Slab leaks occur when water starts to leak below the concrete slab that your home rests on. This can make them particularly difficult to notice, but it’s important that you catch them early before extensive damage occurs.
While repairing a slab leak can be relatively inexpensive, a slab leak that goes unrepaired can cause some serious physical and financial damage. Slab leaks can lead to damage to the foundation of your home, and foundation repairs can run anywhere from about $600 to $15,000.
With our guide to slab leak detection, you can stay on top of those hard-to-spot maintenance issues and prevent further damage from taking place.
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Read on to learn more about some of the top signs that you have a slab leak and what you should do about it if you spot any of these signs.
Hot Spots on the Floor
One potential cause of a slab leak is a busted or damaged hot water line. If you have a busted hot water line causing a leak beneath your slab, you may notice an area (or areas) of your ground floor that feels hot to the touch.
Generally, these random hot spots are a pretty good indication that you’re dealing with a slab leak. The only problem is that you’re only going to notice a hot spot if the source is your hot water line. Otherwise, you will need to keep an eye out for other signs of slab leaks.
Unexplained Running Water Sounds
As a homeowner, you probably know by now what it sounds like when you’re sitting in one room and someone turns on the shower or flushes the toilet in another. However, what happens if you keep hearing the sound of running water but no one is actually running water?
Make sure that all of the fixtures in your house are fully turned off and turn off your water heater, as well. Head to the lowest point in your home and listen closely, pointing your ear in the direction of the floor. If it sounds like water is running beneath the floor, you may have a slab leak.
Water Pooling From the Slab or Ground
If the first sign of a slab leak you notice is pooling water that is actually detectable inside your home, you should act fast. At this stage, the slab leak has progressed to a fairly severe stage.
If water is pooling on your floors, that means that it is leaking so much beneath the slab that it is being pushed up past the slab and through your flooring. In addition to repairing the slab, you may also find that you need flooring repairs, as well.
Does your toilet, shower, sink, or other appliance connected to a water line keep having issues? If some of your pipes are routinely stopping up or overflowing, it could be a sign that one of your water lines is damaged beneath the slab.
The problem is that these types of plumbing issues can occur for a number of reasons, including a single faulty pipe closer to the appliance. If you notice recurring plumbing issues, investigate the surrounding area of the affected appliance for other signs of a slab leak.
When water starts building up where it shouldn’t (ie anywhere outside of your pipes), you may encounter mold growth. High humidity and warmth create the perfect breeding ground for mold, which then generates a musty odor.
When mold grows in the usual places–like the bathroom or basement–it’s usually easy to spot and eliminate. However, if you start smelling that earthy smell but can’t locate the mold, it may be growing between your slab and flooring. Remember, mold and humans don’t coexist well, and mold growth should never be ignored.
Cracks or Movement In the Foundation
As we mentioned earlier, a slab leak that goes unrepaired for too long can cause damage to your home’s foundation. Unfortunately, that foundation damage may be the first sign you notice that indicates that you have a slab leak on your hands.
When water builds up, it becomes a pretty powerful force. This can cause cracks in the concrete foundation beneath your home, which may be visible to the naked eye. If the foundation is moving or shifting, you may start to notice cracks in your walls, as well.
What to Do About Slab Leaks
The most important thing to do when you detect a possible slab leak is call in the professionals. Repairing a slab leak is no DIY task, and you’re going to want to make sure that it’s done right the first time.
If you’re not convinced that a slab leak is the source of your problems, request a plumbing inspection. Even if it’s not a slab leak, you’ve got some kind of plumbing problem that needs to be addressed!
To find out more about how slab leaks are repaired and how to find a plumber that you can trust, browse this site.
Catch Slab Leaks Before They Wreak Havoc
Slab leaks aren’t always easy to detect, especially if the lowest point in your home is the basement where you don’t spend much of your time. Keeping an eye out for all of these signs is a great way to protect your home from further damage and ensure that you get the professional help you need right away.
Looking for more ways to protect yourself from unexpected and destructive costs? Take a look around for posts and more that will help you avoid unnecessary spending.