A leak which appears in the water pipes running below the structure’s foundation or maybe in the concrete slab upon which the home rests is known as a slab leak. This type of plumbing leak under slab can trigger many potential problems which may range from acute water damage to the property to humidity issues and invisible mold growth inside the home.
Here are some things to know about slab leaks:
What Causes Slab Leaks?
Corrosion is often identified as the most probable cause of water leaks under slab. For instance, corrosion in pipes or concrete may occur from chemicals present in soil. Hot water pipes may corrode given the combined influence of heat and chemicals, deteriorating from the outside in. On the other hand, cold pipes can corrode from the inside out, triggered by electrolysis occurring inside the pipe.
Likewise, plumbing leaks under the slab can also be caused by underground vibrating pipes that go through a lot of wear and tear. In addition, any pressure problems in the plumbing system can also cause pipes to crack and leak. If the pipe layout is faulty due to improper construction practices, slab leaks will become more probable.
How to Find a Slab Leak
It can be very difficult for homeowners to detect a slab leak visually. However, certain telltale signs can pinpoint to a potential problem. Some of these include an increase in the water bill, moistened baseboards, sound of running water, low water pressure, or wet carpets and floors.
If any of these signs are noticed, a slab leak may be suspected and it becomes crucial to get immediate assistance from a slab repair or foundation repair contractor to minimize property damage and limit costly repairs.
Since the leak is typically concealed within the walls of the home or below the concrete floor, contractors will employ specialized tracing equipment to locate the problem. The detection process can include a visual inspection along with an acoustic survey, and line tracing that can help isolate the problem area.
How to Fix a Slab Leak
Once the cause of a slab water leak has been identified, it can narrow down the options for solving the problem. For instance, contractors specializing in treating water leaks in slab employ a number of techniques to address the issue at hand. Based on the nature and extent of the leak, treatment can include different methods that may or may not involve demolition of property. Some of these include the following:
Spot repair: This technique is most suitable for minor repairs where the slab can be opened up at the exact spot of the leak and the piping repaired. This method is also considered more viable for newer construction as it does not involve heavy demolition and is more cost effective.
Epoxy restoration: This technique demands minimal demolition to the property. Instead, only two access holes are required to reach the leak for repairs. This allows the experts to isolate the leaking line and administer it with an epoxy treatment where the line is dried, cleaned and coated with epoxy. Once the epoxy lining has hardened, the repair is tested and confirmed.
Re-piping: In instances where multiple leaks are identified, contractors will often choose this repair method. When fixing a slab leak using re-piping, a completely new and permanent piping system will be installed that will aim to secure fittings while yielding a leak-free system.
The process of re-piping is invasive and can stir up a lot of dust, but it is also one of the most effective solutions to prevent future slab leaks.
Pipe re-routing: This repair technique does involve levelling and is undertaken when the pipes in floors and walls need to be reinstated as well. This procedure involves deleting the current underground line and running a new line above the ground.
The Tidal Wave Response Solution
Treating a broken water pipe under slab requires professional expertise and should be handled by a reputable contractor specializing in remedying foundation leaks. So, if you suspect a slab leak on your property, and require a slab inspection, call us at Tidal Wave Response for a full range of professional plumbing services in the Atlanta metro area and all Atlanta suburbs.