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
Since 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
Finding 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.