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Many homeowners in San Antonio, TX don’t know how to spot a slab leak in their home as the lack of visibility can be a factor. This common problem occurs when the plumbing system in the slab foundation of your home leaks water. It can cause serious problems if you don’t address it quickly. For this reason, you should know the signs that it’s time to book a slab leak repair.
What Is a Slab Leak?
If a pipe in the slab foundation of your home becomes pinched or eroded, it can burst. In homes that are 20 years old or less, slab leaks usually happen on the pressure side of the plumbing. Homeowners are more likely to notice slab leaks on the pressure side early on. This is because they leak water very quickly, so you’ll probably hear a trickling sound and notice that your water bills have suddenly gone up.
In older homes, slab leaks are more likely to happen on the drainage side of your plumbing system. These are harder to spot because they leak slowly, sometimes for years without detection.
Both types of slab leaks can cause serious damage and could even cause the foundation of your home to crack or collapse. As soon as you realize you might have a slab leak, you should book a slab leak repair right away.
What Causes Slab Leaks?
The most common reason for needing a repair is erosion to copper piping. Over time, water running through the pipes in the slab foundation of your home can wear them away. Less commonly, slab leaks could be caused by improper installation or contact between the piping and concrete.
Signs of a Slab Leak
There are some telltale signs that indicate you may need a slab leak repair. These include:
- dark or damp areas on the floor
- warm areas of floor if a hot water pipe is leaking
- hot water running from the cold faucet
- unexplained rise of water bills
- mold or mildew growing on flooring
- water running when you switch off the faucets
- unexplained low water pressure
However, the only way to know for sure if you have a slab leak is to call in a San Antonio, TX plumber.
How Are Slab Leaks Confirmed?
It used to be the case that the only way to confirm a slab leak was to break into the home’s foundations and inspect the piping. This method is time consuming and destructive. Nowadays, slab leak repair companies use sonic equipment to detect the sound made by a leaking pipe in the slab foundation. It’s likely that they will then insert video recording equipment into the pipe to find the precise location that requires repair.
How Are Slab Leaks Repaired?
There are various options when it comes to carrying out a slab leak repair, and you should consult a San Antonio, TX plumbing company to decide which is the most appropriate for your home.
If your pipes are in generally good condition, a repair professional may recommend just repairing the part of the pipe that’s leaking. Most San Antonio, TX homeowners prefer this solution because it doesn’t require digging into the foundation of their home.
However, this solution may not be suitable if the leaking pipe is in poor condition. It’s likely that the fix won’t last very long as the pipe will probably start leaking in a different location in the future. Slab leak repair companies usually deal with this problem by shutting off the damaged pipe and rerouting around the leaking area with new piping.
If the plumbing in your home’s slab foundation is old and in a very bad state, you may need to have the whole system re-piped to avoid more leaks in the future.
How Long Does a Slab Leak Repair Take?
Depending on the type of repair you’re having done, the plumbing side of a slab leak repair should take around two days. However, it may take longer to get your home back to its previous condition as you may need to repair or replace flooring, carpets or paint work.
Can Slab Leaks Be Prevented?
Although many slab leaks can’t be prevented, a general home plumbing inspection can help spot a slab leak in the early stages before it becomes a big problem requiring a very costly repair. Although it is difficult to inspect the plumbing in your home’s slab foundation, plumbers are trained to diagnose a likely leak by checking factors such as your home’s water pressure, drain lines and plumbing fixtures. If they suspect a slab leak, they may recommend calling in a repair service to check for a leak with sonic equipment. It’s recommended that homeowners book a plumbing inspection once or twice a year.
Can I Claim for a Slab Leak Repair on Insurance?
Many home insurance policies don’t cover major home repairs, although yours may cover a portion of the cost. You will need to check your individual policy to find out. A repair to the pipe is the most likely to be fully or partially covered by home insurance.
If you’re having the piping rerouted or the whole piping system needs to be replaced, it’s likely that you will have to bear all the costs yourself. However, you could try appealing to your insurance company to reduce your premiums once the work is complete. Some companies may consider this as there will be a reduced risk of further leaks in the future.
The Bottom Line
Remaining vigilant to the signs of slab leaks in your home can help prevent serious damage and high repair costs. The expert plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio can help with any concerns you may have about your home’s plumbing and get your system back to perfect working order.