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What is a Slab Leak?
A slab leak occurs inside a pipe under the concrete foundation or in the slab on top of which your home rests. Slab leak symptoms are often hard to detect, so it’s important to be observant and calculate the number of odd occurrences that may be hinting to you that something is wrong. Slab leaks can have adverse effects to you and your home’s construction if left undetected. In certain cases, it can become a major health risk for your family if there are mold and bacteria build up present. Slab leaks can ultimately cause physical damage to your home’s foundation and flooring over time.
Slab Leak Signs
Slab leak detection can be difficult, so make sure that if you see the following signs you reach for your phone and contact us, so we may inspect the areas of your home!
- Musty odor permeating the air
- Drywall cracks caused by slab movement
- Doors that stick or bind
- Hearing water moving or hissing
- Water pooling on the ground surrounding your home
- Warped hard flooring
- Damp floors or carpets
- Hearing an unknown gurgling or trickling sound
- Areas of your floor that are unusually warm
- You see a spike from your water and electricity bills
- Unknown mold or mildew
- Hot water heater that is always running
- Lower water pressure
Reasons for Slab Leaks
In addition to the slab leak signs above the ground that you can see, there are many things happening below your foundation that you can’t that may be causing your slab leak. If these reasons further in progression through time, the need may arise for repairs or replacements. If you believe your pipes are aging or experiencing deterioration, your soil is prone to shifting, your pipes have scale build up, or they had poor installation and construction-chances are your home may be susceptible to slab leaks.
Aging & Deterioration
Underneath the ground of your home, particular soil chemicals can corrode your pipes and concrete. Whether your pipe is hot or cold, deterioration can happen reversibly. With hot water pipes, what tends to happen are chemical reactions outside of the pipe in relation to the heat that thereby corrode from the outside in. Whereas with cold water pipes, the corrosion would occur inside out through electrolysis or galvanic corrosion. That is when a current created by the electrical potential of two dissimilar metals come in contact with electrolytes (fresh water) and react adversely through corrosion. As water is a weak electrolyte this occurrence of pipe corrosion can be rare. These reactions often occur in copper pipes, so if your home is on the older side, chances are this metal was used as pipes were usually made them in the past. Coincidentally, the older your pipes are no matter the material, the more susceptible they are to pressures and potential damages that may potentially require replacement.
When large amounts of soil become wet, your foundation can shift in reaction. Since pipes are connected to your house, this upward and downward movement can apply certain pressures around your pipe which aid in causing deterioration and cracks.
Poor Construction or Installation
Like soil shifting, poor construction and installation can add pressure to your pipe that adversely affects how it reacts to movement. For example, improper pipe connections can cause leaks after too much water pressure. Additionally, added water pressure and currents can cause vibrations in your pipes which can naturally wear your pipe down. If you think your home plumbing system may be having issues due to poor installation, contact us at 818-474-1109 for plumbing repair in Van Nuys, CA.
Scale is a buildup of chemicals (mostly magnesium and calcium) that are usually found inside hot water heaters that connect to your pipes. It is typically white, or orange if older, and, if thick enough, can sometimes look like multiple compressed layers of paper or hardened chalk in your pipe if you were to cut it half or look inside. Scale is a breeding ground for bacteria and can affect the performance and longevity of your water heater. This often occurs naturally through time in older pipes.
Slab Leak Repair Options
Here’s what we can do! Upon arrival to your property we will properly scope the area to find the source of the issue. Thanks to sensitive equipment that can detect the sound of water through wall, we’ll be able to implement minimal cutting to your foundation. Thanks to this isolation, we can localize the issue. If it’s small, repairs can be as simple as spot repairing a pipe. Epoxy repairs are another lower level demolition option which only requires two access points be made to restore your pipe.
However, in larger cases like addressing aging pipes, it may be necessary for sections to be replaced. Re-piping is often used when multiple leaks exist, yet this will often get rid of other leaking issues you may have as it will utilize expansion and implement tight fittings.
If you notice any signs of a slab leaking and require slab leak repair in Van Nuys, CA, do not hesitate to give us a call at 818-474-1109! Here at Expert Plumbing and Rooter Inc we’re always happy to answer questions and help!