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Despite being a common plumbing problem, slab leaks may often go undetected for long periods. There may be no visible signs until the problem worsens. It happens when the pipe system underneath your home’s foundation develops a leakage. This leakage allows water to drip into the ground and affects the foundation.
The repercussions can be severe, including wall cracks, low water pressure, high utility bills, uneven flooring, and a sinking foundation. You will need an emergency plumber as soon as you notice slab leak damage anywhere in your home.
What Causes Slab Leaks in Homes?
Mainly, slab leaks occur when your plumbing system fails in some way or another. It may be old water lines or soil shifting under the slab. The most probable causes are:
Faulty Pipe Lines
The most common reason for foundation slab leaks in Timberlane, LA, is the poor installation of underground pipes. When your plumbing pipes are dented, broken, or bent during installation, they will eventually start leaking and burst due to abrasion.
Many old homes have copper pipes that are highly vulnerable to corrosion. In these homes, slab leaks are more common.
Your underground plumbing pipes rub against gravel, concrete, and other pipes during daily usage. It creates constant friction resulting in leakages at places. Abrasions are more common for hot water pipes because they expand on heating and rub against surrounding materials in the soil.
High Water Pressure
If you have high water pressure throughout your home, you may be putting your slab foundation to risk. Look for signs like rattling noises and leaking faucets to detect high water pressure. Call an emergency plumber to tackle this issue before it causes cracks or long-term damages to your slab.
Apart from plumbing and construction issues, slab leaks can also occur due to external pressures. When soil shifts due to earthquakes, soil erosion, or an underground water stream, it puts pressure on the pipes and causes your house to shift slightly. If you don’t get in touch with a plumber, the results can be catastrophic for your home’s foundation and walls.
How Can You Detect Slab Leaks in Your Home?
When you suspect a slab leak, look for the following warning signs that may help detect its source before it’s too late.
Low Water Pressure
When there is leakage under your concrete foundation, the water will escape or seep out before reaching the faucets or showers. As a result, you may have low water pressure everywhere in your home. Whenever you notice it, contact a plumber to detect the real cause of low water pressure and take remedial actions.
Sudden Spike in Water Bills
When there is a slab leak under your home’s foundation, you will lose a lot of water every day. Your water bills will shoot up every month. If the bills are higher than usual, waste no time calling an emergency plumber to detect the exact location of the leakage and rectify it.
Damp and Warm Spots on the Floors
If the hot water line in your house is leaking, you will notice warm and damp spots on the floors. It is easily visible on carpeted floors. If you have tile or hardwood floors, you will not notice these spots unless there is a massive leakage that causes water to seep between the tiles and adhesive.
These leakages can cause warping and discoloration on the wood floors. Hence, you shouldn’t delay calling an emergency plumber as soon as you find a dark or warm spot on your carpets or flooring.
When the slab foundation has extreme leakages, it starts swelling and lifting the house. In this case, you need to seek an emergency plumber to provide expert repairs before a significant shift causes irreparable damages to the foundation. It may be the cracks on the walls or the slab. Don’t let this issue go unnoticed, or you will end up with massive repairs later on.
During the warm weather in Timberlane, LA, you may notice mold growth around your home. It leads to strange odors emanating from your carpets or walls. So, when you see that the padding of your carpets is wet, replace it immediately to avoid mold and mildew growth.
If the smell persists, the issue may be deeper than you anticipate. An emergency plumber can help detect the root cause of odors and fix the problems before they aggravate.
How to Repair the Slab Leaks
After detecting the cause and exact location of slab leaks, you need to address this problem immediately. You need professional plumbing services to avoid complications that may arise in a DIY approach. Here is what an emergency plumber would do.
Rerouting the Pipes
Instead of digging your beautiful flooring, you may opt for pipe rerouting or repiping to rectify slab leaks. During this process, the emergency plumber will cut the water supply lines to the slab and cap them before adding a new line bypassing it.
It is a non-invasive method to stop water leakage underneath your slab foundation. It involves inserting an epoxy layer inside the copper or galvanized steel pipes. The epoxy hardens to cover the cracks and holes, controlling the leakages.
Tunnel under the Slab
With underground tunneling beneath the slab, you can save some money and keep your house mess-free. An emergency plumber may recommend this method if you have expensive flooring that may be damaged during jackhammering the concrete.
Call Local Plumbers for Any Plumbing Emergency in Timberlane, LA
At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of New Orleans we have experienced plumbers to deal with any emergency like slab leaks. We will inspect your home for potential causes and take corrective measures without causing any structural damage to your foundation. Call us today at 504-229-4848 for an inspection.