Slab leaks are a normal fact of life in many places where soils are very unstable. Many homes are constructed on concrete slabs or with wooden pier and foundation construction as basement walls will often crack and break due to the stress of shifts in the soil. Many plumbing lines are also run under the slab, though they are hard to get to. There is little that can be done about these leaks other than to wait and pray they don’t continue or cause additional damage. Here are some common types of slab leaks and their effects.
The most obvious sign of a slab leak is a large and conspicuous wet spot. Often this is on the outside wall of a home but can also occur inside. Some leaking may not be so apparent. If a pipe or drainage pipe becomes saturated with water and then freezing solidifies, the spot may not immediately show up as a wet spot. A wet spot can be a good indicator that the plumbing system leaks but are difficult to detect on its own. If the spot continues to slowly become wet after several hours or if the area seems to get larger, this is an indication that the plumbing system leaks are serious and could lead to major damage to the structure.
Foundation cracks are another common cause of slab leaks. If a foundation crack is discovered before a home is constructed, it is very important to address the problem right away. Leaks in the foundation may allow water to seep into the interior of the house and possibly damage the interior structure. As well, if a leak is located near a window or floor drain, this problem can potentially allow water to enter the house through an uncovered window or floor drain.
Other common causes of slab leaks include cracked foundation wall tiles, pipe and drainage problems with older homes, or faulty foundation footers. Cracked foundation wall tiles or pipe and drainage problems with older homes often occur due to improper waterproofing procedures during construction. As well, older homes may have drainage or pipe problems that leave pipes below grade. Regardless of the cause of the leaks, preventing them by placing a barrier at the base of the wall is the best solution.
One of the most common signs of slab leaks soil at the base of the walls or floor drains. If there are moist soils below the surface of a wall or drain, this is another sign that the leak is located inside the wall or drain. Because soils act as an insulator, they can keep rainwater and snow from penetrating interior walls. However, if the soil is present along the base of a wall, it acts as entertainment and can slow down the rate at which water moves through pipes. Soil can also accumulate dust, dirt, or debris underneath the slab.
If you have reason to suspect that a slab leak may be located inside your home, several signs will help you locate the source of the problem. For example, wet areas in your basement, garage, or shed may appear damp, even after the roof has been removed. Another indicator of a leak is a black stain on a wall or ceiling that may have dried out. While many leaks will dissipate over time, some are more stubborn and require repair or replacement. If you have reason to believe that you have slab leaks, it is important to contact Plumbers to complete the necessary repairs.
It is important to repair or replace a leaking plumbing system before it weakens the structural integrity of the entire house. Leaks can weaken the house’s integrity by compromising the structure of the floor, attic, walls, and foundation. In addition to devaluing your home, structural integrity issues caused by a slab leak can affect the health and safety of your family. This is especially true for young children, seniors, and people with chronic illness who spend a great deal of time indoors, such as those who work from home, care providers, and home health aides.
Slab leaks are typically found where there is a subsurface water line or where the soil is cracked. Typically, if the soil is cracked, water lines can leak underground and contaminate the groundwater supply, the drainage system, or both. It is important to check your soil and surrounding surfaces regularly for leaks. In addition to costing a great deal of money to remedy, improperly repaired water lines can also pose a danger to individuals using them, your pets, and your family.