The slab of your home is also called the foundation. It’s usually a large flat slab of concrete that serves as the base for the rest of your home – from wall to roof and everything in between. Before pouring the concrete to create this slab, home builders set up your plumbing. Each pipe and connection tunnels into the ground and connects to some combination of water lines, sewer, and septic tanks.
A slab leak happens when the pipes located in your foundation begin to leak. Slab leaks are more common in older homes, but it is possible to have a slab leak in a newer home, too. If you suspect you have a slab leak and need plumbing service in Doylestown, PA, give our team a call. If you’re not sure how to identify a slab leak, you can use these seven tips.
Understanding a Slab Leak
Leaks can happen throughout your home. You may have pipes in your foundation, walls, attic, or basement – although it’s likely a combination of these. A slab leak is unique because a pipe bursts in the concrete foundation of your home. This is a problem for two reasons. First, because you have a leak that may be causing damage. Second, because your foundation is weak or deteriorating and may lead to other problems.
Identifying Slab Leak Signs
Slab leaks can begin slowly and have barely-there signs. Over time, these signs will become more and more obvious. The sooner you recognize the signs of the slab leak, the better you can stay ahead of the damage. These are the top seven signs you should watch for:
- Noticing spots of water on/under the carpet without an explanation
- Losing water pressure in your faucets
- An increasing water bill
- Vinyl or hardwood floors that warp or have water damage without explanation
- Mold or mildew along the edges of your floors
- The water heater is running more than usual
- Feeling warm spots on your floor, even if they aren’t wet to the touch
Slab Leak Causes
Slab leaks can lead to costly repairs since a problem in one area may indicate problems across your entire foundation. When you understand what leads to a slab leak, you can watch for early signs and even prevent leaks by having preventative maintenance. If you have an older home, you’re at a greater risk for a slab leak. Preventative measures may include scheduling a plumbing inspection to understand the overall status of your slab and plumbing.
You can also test your water to gauge the mineral content. If you have hard water with lots of minerals, you’re more likely to have a slab leak. While you can’t always reverse existing mineral buildup, you can prevent future buildup by investing in a water softener.
And sometimes bad construction is to blame for slab leaks. Pipes can get dented or damaged during the home building process. If you’re having a home built from the slab up, pay attention to the quality of the pipe installation. If you suspect that pipes are damaged, bring it to the builder’s attention. This can save you time and money down the road by preventing a slab leak before it occurs.
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