Slab leaks have their origins in the piping that runs underneath the concrete slab in your home. They typically begin as a simple leak from a tiny hole in a pipe and gradually worsen over time. In any case, they can run up a lot more costs than just your monthly water bill. Slab leaks can ruin the inner foundation of your residence and eventually lead to expensive home repairs. Catching them in time is tricky because signs of a slab leak are initially somewhat subtle. Thankfully, there are several warning signs that can give you just enough information to prompt you into taking action against this serious problem.
A Sudden and Unexplained Spike in Your Monthly Water Bill
We are all aware that the high cost of utilities in general just keeps going up, but when a spike happens unannounced, the odds are great that trouble is in the air. For instance, a sudden rise in your monthly water bill typically indicates that something is amiss. Since slab leaks cause you to lose more water than usual, getting your plumbing system inspected for this potential problem is the first item that should be dealt with on your to-do list.
Mold Buildup on Floors and Carpets
Water springs up in so many unlikely places as a direct result of a slab leak. Two of the places that are hardest hit are your carpets and floors. Wooden floors, in particular, may become damaged or warped once the wood in them soaks up the moisture. Tiled floors can crack and leak more water. In any case, the first sign to look for is the presence of water puddles. Since these lead to eventual mold damage, taking care of them is of the utmost importance. If you suffer from mold allergies or happen to smell the presence of mold in your house, you should have your home inspected for a slab leak. Sudden dark spots are excellent visual evidence of this problem.
Hot Spots Found on Your Flooring
Hot spots on your flooring are great indicators of a slab leak. They happen when your hot water line erodes and leaks underneath the floor of a room where humidity lives. It eventually heats up the concrete of your floor and can crack your tiles. This is how hot water gathers and collects over time, thus resulting in a "hot spot" on the floor. Getting it checked is vital to having just enough hot water for practical use inside of your house. Plus, you can prevent further leakage when doing so.
The Trickling Sound of Running Water Beyond Use
Have you turned off your faucet or an appliance only to still detect the sound of running water? If this happens hours after active use, your problem could be traced to a slab leak. This might be the beginning of something serious. Hearing it inside of your walls and floors is both distracting and a genuine concern. Enlisting your plumber can help you detect the issue and get it fixed promptly.
A Decrease in Water Pressure
Water pressure is the reason for your water to run in the first place. Without it, you get very little water to almost none at all. When water is lost through leaking pipes, it not only raises your monthly bill but also decreases the pressure you need to sustain effective use.
A decrease in water pressure is indicative of a slab leak. This decrease can start off small and build over time. If you notice even a gradual drop in your water pressure, it is time to call for a plumber. The odds are great that a slab leak is the culprit, especially if you notice pools of water or hear it running after it has been shut off.
Pools of Water Found Outside Your House
You may notice sudden shallow pools of water that form on the periphery of your home. This can usually result in flooding and will ruin any gardens or grass on your lawn. Unless your yard suffers from poor irrigation or you are overwatering your plants, the chances are pretty good that you have a serious slab leak on your hands. A professional contractor should come to inspect your pipes right away.
Cracks in Your Walls
Once in a while, you may notice a slight crack in one of your walls. That might be normal settling of the foundation, especially if your house is old. However, when cracks suddenly appear out of nowhere and without explanation, a slab leak could be to blame. These cracks can be the result of water damage from a broken pipe or a severe leak.
Possible Origins of Slab Leaks
Slab leaks can go undetected for a long time and cause untold property damage. You could experience problems with your home's foundation falling apart and may start to notice other effects as well. If your house has recently shifted in its foundation, it can affect your pipes. This is especially true if your property is older and the pipes are corroded. Ground shifts from events such as earthquakes may also cause your pipes to shift and crack, with the end result being a potential slab leak.
Determining the Root Causes of a Slab Leak
Poorly installed plumbing and corroded pipes are two main causes of slab leaks. If you have had new pipes installed recently, you should have a follow-up inspection to ensure that they have been properly fitted. Anything that is loose or ill-fitting can result in a slab leak.
Your chances of getting a slab leak are far greater if you are living in a home that's 20 or more years old. The older your house is, the older the pipes will be. Early detection is key to stopping the problem in its tracks. Listen for running water inside of your walls and floors after use. When this occurs, you should call your plumber immediately. Any sudden drop in your water pressure or an increase in your monthly bill is also a good indicator of a slab leak. You can save your home from extensive damage and costly repairs by getting the problem diagnosed as soon as possible. Routine inspections are also critical in catching a burgeoning slab leak. If you notice any of these issues, do not hesitate to reach out to professional plumbers.
Your Local Plumbing Experts
Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros in Columbus, OH offers a variety of plumbing services for your home. Our services include water heater installation and repair with both regular and tankless types. We can deal with septic tanks to ensure that they are clean and in good working order. We can also clean drains using hydro jetting to blast a stubborn clog without the use of toxic chemicals. If you are simply looking to add beauty to your home, we can help. Our company offers kitchen and bath remodeling at your request. Of course, we can replace old plumbing as well.
Whatever your needs are, we are at your service. The professional team at Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros is staffed with knowledgeable plumbers who have experience in many facets of today's plumbing field. Call us at Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros today to arrange an appointment.