What to do When There’s a Slab Leak

What to do When There’s a Slab Leak

Slab leaks are something that we unfortunately have to deal with on a somewhat regular basis. The good news is that it only affects homes built on a concrete slab. The bad news, there are a lot of homes in Sacramento and the East Bay that are built on concrete slabs. Today we’re sharing how to identify a slab leak, from key indications that you have one, and what to do when there’s a slab leak.

What is a Slab Leak?

We talked about this in the intro, but we’ll get into it a little more here. Many homes are built directly on a concrete slab, which is also the home’s foundation. During the building process, the home’s plumbing system was either put in the concrete or directly underneath.

These types of leaks occur when a pipe either under or in the concrete foundation breaks or gets corroded. When there’s a leak in or under your slab, the water needs to go somewhere. Oftentimes, that water goes up and through the concrete and can get into your home.

Needless to say, this can cause a lot of damage to your home, foundation, and yard. In some cases, the foundation can crack, which leads to cracks on the floor and walls of the home. There have even been extreme cases when entire parts of a home collapsed due to a slab leak.

How Common are Slab Leaks?

Californian homes are vulnerable to slab leaks because of all the earthquakes we get. The ground’s shifting and movement can crack concrete and break pipes, both of which can lead to slab leaks.

Parts of the East Bay and Sacramento have gorgeous historic homes. Anyone living in these homes needs to be aware and on the lookout for slab leaks. With enough time and use, commonly used copper pipes can corrode in the home. This corrosion can lead to a large slab leak.

Five Warning Signs of a Slab Leak

Here are some signs of a slab leak to watch out for:

Warm Spots on the Floor

When your hot water line bursts, there is a chance you can feel it through the floor. For homes with carpet and thin linoleum, the heat will be more obvious. Floors lined with hardwood and tile are often too thick to really feel anything.

You’ll feel the warmth in patches and spots, where water has had a chance to collect. When this happens, it’s important to call a professional plumber, like the ones at Bell Brothers, as soon as possible.

Water Bills are Shooting Up

One of the best ways to monitor your plumbing is to keep an eye on your monthly water bill. Large fluctuations in the bill could be an indicator that something is wrong.

When your home has a slab leak, water is running 24/7. This will absolutely make your utility bill go up.

In addition to slab leaks, a high water bill could indicate:

  • Leaks throughout your plumbing system
  • A fixture in your home (i.e. the toilet) is leaking
  • There’s a faucet that won’t stop dripping
  • There’s a leak in your sprinkler system

Water Pressure is Lower than Normal

When there is a leak, water pressure will drop. This happens because a portion of the water allotted for your shower or sink is leaking into the ground somewhere.

It’s best to call someone right away when you notice a significant drop in your water pressure.

Carpet or Flooring is Damp

When slab leaks aren’t caught early enough, there’s a very high possibility they can damage your carpet or flooring.

When water leaks out of pipes, it needs somewhere to go. When pipes are buried in concrete, there aren’t many places for the water to go. With enough time, the water can collect all the way up and into your home.

Random Puddles in or Outside of the Home

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again, leaking water needs a place to go. Sometimes that place is inside your home or your yard.

Standing water around the foundation of your home could be an indicator that you have a slab leak on your hands. The same could be said for water pooling around your plumbing fixtures, like your toilet, water heater, or washing machine.

Slab leaks are something that should absolutely be left to professionals. Call Bell Brothers immediately if you suspect there is a leak in your concrete foundation.