What is a slab leak?
Home construction is a time-consuming and complicated process. Some various techniques and materials are used to build houses. These techniques are often influenced by heritage, culture, and trends prevalent at the time of construction.
During the post-World War II construction boom, slab building became popular. It was quicker and less expensive. A 4″–6″ thick rebar-reinforced concrete slab is poured directly onto a prepared surface. Plumbing pipes are buried beneath the slab, making them impossible to access. This gave rise to one of the most destructive issues for a homeowner. Does this situation lead to the answer of what is a slab leak?
From the above context, it becomes clear that water leaks under a concrete slab are known as slab leaks. However, these types of leaks can cause significant damage to a house.
How to detect a slab leak?
Transitioning to how to detect a slab leak is an integral part of the bigger picture- what is a slab leak? The biggest challenge with repairing a slab leak is to see its source. Nevertheless, the task at hand is difficult, not impossible. Knowing what to look for can help in solving the problem immediately and prevent further harm. The alarming red flags are indicated by the following signs for the underlying cause of the slab leak that needs immediate repair.
- Rise is the water bill.
If there is a leak, water will run continuously rather than only when turned on, resulting in the rise of the water bills. However, consider that there are no subordinate causes to rise in water bills such as visiting guests or a new appliance like a washing machine. If no leak is detected within the house, the culprit may be hiding under a slab.
- Drop in the water pressure
If there is a leak, water is being diverted to another path where it should not. Thereby, the water in the pipes leading to taps and other sources see a pressure drop. It might be a slab leak if the reduction in water pressure happens suddenly rather than as a gradual progression while no other fixtures are in operation at the same time. 3. Hot Spots on the floor
Hot water pipes are the source of about 80% of slab leaks. The hot water ultimately heats the concrete above it as it drains into the earth. Eventually, flooring begins to heat up as the concrete heats. Hardwood, tile, and linoleum floors are more susceptible to these blemishes. It may be more challenging to spot them through carpets. If there are scorching areas on the floor, it might signify that the hot water line is leaking.
- Presence of odor
Water leaks are often accompanied by mold. Consequently, mold emits a strong, pungent, foul odor hinting at a water leak. The presence of a moldy odor is a blazing red flag to an active water leak. If a leak is present under a slab, the mold may not be visible. However, the odor is undoubtedly free to travel.
- An unexplained damp spot or pool of water
When water leaks on surfaces, it is bound to collect and form damp spots or a pool. An obvious symptom of damage to the carpets or floors is indicative of an apparent water leak underneath.
Once a leak has been diagnosed, it is best to move to the next stage of repair without any delay. How to fix a slab leak?
A slab leak needs more than a repair of a part or two. The process is often troublesome and expensive but necessary. Before beginning with the expedition, it is best to check if the insurance covers the expenses or not and accordingly choose the best possible solution. Some of the slab leak fixing procedures are as follows.
- Rerouting the pipes
- Demolishing the slab to repair the line.
- Underground tunneling
- CIPP- a cured-in-place piping method where repair is done from within the tube. 5. Pipe bursting
Slab leaks are hazardous as they may go unnoticed for an extended period of time. The gradual leaking of water may erode the house’s foundation, resulting in more significant damage that may be unanticipated. Early intervention prolongs the life of the property and prevents significant accidents from happening.