Most people are aware of the trouble that plumbing leaks can cause inside a home, but many people are not aware that you can have leaks literally encased in your foundation as well. Some leaks are not visible to the naked eye, but they can cause just as much if not more damage if they are not promptly dealt with.
Known as slab leaks, it is vital to call someone for prompt slab leak repair in Orange County, CA if you have reason to suspect there is a leak inside of your concrete foundation. The sooner you act, the more options you will likely have and the lower the overall cost for repair. While there are several cost-effective options for slab leak repair, the ensuing damage of a leak that is not addressed can quickly add up.
What Are Slab Leaks?
A slab leak is when the piping underneath of your home’s concrete foundation breaks or starts to leak. Once the slab leak occurs, water seeps into the foundation of your home and into the ground which can cause shifting and a great deal of water damage.
If left unrepaired for too long, a slab leak can also compromise the foundation of your home. This is why it is vital that you look for a plumbing company that can handle slab leaks effectively the minute you suspect the presence of a slab leak. In addition to water damage, a slab leak can cause humidity issues inside of your home which can lead to the growth of mold.
What Are Some Common Signs You May Need Slab Leak Repair?
The problem with slab leaks is that they are hidden away from your view. Many people do not realize that they have slab leaks until the damage has already been done. This said, there are a few casual signs that may indicate you have a slab leak. A combination of any of these signs should instigate a prompt call to a plumber. Time is of the essence when it comes to slab leaks, so trust your gut if any of the following sound familiar.
- If it sounds like water is running through your home, but you don’t have any appliances or faucets turned on, there is a good chance the water you hear is caused by a slab leak.
- Many people don’t suspect a slab leak until their water bill is suddenly higher than usual. A high-water bill is indicative of a leak somewhere in your home. If you can’t find an obvious leak, then it may be time to look for something that can’t be easily seen such as a slab leak.
- Warm spots on the floor created when the water leaking under the foundation is hot and therefore suspiciously heating only isolated areas of the floor.
- Random areas of carpet mold or mildew. This occurs when the slab leak has gone undetected for long enough that the foundation is saturated with water and allows moisture to start to come into the home from the ground up.
Causes of Slab Leaks
When something goes wrong, people always want to know the cause so they can prevent being hit with a hefty slab leak repair bill again in the future. Sometimes slab leaks can be prevented, sometimes they are simply unavoidable. If you live in an older home or an area like Orange County, CA that is subject to earthquakes, you should be particularly alert to the possibility of slab leaks.
• Natural Disasters– As just mentioned, natural disasters can cause the ground to shift which in turn places extra pressure on the water lines. Areas that are prone to earthquakes in particular have issues with slab leaks.
• Ground Shifts Over Time– Earthquakes are not the only reason that the ground shifts. Over time, the weight of a home pressing down on the concrete foundation and in turn onto the soil of the earth will cause the earth to shift. This is a very gradual process, so natural ground shifts usually only affect older homes. However, if the soil shifts enough than the water lines may crack or leak under the pressure.
• Poor Wrapping During Installation– Sometimes builders or contractors take shortcuts and either fail to wrap piping or wrap it improperly. Pipes naturally expand and contract as water of different temperatures flows through them. Without the proper wrapping to protect them, the pipes will rub against the concrete which over time wears down their integrity until leaks and cracks appear.
• Foundation Made of Clay Soil– Clay expands and shrinks dependent on whether it is wet or dry. This causes the concrete to lose its integrity and eventually crack. Since the plumbing is connected to the concrete when the concrete starts to crack the piping will loosen or crack itself resulting in a leak.
• Electrolysis– Sometimes simple science is the reason that slab leaks appear. Many pipes are made out of copper, which is generally not a problem. However, the soil underneath concrete slabs contain minerals that can interact with the copper. When the minerals and copper come in contact with each other they cause an electrical reaction that slowly erodes pipes until a leak spring out.
Slab Leak Repair Options
In general, there are three ways that you can approach slab leak repair in Orange County, CA. Some plumbers may want to simply take a jackhammer to your foundation, but this is a costly and unnecessary way to remedy the problem. A properly certified and trained plumber should be able to offer you one of three options based on the extent of the slab leak damage.
First is epoxy restoration. This is the simplest and cheapest way to fix a slab leak. A trained plumber will make two small access holes in the foundation where the leak has occurred, and then uses them to fix the leak much like a surgeon operates laparoscopically.
The second method is known as re-piping. This method is a great choice when a home has several slab leaks that need addressed. As part of re-piping slab leak repair, the plumber will install a new piping system to replace the leaking sections and ensure that you don’t have to deal with future leaks. This is a great permanent solution to slab leaks in an older home.
Finally, when water damage has become so extensive that the walls and floors need replaced, pipe re-routing will help remedy the situation. The area that is affected by slab repair will be demolished and then new pipes will be placed into the floors and walls to completely solve the problem. This is the most expensive approach since it includes a large amount of demolition, labor, and replacement materials. Call us at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain for all of your slab leak repair and plumbing needs!
Photo By designbydx at Shutterstock
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