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11 Warning Signs of a Slab Leak

A slab is water leaking

Slab leaks are a special type of plumbing problem homeowners can encounter when their home is on a slab foundation. There are often plumbing lines installed under the concrete foundation during the construction process.

Access to these pipes is difficult and so, too, is slab leak detection by homeowners. As such, being aware of the warning signs of slab leaks is essential to be able to detect them sooner before they cause major water damages and damage the foundation of your home.

Sign #1: You can hear the sound of running water or dripping water.

If you hear the sound of running water or dripping water, it is worthwhile to attempt to pinpoint the cause. You need to make sure all faucets are turned off and then carefully listen.

You may need to get down on the floor and press your ear to it. If you hear running or dripping water, you will want to call a professional plumber for leak detection service.

Sign #2: You receive a high water bill.

If you haven’t changed the amount of water you use from one month to the next, yet you notice a spike in your water bill, this often indicates a leak of some sort. The leak may be under the concrete slab, in a wall, or through some other place that is not easily accessible.

Sign #3: You notice hot spots or cold spots on specific areas of the floor.

If you have hardwood, laminate, tile, or vinyl flooring in your home, you may notice a hot or cold spot in a specific location. Hot spots indicate a hot water line leak while cold spots indicate a cold water leak. It can be harder to notice these spots during certain times of the year.

Sign #4: There are wet spots on your flooring.

Flooded floor in kitchen from water leak

If you notice carpeting is wet in certain areas or see water coming up from in between the seams on other types of flooring, you probably have a slab leak.

Sign #5: Your flooring is bubbling in certain areas.

If you notice that parts of your flooring have bubbles in it, or it is buckling, and you see moisture or water, you probably have a leak under your slab.

Sign #6: You notice gaps appearing between the floor and walls.

This sign means the leak has been around for quite some time. As more and more water accumulates under the slab, it can cause erosion, resulting in the slab sinking into the ground and creating gaps between the floor and walls in your home.

Sign #7: You notice cracks in the concrete foundation.

If the foundation of your home is not covered you may notice cracks start to develop in it. While some cracking is normal, if you notice cracks getting bigger or feel moisture when touching the cracks, you have a water leak that needs to be fixed.

Sign #8: You notice your water pressure has decreased.

As water leaks out, it will cause a reduction in water pressure in the plumbing lines connected to the leaking pipe. If you notice your water pressure is not as strong in one area of the home but is fine in another area, the problem is isolated to that area.

Alternatively, if the pressure has decreased throughout the house, then the leak could be under the slab where the water main comes into the home.

Sign #9: You notice an increase in mold and mildew in certain areas of the home.

A shocked woman looking at mold on wall

Mold and mildew thrive in damp, moist, wet, and humid environments. When there is a slab leak, it helps create this ideal environment. Depending on the extent of damage to your home from the leak, you may only notice strong, unpleasant, musty-type odors. This is an indication it is time to start checking for leaks.

Sign #10: There are soft spots on your floor.

If you step on the floor and certain spots feel soft, this could indicate a slab leak. As water leaks out of the plumbing line, it will pool until it can cause erosion so the water runs and flows more freely. While it pools, it can be absorbed through the concrete and cause your subflooring to start to rot and decay.

Sign #11: You notice water flowing from the sides of your home.

If you walk around the perimeter of your house and notice there is water or wet areas at the foundation level, even though you haven’t run water or it hasn’t rained recently, you most likely have a slab leak.

Water Damage Slab Leaks Can Cause to Your Home

The extent of water damage can and does vary based on how long the slab leak has been present. Early detection is essential to avoid costly repairs to your home. These types of leaks can crack the foundation, cause sinkage and movement of the foundation, damage subflooring and flooring, and more.

What to Do if You Suspect a Slab Leak in Your Home

The first thing you can do is make sure all faucets and fixtures are turned off. Next, check your water meter and see if it is still moving. If it is, you have a water leak somewhere in the plumbing lines. For homes with well water and no water meter, wait to see if your well pump turns on; if it does, it often indicates a leak.

Your next step is to call a professional plumber for slab leak detection service. Your plumber will pinpoint the leak using various equipment. Once the leak is located, it will be repaired, along with any water damages.

For professional leak detection service and slab leak repairs in New Braunfels, Temple, San Antonio, and the Austin area, please feel free to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing by calling 512-246-5400 today!

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