If you are a home or property owner then you know that it is imperative to keep up regular maintenance of your property. If something starts to go wrong and it’s left to deteriorate then the cost to fix the problem can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, more to fix. A problem with your home’s foundation can be one of the worst and most expensive fixes in your home. Even worse, if there is a problem left untreated with your home’s foundation it can impact the entire structure.
A very common problem that can arise in your home is what’s known as a slab foundation leak. Knowing what a slab foundation leak is and how you can spot it quickly is important for any homeowner. Doing it early, slab leak repair can not only save you a lot of money, but it can save the integrity of your structure.
If you aren’t familiar with construction practices you may be wondering if your home even has a slab foundation. So, let’s start with explaining what a slab foundation even is.
A slab foundation is a thick slab of concrete that your home is built on. The concrete is laid in one continuous pour and the center is generally laid around 4-6 inches thick. Extra strength around the perimeter of your home is achieved by pouring the outside of your slab foundation thicker than the inner portion.
Now that you know what a slab foundation is let’s explain what a slab leak is. The water pipes that run water into and out of your home run under your home’s slab foundation. When the copper pipes that run into your home corrode or are damaged it causes a leak. When this happens it can lead to costly repairs. If slab foundation repair is done early enough it can save you a considerable amount of time and money. That’s because if left untreated slab foundation leaks can lead to serious problems.
A slab leak can lead to mold or mildew build up in your home. A leak can also result in bowing or warping in your hardwood flooring. If there is enough water coming from the leak it can also seep into your yard and cause serious damage to your lawn and landscaping. If left untreated for too long a slab leak can cause serious damage to your home’s foundation. Water from the leak can work its way into small pockets, cracks, or fissures in your foundation. This can eventually result in your foundation moving or cracking.
These problems can be extremely time consuming and expensive to repair. Luckily, there are some pretty telltale signs to determine if there is a slab leak. While many problems with the structural integrity of your home may take a professional to assess. A slab foundation leak, however, can initially be discovered just by knowing what to look for and paying attention to what’s going on in your home. So, what are the signs that your slab foundation has a leak?
Sudden Loss of Water Pressure
If the leak in your home is coming from one of the incoming water pipes then a sudden decrease in your water pressure could be a sign that you have a slab leak.
Now, just to be clear, sudden drop in water pressure doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a slab leak. Water pipes also run through your walls and on the outside of your home. Low water pressure could be a result of many different problems.
However, if you suddenly start to notice that your water pressure isn’t as strong as it once was that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a slab leak. It is, however, a sign that you should start investigating further to see where the problem lies.
Higher Monthly Water or Heating Bills
Even a small leak in either your cold or hot water pipes can significantly raise your water or heating bills each month. A leak in those pipes means that you have water continuously running all throughout the day. When that starts happening it can show up first in your water bills or your heating bills if it’s in the hot water pipes.
Unusually high utility bills can be one of the first signs that something is seriously wrong with your plumbing. A small leak may not seem like much, but over the course of the month that small leak can wreak havoc on your wallet and your foundation.
Mold or Mildew Growth
Moisture, heat, and lack of light can quickly lead to mold and mildew growth. A leak in your slab can quickly lead to both of these growing. If your home has a basement mold and mildew can quickly grow out of control right under your feet.
While there are quite a few reasons these fungi can start growing, they can be a clear sign that you have a leak somewhere in your slab. Even if you can’t see it with the naked eye there is a good chance you can smell them. Basements provide the perfect environment for them to grow and if they are not caught quickly they can grow out of control and cost thousands of dollars to clear away.
If your leak is especially bad or has been a problem for a long time you will almost certainly start to notice pools of water forming in places where it shouldn’t be. If the problem gets to this point you will want to get the problem fixed right away.
Pooling water can be an even more serious problem for people living in colder climates. Water can spread throughout cracks in the cement. When it freezes it expands, and the ice has the power to do serious damage to the foundation. Even in a short amount of time expanding ice can do serious damage to your slab.
A Hot Floor
If the pipe that is leaking is a hot water pipe then you will probably feel the heat radiating up from the floor. If you suddenly start feeling heat coming from places where there normally isn’t that is a good sign that you have a leak.
When the hot water is running the water will heat up the part of the floor where the leak is. This is generally a clear sign that you have a serious problem and need to get someone in there to fix the problem before it gets any worse.
A Strong Sewage Smell
Up to this point we have mainly been discussing problems associated with your incoming water pipes. Those aren’t the only pipes that are under your slab foundation, however.
Your sewage lines are also found under the foundation. When sewage is running through the pipes you probably won’t smell anything. If one of these lines ruptures it’s a real possibility that the sewage will leak out and you may smell the pungent smell coming from under the foundation.
Slab leak repair isn’t something that you want to put off. The longer you wait to address the problem the more it will cost to fix. If you notice any of these symptoms of a leak it will be in your best interest to take care of it right away by calling a professional leak detection company in California. Doing so will not only save you money but serious headaches in the long run.