You would certainly be able to spot a plumbing leak if water were pouring out into your kitchen or bursting through a faucet somewhere. However, leaks often don’t make this type of appearance. Your plumbing system is rather intricate, and there are many spots where the pipes are hidden from view, leaving a lot of guesswork when it comes to spotting a leak.
A slab leak is one of the most troublesome of the leaks that can hide unnoticed on your property. The concrete slab foundation of your home has pipes running underneath it that could spring a leak, and you won’t see water gushing onto your property. Instead, you must be able to spot subtle signs of a leak so that you can get the problem resolved quickly.
The Problem with Slab Leaks
Slab leaks can remain hidden for quite some time. And that means a waste of water that can end up adding to your bills. However, this may be the least of your worries in the long run.
As water moves under your property, it can damage vital parts of the foundation. Mold and mildew could result. And all of that excess water pressure under the house can cause the walls to start to crack. The longer the problem goes on, the worse these issues can get, and the more difficult it is to remedy them.
How Slab Leaks Happen
Older pipes are more likely to corrode with time. The slow corrosion of pipes is a leading cause of slab leaks, and it can also happen with newer copper pipes. Pitted corrosion is when small pinhole leaks appear in pipes. Even the tiniest of leaks can use up a whole lot of water with time.
Slab leaks commonly happen in hot water pipes. The heat and moisture from the pipes may react with the soil around it, speeding up the rate of corrosion.
Finally, a slab leak may occur because of nearby construction or work on the house. Movement in the ground might cause pipes to break apart, so look out for signs of a slab leak if you’re expecting some changes to your property.
Look Out for these Signs
Checking for a slab leak is not easy. You might not see water gushing from the ground, but there are a few telltale signs that you have a leak, along with some subtle indicators that you should call in a professional plumber.
- Warm spots on the ground – This is how a lot of people discover a slab leak underneath the floors. Hot water pipes are a common source of a slab leak, so be aware of the temperatures of your floors.
- Low water pressure – A slab leak may cause water pressure to plummet. Take notice if sinks throughout the home are not as powerful as you’d like, or if you have trouble maintaining pressure levels when you turn on the hot water.
- Moisture or mildew – Whether you see moisture or notice a musty, mildew smell, it’s worth examining when you cannot find its origins.
- High water bills – We hope you catch this problem before your bills skyrocket and you face property damage, but always be on the lookout for rising utility costs.