If you ever observe a sudden spike or steady increase in your water bill, perceive the sound of running water when the water is turned off, or note lower water pressure than normal, be alert. Warping or a dome effect in your flooring could indicate a major problem. If you smell a musty mildew scent, notice wet or moist areas on your flooring, or feel warm spots on the floor, warning bells should be sounding! Is water is pooling where it shouldn’t? Is your carpet damp? Trouble is brewing. If you’re enjoying a refreshing shower and the water turns uncontrollably hot, seriously heed the warning! All of these not so subtle notifications are strong indicators that you have a slab leak! The quicker you shut off your water and contact the expert technicians at Sun Plumbing, the better the likelihood of decreasing your overall costs and lessening the damages.
What is a Slab?
Before learning how to identify a slab leak and what to do if you ever encounter one, it might be relevant to learn a little bit about what a slab is… Slab foundations are more common in states with warm climates where they are not going to freeze and crack. Typically, a foot-deep square is dug into the ground at the location of the house being built. Concrete is then poured and reinforced with steel bars. A house built on a concrete slab has no basement or crawl space.
There are several advantages to building on a concrete slab. Concrete slabs dry quickly, requiring a shorter downtime allowing for construction to begin right away. The risk of flood damage is minimized and the chance of insect /termite infestations decreases from the ground up due to lack of wood supports and empty spaces leading from the ground itself. Concrete slabs are cost effective and advantageous for physically challenged or frail occupants because they are built lower to the ground. Some disadvantages of building on a concrete slab include: expensive to locate and repair cracks, lack of accessibility to your electrical wiring and plumbing unless it is run through your attic, risk of slab cracking, and the possibility of termites and pest burrowing into wood siding resting on the ground.
Causes of Slab Leaks
Typically slab leaks occur when pipes underneath or inside a home’s foundation begin to leak. Hot water lines are more prone to breakage and leakage, but here are the most common causes of pipe issues resulting in slab leaks:
- Construction flaws– Pipes that are improperly installed or are poor quality.
- Pressure– Soil shift or soil erosion under your foundation could cause your house to move slightly putting pressure on piping, resulting leaks are often large and damaging with flooding.
- Water quality– The pH of your water is as important as the pressure. Water that is too soft or too hard can lead to pipe corrosion. If it smells of chlorine or a sink, bathtub or shower colored with green or blue stains could indicate water which is too acidic.
- Abrasion-The toll of pipes rubbing against other pipes, gravel, concrete or other materials can gradually cause friction resulting in wear and tear and ultimately leaks. Since pipes expand with heat, they are at a greater risk for abrasion creating friction and leaks.
- Time– Older homes with galvanized steel pipes or copper pipes can corrode. Years of stress or pressure can lead to leaks.
What to do if you Suspect a Slab Leak
Since slab leaks are embedded in the concrete or under concrete and dirt, it is crucial to contact Sun Plumbing as soon as possible if you notice any of the following slab leak signs. Seeing or smelling mold, puddles in or around your home, decreased water pressure, hot water heater constantly running even when water is not, warped wood flooring, damp carpets, a sudden spike in the water bill, cracks in the cement floor, unexplained hot spots, and water damage seeping up from the floor.
Damage is already done if you see any of the above indicators. So, it is imperative to contact the professional plumbers at Sun Plumbing to test, locate, and repair any leaks reducing significant damages and costly repairs. The professionals at Sun Plumbing dispatch experienced plumbers with complex detection equipment to the areas of Palm Bay, Viera, Melbourne, and throughout Brevard County to complete quality warranted work!