FAQs for Dealing with Slab Leaks

What is a Slab Leak? 

In most homes in the area, the foundation is a large block of concrete called a ‘slab.’ The materials that make up a home weigh a lot, not to mention the weight of the belongings inside a home. That means the home should be thoroughly supported to carry the weight of the building materials and everything inside a finished home. Engineers have figured out that monolithic concrete slabs are the best way to carry the load. 

The main problem with building a home on a poured slab is that the most effective way to route utilities around the home is to bury them in the ground before the slab is poured. Once the pipes are underground and cased in concrete, they are relatively safe. However, accessing these pipes when slab leaks arise can be a tricky problem. 

How to Spot the Signs of Slab Leaks 

leakSince pipes are encased in concrete, their leaks can be particularly tricky to spot. Water will likely pop up anywhere because it has limited options to relieve the building pressure. However, there are always signs of slab leaks, allowing homeowners to recognize the problem and respond quickly. Here are the most common signs of slab leaks. 

  • Hissing or gurgling noises with an undetermined source
  • High water bills
  • Clean water leaking out along the edge of a foundation
  • Wet or moist floors
  • Mold problems or associated odors

Responding to slab leaks at the first sign of trouble is important to minimizing damage. Read on to learn the dangers that slab leaks pose. 

Common Dangers of Slab Leaks 

Slab leaks are dangerous because they affect the very foundation of a home. This can lead to all sorts of very expensive problems. In the worst case, water can undermine soil from underneath the slab. This can lead to voids where the concrete has no support. Without repairs, the slab can crack and fail. 

Less serious cases can involve several scenarios that are still pretty serious. The excess moisture can bolster mold growth and damage walls and flooring if water absorbs upwards through the slab. Apart from the repair process, mold remediation will need to be contracted, and floors and walls replaced. 

How Do Professionals Deal with Slab Leaks 

leakFinding the right professionals to deal with slab leaks can be the difference between a quick repair and a major upset. Experts jackhammer the slab out of the way to access piping and dig away soil to expose the pipe. Repairs will be made then the pipe will be reburied in sand before more concrete is poured. Because these repairs are invasive, finding a plumbing contractor with experience is important. 

The right plumbing contractor will advertise their expertise in slab leaks. They often will have specialized tools for pinpointing the source of leaks before they start jackhammering the slab. This makes them more accurate, so they will minimize the secondary repairs that must be made after repairing the pipe. 

About A&A Plumbing

A&A Plumbing is a full-service plumbing contractor. Their technicians handle anything from clogged drains to serious below-foundation repairs. Call today for slab leak repair in San Antonio, TX. 

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A Homeowner's Guide to Slab Leaks

Slab Leaks: 101

Humans have lived in houses for tens of thousands of years, yet we are still improving upon their design. Modern homes use the latest technology and research to build comfortable, safe, and long-lasting homes. One of the advancements that have progressed homebuilding is improved concrete slabs that stabilize the foundation of a home. 

Building homes on top of solid, man-made rock has proven to be an excellent idea with one main downside, slab leaks. In this quick article, plumbing leak specialists define what slab leaks are, why they are a problem, and how to fix them. 

What Is a Slab Leak?slab leak

There are two designs around which houses are built in the US: slabs and crawl spaces. Houses on crawl spaces have a narrow opening under the house so one can access utilities for repairs. Houses that are built on slabs use long-lasting materials that are poured into the concrete to form a giant, solid foundation that the home is built. 

Most new homes are built on slabs. The advantage of this is that the foundation is more solid. The disadvantage is that it makes working on the utilities run under the slab a bit more of a hassle. Slab leaks occur when pipes under the concrete slab of a home begin to leak. Finding the leaks can be difficult unless homeowners have help from professional slab leak detection plumbers. 

Why Slab Leaks Are Problems

Water leaks are serious problems no matter where they occur, even under the giant slab of concrete that a house is built on. Slab leaks present many of the same problems that normal water leaks bring with them, like:

  • Increasingly high water bills
  • High possibility of mold outbreaks
  • Musty odors
  • Ruined flooring and walls
  • Moisture that attracts insects
  • Unstable soil that can affect foundation integrity

Dealing with a slab leak can be a pain, but not dealing with it can be even worse. Leaks usually start small and continue to grow. So, a home may only suffer from one or two of these symptoms, but that problem will surely grow as the leak worsens, to the point that it could compromise the home's safety. 

plumber How to Address Slab Leaks

The first thing a homeowner has to do when they suspect a slab leak is to find it. Slab leaks are notoriously difficult to find because the water from the leak can seep a long distance from the actual leak. It takes special equipment and training to detect an accurate leak, so professionals usually do that job. 

The process of repairing a leak can be invasive because it will likely involve jackhammering the slab of the home up. Due to this, accuracy is of the utmost importance. After the leak is found and the slab is removed, fixing the leak is just like fixing any other leak. When the plumber is done, they will replace the concrete they removed, and things will go back to normal. In some cases, plumbers may recommend repiping sections of plumbing to bypass the leaky pipe. 

About A&A Plumbing

Need a trustworthy company to help address potential slab leaks? A&A Plumbing is the local choice for personalized plumbing solutions. Call today for slab leak repairs in San Antonio, TX.