It’s a normal day at home, until you notice something is awry:
A faint, musty smell in your house gives you pause.
Your kids are complaining about unusual rashes and bloody noses.
You don’t need to be a private detective to recognize that these signs point to a water leak under the concrete foundation slab.
Do I have a Slab?
In this context, a slab refers to the concrete slab that serves as the foundational support for a building. For residential construction, a concrete slab is directly under the construction, which does not leave room for a crawl space. The advantages of a concrete slab include reduced excavation time and costs, less risk of vermin and pests inhabiting the space under the house, and better insulation.
- Pressure from earthquakes or faulty construction can crease or crush pipes. Pipes that are completely crushed will pour massive volumes of water which can move soil, undermining the home’s foundation.
- Pipes corrode over time due to contact with the soil and various minerals. For example, pipes can corrode from the inside from electrolysis due to two dissimilar metals coming into contact. This type of corrosion eventually erodes the pipes, particularly with older homes that have original copper pipes.
- Friction caused by abrasive materials can also lead to slab leaks. Pipes under the slab might contact gravel, construction materials such as rebar, and other hard matter. Pipes abrade against these materials because they vibrate when water rushes through them. Pressure and time slowly lead to cracks which give way to leaks.
Dangers of Slab Leaks
Leaks can weaken the home’s foundation by causing shifting due to water pressure and a constant flow of water weakening the integrity of the concrete. A weak foundation renders a home uninhabitable, causing a massive headache for families that need to arrange other accommodations while working with insurance adjusters. You should always talk to insurance agents directly, but there’s a chance slab leaks won’t be covered. The professionals at JB Plumbing offer concierge service, which means we will work directly with your insurance company after your claim has been filed. This is valuable, because we understand terminology and know how to explain your house’s condition to adjusters, to make sure your work is covered, whenever possible.
- Termites thrive in moist environments, and a persistent water leak provides them with the water they need to set up shop in your home’s structure.
- Mold thrives in moist environments, and slab leaks can cause explosions of mildew and mold. Water under the slab can travel up walls (similar to dipping a dry paper towel into a glass of water) as it becomes absorbed by drywall and wood.
Qualified plumbers such as the professionals at JB Plumbing are able to proactively find slab leaks before they turn into major problems. At the first sign of a leak, contact a plumber who utilizes the latest leak detection technology, such as decibel meters and Infrared Cameras, to triangulate leaks. Avoid working with a plumber who might cut corners by failing to use expensive equipment. Plumbers like this could push you to let them “tear up all of the concrete” without first detecting the exact location and severity of the leak. At JB Plumbing, we determine the exact location of a leak, which enables us to minimize damage to the home and reduces reconstruction costs.
Once a slab leak is confirmed, the plumbing team will recommend a course of action that might include:
- Conducting a spot repair of the pipe after breaking through the required quantity of concrete.
- Cap the leak.
- Replace the entire line. For older pipes and extra peace of mind, it’s often advisable to conduct a complete re-piping to avoid future problems.
A leak under a slab foundation is a serious problem that requires immediate and expert attention. If you aren’t sure whether your pipes are in top shape, call the professionals at JB Plumbing. With us, you can expect upfront pricing; fast, free estimates; licensed, bonded and insured plumbers who are neat, polite, and well trained. We use state-of-the-art tools and equipment and are proud of the fact our services are free from hidden costs like travel charges. If you call JB Plumbing today, 24/7, you will speak directly to a plumber instead of a telephone answering service. At JB Plumbing, we are experts in residential and commercial plumbing as well as construction. Call today to schedule an appointment (909) 593-2194.