The national average cost of slab leak repair as of 2014 was $2,000. However, slab leak repair Indianapolis can be as low as $300 for a simple fix and as high as $8,000 if there is serious damage and it requires pipe re-routing. However, despite the high costs, you need to have slab leaks repaired immediately. Slab leaks can lead to mold, which can lead to deadly respiratory issues and cause major structural damage to your home by rotting supporting structures. At the first sign of any potential slab leak, it is best to bite the bullet, call an experienced plumber, and rectify the situation immediately.