What is a Slab Leak? The Hidden Dangers You Need to Know

what is a slab leak

Do you know what is worse than a water leak? A water leak you don’t know you have.

The problem might be hiding under your house. And that problem might just be a slab leak.

Undetected slab leaks cause serious damage to your home, and they are often quite expensive to repair. 

In this guide, we will walk you through the basics of what a slab leak is and provide you with the necessary information to help you catch the problem before it becomes a flood. 

Let’s get started so you can prevent further damage to your flooring, carpeting, walls, and foundation.

What is a Slab Leak? The Basics of Plumbing Slab Foundation Leaks

A slab leak (or foundation leak) is not a leak in the concrete slab itself, but a leak in the plumbing underneath the slab foundation. 

The slab is a concrete foundation that supports all the weight of your house and transfers the load to the ground. Installed under a concrete slab are the necessary plumbing pipes that provide water to your home. 

Slab leaks can be the result of a small pinhole leak, a burst pipe, or multiple leaks along the plumbing line. 

Either way, a slab leak involves a pipe leak in a very difficult-to-reach location.

And this water will keep accumulating, causing more soil erosion, damage to your home, and an increase in water usage and water bills. Your electric bill may also spike if the leak is from a hot water line.

Mold is another concern. Where there is constant dampness, there is mold. And mold is nothing to sneeze at. 

Mold can have a significant impact on your health and well-being. Including triggering asthma.

What Causes a Slab Leak in Southern California?

There are several reasons why a water line will start leaking—time being one of them. 

Here are some additional causes of a pipe leak:

  • Pipes rubbing against concrete or rocks in the soil
  • Poor construction techniques and poor-quality materials
  • Ground movement from contracting or expanding soil
  • Earthquakes
  • Tree and plant roots growing into the pipes as they seek out water
  • Industrial-grade pipe cleaners (chemicals) that can eat through pipes
  • Soil erosion
  • Rust and other corrosion

If you have an older Southern California home, it will have a greater chance of developing a slab leak as everything breaks down over time. 

For California Residents, slab leaks are usually not the result of too high water pressure in your pipes. 

This is due to California’s building code, which requires a PRV (pressure regulator), which maintains proper water pressure on the water supply lines.

However, this doesn’t mean they won’t develop. We detect and repair a lot of them.

Symptoms of a Slab Leak: Identify the Problem Fast

“I get it, this stuff really matters. But what is it I’m supposed to look for?”

Many conditions lead to slab leaks. Unfortunately, because of the location of these pipes, it can be difficult to detect slab leaks until a repair is needed. 

However, some symptoms might help indicate a slab leak.

Here is a list of common symptoms of slab leaks to watch for: 

  1. Any unexplained increase in your water bill.
  2. Increase in your electric bill.
  3. Low water pressure.
  4. Wet or damp baseboards.
  5. The sound of running water even if no taps are on.
  6. A sudden drop in hot water temperature when the hot water heater is running all the time
  7. Wet/damp areas on the lower floor or carpeting.
  8. Cracks in baseboards, walls, flooring and tiles.
  9. There are bubbles in your linoleum or laminate flooring or the water heater platform that are dry but water is coming out below it.
  10. Cracks in the foundation.
  11. Uneven lawn growth.

If you spot any of these symptoms, please don’t delay by hoping it will work itself out. The longer you wait, the greater the damage from a slab leak. Here are the immediate steps you should take.

Call Evan’s Leak Detection at (949) 855-1032 and we’ll send out a slab leak specialist to assist you in your slab leak detection.

Whether you’re in Orange County, Corona, or Riverside, We are here to solve your slab leak with reliable detection and speedy repair.

What To Do If You Suspect a Slab Leak

The first step is confirming that it is a leaking pipe under your slab. This takes some time, patience, and professional experience.

An expert specializing in slab leaks will use specialized leak detection equipment.

Once you’ve identified and confirmed the leak, a repair plan can be implemented so you can stop the leak and mitigate water damage and foundational damage.

We will recommend the best methods to repair your slab leak, saving you time and money.

Additionally, it helps to have an idea about slab leak repairs and whether your insurance covers them.

Recap: Hire Professionals to Avoid Hidden Dangers of Slab Leaks

Slab leaks are a serious threat to our homes. And because they are usually hidden, at least when the leak first starts, they can cause considerable damage to our homes.

But there are things we can do to minimize the surprise: by watching for signs of a slab leak, we can catch the problem before it overwhelms us.

Assessing damage, implementing a repair plan, and restoring furnishings caused by a slab leak can be complicated and time-consuming. 

It is best to contact a professional plumbing specialist to handle your water leak as soon as possible. 

Call Evans Leak Detection at the first sign of a slab leak at 949-855-1032. 

Ask about our FLAT RATE pricing for leak detection and slab leak repair to minimize cost and further damage. 

What is a Slab Leak: FAQs

How serious is a slab leak?

How serious is a slab leak? In a word, VERY serious! From damaged floors and foundations to serious mold issues, a slab leak is one issue that demands immediate plumbing services.

What happens if you ignore a slab leak?

The first thing that happens is you start paying for a much higher water bill. Over time, the leak will worsen, causing all kinds of damage to your home. And the longer you wait, the more repairs you will need.

How common are leaks under the slab in Southern California?

Unfortunately, in Southern California, slab leaks are frequent. Because of soil conditions and earthquakes, the plumbing pipes under your slab are prone to damage. Once a small crack or pinhole occurs, it will only get worse. 

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