How to Detect and Repair a Slab Leak

A slab leak occurs when a pipe underneath the foundation of your house springs a leak, or worse, busts all together. When the pipe begins to leak water, the water begins to go into the actual foundation and cause some serious damage that can cost homeowners a lot of money. It is so important to detect the slab leak as early as you can so that the problem is caught at the onset of the issue and does not cause more damage than it has too. In order to catch the problem at the start, it is important for homeowners to know the warning signs of a leaking slab and start slab leak repair work as soon as they see the issue. Below are some symptoms of a slab leak to be on the lookout for so as to diagnose and treat the problem quickly.

Signs you have a slab leak

Hearing running water: When you have the water running in your home somewhere, you can hear the sounds of the water gushing throughout the pipes which are completely normal. However, if you hear water running but you are not running it anywhere in the house, then you have a probable leak

Having an insanely high water bill: Chances are that your water bill is in the same relative ballpark every month more or less. If you see that your water bill is higher than normal without cause, start by checking your pipes under the sinks and all the faucets for a minor leak which can be fixed quickly and at a low cost. It is when your water bill is double the usual price or higher when you should start considering the fact that you have a major leak somewhere causing you to lose a lot of water. If all the plumbing inside the house looks good, then you could have a serious leak in your foundation’s slabs.

Cracking foundation: If you notice your foundation buckling or showing cracks outside of your home or even throughout the walls in your house, it is a sign that there is severe water damage to your foundation caused by leaky slabs.

Mold and mildew growth: A final symptom of a possible leaking slab in your foundation is the growth of mold and mildew in your home. Once the foundation is saturated with water, moisture just sits there and becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew to grow into your home.

What to do if there is a leak

It is important to be vigilant and look out for these signs as an undetected leak can cause serious damage to your home’s foundation leading to cosmetic and structural damage. It can destroy your belongings and cost thousands upon thousands of dollar in repairs. If you catch the leak early enough there are some repair techniques you can take to fix it. Some of these methods are more invasive and costly than others, and the method you need to use depends on how bad of a leak you have and where in your foundation it is located. Your plumber will try the following techniques to fix the leak:

Cutting the foundation open to fix the pipe: This method is mostly used in homes that are newer and have a newer pipeline. The plumber finds where he thinks the leak originated, cuts into the slab, fixes the pipe, then patches the foundation again.

Repipes the whole pipeline: If your home is experiencing slab leaks frequently, one after another, then your plumber is more than likely going to open up the foundation and completely replace the pipeline. This is an expensive option but will ensure you have no leaks for many years to come and will keep your home and foundation from experiencing any further damage that has to be repaired.

Coating the pipes: If it is not easy or financially smart to open up your foundation and replace or repair the pipes, then your plumber will use an epoxy coating to coat the pipe and keep it from leaking again.