Some homes are built on a four-wall foundation of cinderblock, but other homes are built on top of a large, flat concrete slab. Very often, the entire plumbing system and even the ductwork for the HVAC system are encased in that slab. The pipes and ducts are laid down first; then the concrete is poured around them, ensuring they are protected and permanent. Unfortunately, having the pipes encased in concrete can make it difficult to diagnose and repair any problems that may crop up, including leaks. Luckily, our plumbers at Valley Plumbing Pros offer expert slab leak detection and repair in Merced!
Old pipes are more susceptible to water leaks! Be sure to ask about our repiping services and give your home’s system an upgrade.
What Causes Slab Leaks?
A slab leak is a catchall term for any water leak that happens in the concrete slab underneath a house. These leaks might spring from a water supply pipe, or from a drain pipe. The leak is the result of a flaw in the pipe, such as a crack or tear.
There are several factors that can cause a slab leak, including:
- Low-quality materials: If the pipes are of a cheaper grade, they may be thinner and more susceptible to bursting.
- Poor installation: It’s possible the pipes were damaged during installation, or they were inadequately sealed together.
- Corrosion: Especially for metal pipes, the constant moisture underground can lead to corrosion, which eats away at the pipe walls.
- Abrasion: Pipes expand and contract naturally as they warm up and cool down, but that expansion could cause the pipes to rub against the concrete. The abrasion may create a hole in the pipe.
- Shifting: The earth is never totally still. Shifts and heaves in the ground will affect the concrete slab foundation, which may cause cracks or tears in the pipes.
Signs You May Have a Slab Leak
Slab leak detection is not always easy. Oftentimes, a leak in the slab will go unnoticed for months. Here are some signs you can look for that indicate you may have a slab leak:
- High water bill
- Moving water meter
- Damp, mildewy floors
- Cracked drywall
- Low water pressure
- Standing water
- Moldy or mildewy smells
- Sound of running water
While finding these leaks can be a challenge since they’re often out of sight, by paying attention to any of the signals above you can easily schedule slab leak detection in Merced before it’s too late.
Of course, water damage can quickly turn into an emergency. We offer emergency plumbing repairs to help address these issues.
How We Perform Slab Leak Repair
How a slab leak is repaired depends on its source and severity. Slab leaks can occur in supply pipes that deliver fresh water to all the sinks and tubs in the house, or in the drain pipes, that send wastewater away from the home. In the latter case, a sewer video inspection is useful for pinpointing the exact location of the leak.
One solution is to reroute the water. This involves simply laying a new pipe somewhere above ground and shutting off the water to the old pipes. This is a quick and cost-effective solution, particularly for leaks in a water supply pipe.
Another option is to reline the pipe. By gaining access to the pipe without digging, perhaps through a cleanout or by drilling a hole in the pipe, a plumber can install a new liner on the pipe. This will effectively seal any small cracks or holes. This option is ideal for drain pipes that have been recently cleaned.
One of the most trusted plumbing companies in Merced, CA, Valley Plumbing Pros is your best choice for foundation leak detection and slab leak repair. Our technicians are fully licensed and insured, and trained in the latest repair technologies. We have been in the industry for over 10 years, and are experienced in repiping and slab leak repair.