Virtually every American home has an extensive network of pipes to carry water and wastewater. We rely on these plumbing pipes every day, and in truth, we probably take them for granted. Most of us don’t give a second thought to our pipes until something goes wrong, which can lead to smaller leaks and even localized flooding problems. There are many different types of leaks, some are easy to fix with some basic DIY skills and others are far more serious. One of the worst types of water leaks is known as a “slab leak” and we will cover this in more depth here.
What is a Slab Leak?
A slab leak can form when the plumbing pipes located in the foundation slab under your home crack or develop larger holes. As you might imagine, this can be hard to detect because at first, you won’t see any visible signs of leaking water. Most people tend to notice this problem if they keep a close eye on their water bills. If the water bill rises dramatically in a short period of time, it’s a sign that there is a serious leak somewhere. If you cannot find that leak, it may be located in the foundations of your home.
How Much Water am I Losing?
You can confirm your suspicions if you shut off every water using fixture and appliance in your home and then take a water meter reading. After an hour go back and take a second reading and the difference is how much water you are losing per hour. Over time, this can add up to a significant volume of lost water and much higher bills.
What Are the Effects of a Slab Leak?
Losing a high volume of water every day is bad, but the consequences of a slab leak can be far worse in the medium to long term. Due to gravity, water will always flow in a downwards direction unless that route is blocked and it has nowhere to go. In this scenario, the water will not pass further into the foundations and it will start to move upwards.
The first thing that you may notice after a few days is waterlogged floors and damp floor coverings. The home will develop a musty odor and toxic mold growth typically follows. This creates an unhealthy home environment and people with pre-existing respiratory issues may have trouble breathing freely.
Water can cause a lot of damage in a very short period of time and fixing the slab leak should be a priority. The most dangerous problem is that the leak will cause damage to the foundation slab. Gradually, the water leak will eat away at the foundations of your home, and eventually, it will become unstable. This can lead to extensive building repairs that may cost thousands of dollars.
What is the Solution?
Adopting a proactive approach to your plumbing pipes and fixtures makes good sense. Schedule an annual inspection and health check for your plumbing system to ensure that it’s running efficiently. Get in touch with your local plumbing specialist today.