Slab Leak: How to Detect It & How to Fix It
If you suspect a slab leak, you probably have a lot of questions. How do you fix it? How much does it cost to do so? First, you’ll want to confirm that you do, indeed, have a slab leak.
So, what exactly is a slab leak?
Well, most homes have copper water lines that run underneath the concrete foundation. When these pipes leak, it’s referred to as a “slab leak.” Leaks like these can often show very few symptoms or even no symptoms at all before causing serious damage.
If unresolved, a serious slab leak can erode the foundation of your home until that foundation actually collapses. As you’ve probably guessed, this is bad news for your living situation. That’s why it’s important to catch these leaks early, if at all possible.
What Causes a Slab Leak?
Soon, we’ll talk about the tell-tale signs of a slab leak. However, a lot of those signs will be easier to remember if you understand exactly what causes a slab leak in the first place.
With that in mind, it’s important to remember that slab leaks have several potential causes. Let’s briefly go over a few of the most common causes of slab leaks.
This is one of the most common culprits when it comes to slab leaks. A poorly constructed home or flawed pipework can eventually lead to a slab leak.
In the event that the ground beneath or near your home shifts, the amount of pressure that your pipes are under can increase. This is another common cause of slab leaks.
Even underground, pipes are constantly being exposed to the outside elements. Chemicals found within the earth can cause some amount of corrosion, sometimes eventually resulting in a slab leak. Additionally, poor water quality can cause your pipes to corrode from the inside.
When your pipes are being used, they move ever so slightly. Eventually, they can become damaged from regular wear and tear. As a result, this can often lead to a variety of different leaks, including the infamous slab leak, you are well aware of.
How to Detect a Slab Leak
Now that you know what can cause a slab leak, it’ll be easier for you to detect the tell-tale signs that often accompany them. If you think you might be dealing with a slab leak, keep an eye out for these common symptoms.
Damp Spots on the Carpet or Floor
If you’ve started to notice damp or wet patches throughout your home, it could very likely be due to a slab leak. In this case, you should contact a professional plumber as soon as possible. At this stage, your slab leak is already pretty serious and in need of immediate correction.
Mold Under the Carpet or Floor
If the problem goes unresolved for too long, you’ll start to notice mold where you originally saw those previous damp spots. If you’ve started to notice mold, the problem has become even more serious. Again, you should contact a professional as soon as possible. The presence of mold in the home is dangerous for your health.
Soggy Patches Near Foundation
Similar to the previous symptoms, soggy patches near your foundation can be the result of a slab leak. This could be the sign of a rather serious slab leak, and you should contact a professional immediately to assess the severity of the damage before it gets worse.
An Unexpected Increase in the Water Bill
If your water bill is unusually high and you’re not sure why you might have a leak somewhere. This could be the symptom of any kind of leak, but it could potentially be the result of a slab leak. Whether it’s due to a slab leak or a less detrimental leak, it’s probably best to look into the issue further.
Poor Water Pressure
This symptom is less serious, but it could still be cause for concern. Several variables can contribute to poor water pressure, but it could be one of the many symptoms of a slab leak.
How to Fix a Slab Leak
Sadly, there’s no DIY option when it comes to a slab leak. While other leaks can sometimes be an easy fix, slab leaks require some serious training. If you think you might have a slab leak, you should get a professional to take a look as soon as possible.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Slab Leak?
Getting a slab leak fixed can be rather expensive. Plus, before you can even fix a slab leak, you’ll need to get a professional to confirm that the issue is, indeed, a slab leak.
Getting your house evaluated for a slab leak can cost anywhere from $150 to $400, depending on a few variables. That’s a good chunk of change, but it’s nothing compared to the cost of actually resolving the slab leak issue.
On average, fixing a slab leak will cost around $2,000. Of course, this price can vary depending on the location and accessibility of the leak. If this scares you, don’t worry and keep reading.
Does Home Insurance Cover Slab Leaks?
Fortunately, the average homeowner’s insurance will sometimes cover the cost of repairing a slab leak. When it comes to your repairing your home’s structural integrity or replacing damaged belongings, homeowner’s insurance will usually cover at least part of the cost.
Homeowner’s insurance will sometimes cover the cost of tearing out the slab. It’ll often need to be removed in order to access the leak. However, insurance usually won’t pay to have that slab replaced.
Dealing with a Slab Leak
A slab leak is no laughing matter. These leaks can pose serious structural issues to your home, and they can be pretty expensive to properly deal with.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore this problem! A slab leak repair only gets more expensive the longer you wait. Address the issue head-on as soon as you suspect that a slab leak might be present.