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Best Ways to Prevent a Slab Leak Austin - Plumbing Outfitters

Best Ways to Prevent a Slab Leak

Slab leak repair in taylor - Plumbing Outfitters

Modern plumbing offers a seemingly endless list of benefits, but it’s not without complications. All plumbing systems have the potential for leaks, cracks, and other problems. If your home sits on a concrete slab foundation, you may face the potential for slab leaks.

Signs and Symptoms You May Have a Slab Leak

A slab leak occurs when water leaks out of the pipes that run beneath your home’s foundation. They often go undetected for long periods of time, which is extremely hazardous as it gives the water time to seep into other parts of your home, causing further damage. You should contact a plumber at the first warning signs of a slab leak, even if the indicator seems relatively minor. Some common slab leak symptoms include:

  • A sudden unexplained increase in your water bill.
  • Mold or mildew on your carpeting.
  • Movement on the water meter dial when you’re not using water in the house.
  • The sound of running water when you’re not using your pipes.
  • Low water pressure in the house.
  • Damp spots on your carpet.
  • Discolored flooring.
  • A raised dome shape in your flooring.
  • Unusually warm flooring, particularly in isolated hot spots.
  • Standing water found around the perimeter of the home.
  • A musty, mildewy, or moldy odor in your home.
  • Persistent problems with mold on your floors, walls, or cabinetry.
  • Uneven lawn or plant growth around the home.
  • Visibly shifting soil around the perimeter of the building.

Can a Slab Leak Cause Foundation Problems?

In extreme cases, the soaked soil beneath your home can cause foundation heaving. A foundation heave lifts your home upward. Inspect your home itself for signs of foundation heave like:

  • Cracks in the slab foundation.
  • Cracked drywall or brickwork.
  • Cracks in the door and window frames.
  • Sidewalks, sheds, or patios that have lifted up.
  • Tilted slab sections.

If you notice any of these slab foundation problem signs, you should contact a plumber immediately. Many of these indicators can point to other plumbing problems as well, but none should go untreated. An experienced plumber can help with slab leak detection. They will pinpoint the source of the problem and come up with the best solution possible for your situation.

Causes of Slab Leaks

Understanding what initially causes a slab leak may help you prevent this type of trouble in the future. Slab leaks are often caused by the following:

  • Poor Installation: If your home’s foundation was not poured correctly, or if the pipes were banged, dented, or damaged in the initial installation process, you may have a higher risk of developing slab leaks.
  • Movement of the Earth: Soil erosion, underground waterways, and earthquakes can all damage your foundation, causing slab leaks. 
  • Water Corrosion: Hard water inside the pipes and corrosive soil outside can cause your piping to deteriorate. This deterioration leads to pinhole leaks that can develop into slab leaks. 
  • Abrasions: Pipes naturally contract and expand in response to changes in temperature. If they’re rubbing against gravel, rocks, concrete, or other pipes as they move, this can cause abrasions in the foundation that eventually lead to leaks.
  • Water Pressure: Water pressure that is too high or has extreme pressure fluctuations puts undue strain on your pipes.
  • Tree Roots: As trees expand their root systems around the home, they may come in contact with the pipes beneath your foundation which causes damage.
  • Old Age: Most of the above issues are more likely to occur over time. Any combination of these problems will increase your risk of slab leaking. 

How to Prevent Slab Leaks and Protect Your Home

If you’re building a new home, the best way to prevent slab leaks is to make sure that the foundation and pipes are properly installed. When you purchase a home, have it thoroughly inspected for foundation damage signs and any indicator of a water leak from the foundation. A slab leak repair is possible, but it’s best to have these issues addressed by the previous owner before you purchase the home.

Take steps to prevent unnecessary corrosion in your pipes by investing in a water softener if you have hard water in your area. Avoid using corrosive products like chemical drain cleaners and opt for a drain snake instead. Installing a water pressure regulator will limit the water pressure in your home to reasonable levels so your pipes aren’t strained.

You should also keep an eye on the trees around your home. If you have any trees growing especially close to the house, you may want to have an arborist examine the situation. If necessary, they can remove the tree to avoid any damage to your pipes or foundation that will result in water leakage from the slab.

The Cost of Untreated Slab Leaks

If a slab leak goes untreated, it can cause water damage and impact your hardwood floors, carpeting, drywall, cabinetry, and other parts of your home. Moisture can begin to cause significant problems in as little as 24 hours. Lingering water leads to mold and mildew growth which is exceedingly expensive to remedy. The average cost for home restoration dealing with mold and mildew damage is $3,300. However, costs can soar as high as $13,000 if your home has extensive damage.

Is a Slab Leak Covered by Insurance?

Your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of removing and replacing the foundation if your slab leak causes extensive damage. However, many insurance policies will not cover the plumbing repairs associated with a slab leak. Check with your insurance provider to find out what your policy covers.

Trust the Experts with Common Home Leaks

Early foundation leak detection can help you prevent extensive damage and expenses from a slab leak. If you notice any signs of a slab leak, contact a professional plumber immediately. For help with a slab leak in Austin and the surrounding areas, call our team at Plumbing Outfitters. We offer a full range of leak detection and repair services to help you protect your home.



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