You may have heard the term “slab leak” before, used in conjunction with a serious plumbing operation. Slab leaks rank among the most challenging and difficult operations your plumbing system will face. In and of itself, it’s not unusual: just a leak in a pipe of the kind that plumbers deal with every day. It’s the location of the leak and the potential damage that can ensue that makes them such a pain to deal with.
The good news is that a trained technician can usually deal with slab leaks the right way, and can offer you multiple options for resolving the issue. But first you need to be able to spot the signs of a slab leak, as well as understanding what it is and why it’s a problem.
WHAT IS IT?
A slab leak is simply a leak in a pipe that lies underneath the concrete foundation of your house or porch. In some cases, the pipe can even be embedded in the concrete itself. That provides it with a great deal of protection, since the pipe won’t be subjected to wear and tear the way more exposed pipes will. On the other hand, if a leak does occur, it will be very difficult to reach it beneath the concrete. Even worse, the leak itself could damage the concrete around it, which can lead to fundamental damage to the very foundation of your house.
It’s doubly frustrating because most plumbers can deal with leaks cheaply and effectively. Slab leaks, however, take a service with some skill and experience in their corner. And before you can summon them, you need to know how to spot the signs that a leak has occurred.
SIGNS OF A LEAK
The problem with slab leaks, of course, is that the pipes are hidden from sight, which means the leaks can continue for weeks or even months before being detected. By that time, the damage could be extensive, which makes early detection vital for solving the problem as effectively as possible.
The signs can be subtle, but you can spot them if you know what to look for. They can include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Sounds of running water where no running water should be.
- Puddles forming around the base of the home, again with no readily identifiable source.
- Warm spots or cold spots on the concrete above the spot where the leak is taking place.
- Unexpected jumps in your water bills, reflecting the water being lost to the leak.
- Cracks appearing in the concrete around the leak. This is a sign of a seriously advanced leak and urgent attention may be needed to repair the damage before it becomes catastrophic.
Once you spot the signs of a slab leak, you need to move quickly. Shut off the water line to your house – that will stop the water from leaking – and call in a trained technician immediately.
Here in Sandy Springs, GA, slab leak repairs can be conducted by the friendly pros at Quick Action Plumbers