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What's A Slab Leak (And Why Should You Worry)?

Water

Many plumbing leaks are quite obvious, such as when water is spilling out onto your floor from the cabinet under the kitchen sink. We often assume that we would know if something was wrong with the plumbing in our own homes, but the fact is, this is rarely the case.

Most plumbing leaks are actually hidden from view, and unfortunately, they tend to do the most damage in parts of the home you cannot see. One of the most severe of these leaks is a slab leak. This is a leak that occurs underneath the concrete slab foundation of a home (for those homes without basements or other forms of foundation).

WHAT’S THE SOURCE OF THE LEAK?

So where does a leak underneath your concrete slab foundation come from? There are water pipes that may run underneath the slab in order to run down to the main water line that supplies water to your home. The leak may occur do to standard corrosion that happens with time, which is why we recommend regular inspections of older plumbing systems. However, even pipes that are only a decade or two old can suffer from pitted corrosion that leaves small holes in the pipes.

More likely a slab leak can occur at the hot water lines. Hot water pipes may react with the environment around them, contracting and expanding leading to faster corrosion.

WHAT KIND OF DAMAGE CAN IT DO?

A slab leak can do quite a bit of damage to your home. Unfortunately, many people do not catch a slab leak until it is too late. Your concrete slab foundation may already be cracked or otherwise damaged, but it can only worsen with time.

Cracks to the foundation, the walls, and other structural support of the home are half the problem. The other half is the mold and mildew that can build up as a result of a leak, something you don’t want your family breathing in. And then, of course, if a leak is too severe, it could flood your property, damaging belongings or stopping up your water supply.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A SLAB LEAK?

A slab leak may show signs immediately or it may take time for them to be noticeable. In any case, call in a plumber and contact your insurance company ASAP if you notice:

  • A sharp drop in your water pressure.
  • Warm spots on the floor (resulting from a hot water line leak).
  • The sound of rushing water from the floor.
  • High water bills.

SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED?

A slab leak is troublesome for a couple of reasons. First, some insurance companies don’t cover a slab leak, or they may have certain stipulations that make it difficult to get covered for this particular issue. One way to reduce your worry is to call your homeowners’ insurance company to find out more about your policy, so you know how to react after a slab leak.

The good news is that a slab leak can be fixed and the damage can be repaired—you just have to know the signs and call as soon as you can. A plumber might patch up the leak by drilling into the slab, or they may be able to reroute the plumbing around the leak. Call us today to get your plumbing repair!

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