You can tell when your faucet leaks by the water droplets dripping down. You may also recognize a leaky pipe when you notice water has pooled directly beneath it. However, you may not tell when you have a slab leak as easily as this leak is happening beneath your home and in its foundation.
There are pipes that run beneath your home’s foundation, which is the large concrete slab that your house is built upon. If your foundation shifts for any reason, whether it be because of nature, poor placement, or general corrosion, then that shift will affect the water lines below it and can cause a slab leak.
Problems that arise because of a slab leak include major flooding and water damage. As with all leaks that involve running water or your water lines, you may even see an increase on your water bill from the constant flow. Fortunately, there are a few more signs that can indicate you have a slab leak, and may get ahead of the worst of its problems.
One of the first signs of a slab leak is if your floor is hot. It is estimated that around 80 percent of slab leaks involve hot water instead of cold water, and that hot water will warm up the slab and your flooring. Hearing different water sounds, like rushing or humming near your sink, can indicate that your warm water is constantly running and leaking down to the slab.
A warm floor might be difficult to notice, but a wet floor is hard to miss. Leaking water from your pipes will find a low spot to pool, and if enough water pools you will have flooding and water damage that can lead to mold and mildew. Leaks also cause lower water pressure, so that is another thing you need to be looking out for.
Slab leaks do not appear out of nowhere, but can be caused by the corrosion or abrasion of older pipes. Older homes may be more likely to experience a slab leak because of copper pipes, which are more prone to damage as they age.
Pipes beneath the foundation are also not firmly in place. They tend to expand and contract with the changes in temperature, and might rub against the concrete. That abrasion can turn into a leak if given enough time and if put through enough stress.
Lastly, poor or improper plumbing installation can lead to trouble. Perhaps the pipes were bent during the home’s construction, or struck with a piece of equipment. Water can find even the tiniest crack to leak through, and any damage that was caused in the past can lead to a slab leak.
A slab leak is not an easy fix, and it cannot be done by just anyone. When you notice any sign of a slab leak, you need to call the professionals immediately. For more information on slab leaks or the plumbing near your foundation, call Kellermeier Plumbing at 616-866-5134.