If there was a competition for the worst home problem that could occur – a slab leak is top-ranking, alongside many other disastrous home problems of course. To be put simply, a slab leak is a leak occurring in the plumbing located under the foundation, or concrete slab (hence slab leak) on which your home is built. Yes, leak under the foundation on which your home is built. A slab leak can cause a plethora of problems to your home, including growth of mold and severe water damage. A slab leak will also have major consequences on the health of the household due to the growth of mold, as it’s inevitable due to the location of the leak. Breathing mold for an extended period will cause respiratory issues. The sooner you catch and rectify the issue the better, the more time that goes on with a slab leak – the amount of damage will increase as will the number of repairs needed to rectify the situation.
Slab leaks are elusive as they are impossible to identify visually. The detection of a slab leak requires education and specific high-tech tools – we at Plumbing West Seattle have the capability and knowledge to detect a slab leak that you may be experiencing.
Some common slab leak symptoms are, but are not limited to the following:
- The Sound Of Running Water When All Water Fixtures Are Off, Or The Water Is Shut Off
- Damp Or Moist Baseboards
- Wet Carpet and Flooring
- Foundational Shift
- Unexplained Increase In Water Bill; This Can Be A Gradual Increase Or Huge Spike From Previous Month
- Decrease In Water Pressure
- Mold Growth
- Noticeable Mold Or Mildew Smell Throughout The Home; Visible Mold Or Mildew On Baseboards
- Hot Or Warm Spots On The Floor
- Pooling Water On The Floor; Unexplained Puddles Of Water On The Floor
If your home is experiencing any of the above unexplained symptoms – it’s time to call in professional help to appropriately diagnose the situation.
There are four main reasons why slab leaks happen, and they are as follows:
- Thermal Expansion – Thermal expansion happens in every home with traditional plumbing, it occurs when water is repeatedly heated and cooled. This occurs more often in homes that are still equipped with tank water heaters. The pipes will continuously expand and contract with the hot and cold, this causes the piping to rub against the concrete slab, causing the pipe damage and eventually leading to leaks beneath your foundation.
- Flux in Water Pressure – the continuous fluctuations of water pressure can lead to leaks beneath the foundation of your home as well as other places within your home. The pressure of the water coming into your home can sometimes be more than the recommended water pressure for your home, leading to the bursting of pipes. The recommended pressure of water within your home plumbing is 60 to 80 PSI.
- Under Pressure – Large amounts of pressure placed on the water pipes, this pressure comes from a variety of sources like: shifting of soil beneath the home, foundational shift(s), poor property construction and pressure from natural causes like flooding. When slab leaks are caused by a large amount of pressure being put on the pipes this typically leads to a major burst of a pipe – with a major pipe burst comes major amounts of water, and severe water damage to the home.
- Corroded Pipes – Slab leaks happen when a leak occurs in the plumbing below the foundation, or concrete slab of a home. More so than not, slab leaks occur in pipes that carry hot water as they are more prone to corrosion than those that carry cold water. This is commonly the case because corrosion happens more quickly to hot water pipes due to the reaction of the water heat and the pipe material – it will cause a corrosive effect from the outside in, weakening the pipe over time until a leak springs.
When we’ve thoroughly assessed your plumbing situation and diagnosed your home with the use of proper diagnostic tools and the conclusion is indeed that your home has a slab leak, the next step is repairing home’s plumbing bringing it back to functionality.
There are a few possible repair options for a slab leak as every situation varies, repair options vary as well:
- Re-Piping – Re-piping is a common repair solution when the leak is severe or there are multiple leaks. This repair option is a great way to permanently stop the pesky leaks from happening again. This task is no small feat, as it requires invasive cutting into the floor as well as the slab to be able to access the leaky plumbing and install brand new piping.
- Re-Lining of the Pipe – This option depends on the size of the leak. If the leak isn’t too major, a new liner can be pushed into the pipe. The liner covers the hole in the pipe and seals the leak, fixing the problem. The option is trenchless and does not require the extensive digging and cutting into the floors and slab of your home. Only access to the beginning of the pipe is necessary as the liner will be pushed and manipulated thru the pipes until it reaches the leak. A flexible sleeve infused with epoxy is drug through pipe, curing the place of repair along the way.
- Re-Routing of the Pipe – Pipe rerouting is ideal if only a short portion of pipe needs to be repaired as it would not be a desirable option for complete pipe replacement. This repair choice entails replacing a short portion of pipe and is run above the ground. And, like pipe relining, it is a non-invasive service.
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Whether you require simply deplete cleaning or a whole pipes registration, call our group of qualified and talented plumbers. we take pride in the work we perform with our dedicated staff.
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We are more than happy to give advice on which solution is most suitable for your needs, depending on your Plumbing Serviecs. Why not ask us to view your property and discuss the various options with you now. Our advice is free!