A slab leak happens when the water pipes in a concrete slab that supports a building start to fail and allow water to seep into the concrete. The slab can become unsound because it was built on ground that was unstable or too organically rich to support it. Plumbing pipes that run through or under the slab might have been badly installed and begin to leak. Old pipes can also begin to leak because of wear and tear. This is why older homes are more at risk of having slabs that leak.Sometimes, a homeowner can tell when their slab is leaking because there are damp or wet spots on the floor of the basement or the crawlspace. The homeowner might also feel hot spots on the floor. There can also be an unexplained drop of pressure in the plumbing pipes that isn’t reversed even though the rest of the plumbing and the homeowner’s private well are checked. There might also be inexplicably high water bills and a sound of running or trickling water in the basement or crawlspace.
Slab leaks can be hard to detect and fix because the pipes can’t be seen. Nowadays, plumbers can use electronic and other types of equipment to pinpoint the location of the leak. Repairing the leak can be somewhat invasive if the pipes need to be dug up using a jack hammer to break up the concrete. Also, repair can be expensive and time consuming. Often, a homeowner’s insurance policy can cover at least some of the cost of repairing a slab leak.
Besides breaking up the concrete slab and exposing the pipes, the pipes can be rerouted or they can be repiped. Old broken pipes can be fixed with an epoxy shell pumped inside of them and allowed to harden.
Because slab leak detection and repair can be complicated processes, the homeowner should make sure that the plumber he or she hires is licensed, bonded and insured, has the right permits to work on the slab and has experience with detection and repair of slab leaks.
If you suspect that you may have a slab leak that needs to be taken care of immediately, call us now at (205) 631-6445 so we can help you resolve the issue as easy and painlessly as possible.