When it comes to your home’s plumbing, what you don’t know (or can’t see) can absolutely hurt you. The majority of the plumbing system is usually concealed or hidden, which can make it hard to catch an issue before it’s too late.
This is especially true for solid surfaces such as concrete slabs. Unlike plaster or drywall inside your home, a concrete slab or foundation isn’t easy to get into and repair if there’s a plumbing issue. It can also take a long time for signs of the leak to appear. But if ignored for too long, the water can cause the concrete to crack, shift, or buckle, which would severely damage the structural integrity and safety of the home.
What causes a slab leak?
There are a handful of factors that could cause a leaking pipe underneath a home’s concrete slab. If there’s movement within the ground, such as during an earthquake, this stress could be enough to crack a pipe.
The material of the pipe also plays a role. Older pipes made out of Orangeburg, which is an outdated material, or copper, which can corrode over time, are more likely to deteriorate or spring a leak.
Warning signs of a slab leak
Even though you can’t see the pipes under a concrete slab, you can still spot signs that something isn’t right below the surface.
- Increase in water bills. The first thing you may notice is that your water bill has a sudden, unexplained increase.
- Warm floors. If you feel an unusually warm spot on the floor that sits on a slab foundation, it could be a hot water pipe that is leaking.
- Warped floors. If the leak gets bad enough, the water could push up the flooring, resulting in what looks like a dome.
- Shifting or raising of home. In extreme cases, the water pressure gets so great that it moves or lifts the foundation, which is called heaving.
What to do about a slab leak
If you think you are experiencing any of these warning signs, it’s important that you have the issue looked at right away. The longer it goes on, the more water is seeping out and could cause even more damage. A professional plumber can use advanced methods such as slab leak detection equipment to locate the source of the underground leak.
While the repair of a slab leak is extensive and could require ripping up portions of the slab, it’s really the only way to fix the issue and avoid further damage. An experienced plumber also knows how to minimize the disruption to your house as well as the proper safety precautions to take during the job.
Slab leak repair in Oahu and Maui
We hope that you never have to deal with a leaky pipe under slab foundation. But if you do, you can trust the experienced team at Emergency Plumbing & Solar. Call us at (808) 691-9309 and we’ll be over to diagnose and fix the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible.