Nearly 96% of homes built in California use a concrete slab foundation as the basis for support, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Because of this, California homeowners need to be more aware of the causes and dangers of slab leaks. The experts at 5 Star Plumbing, Heating & Air have answered some of the most common questions about slab leaks below, keep reading for more information.
What You Should Know About Slab Leaks
Q: What is a slab leak?
A: A slab leak is defined as a leak that forms when water seeps through a home's foundation unnoticed after a pipe in the slab foundation either bursts or cracks, allowing the water through.
Q: What causes slab leaks?
A: Many factors go into the cause of a slab leak. A few of them include the age of the home, poor installation of the pipes, shifting earth, chemical reactions, water quality, and weakened water lines.
As homeowners in California, we are all too familiar with the frequent earthquakes that occur. Even the most minor shifts in the earth can affect the health of our home's pipes.
- When homes are built, the contractors are careful to lay the pipes far enough from the concrete so that if they expand, they do not make contact with the concrete.
- Any contact could cause enough friction to crack or wear down a pipe, which is why earthquakes can be so detrimental to the lifespan of your pipes.
Another factor to be aware of is the material used for your pipes, the chemical composition of the soil and the quality of the water running through your pipes.
- Pipes made of copper can react with other chemicals within your soil and cause the pipes to corrode from the outside of the pipe to the inside, this process will slowly eat away at your pipes and cause a leak.
- Additionally, you should pay attention to the quality of water that is flowing through your pipes. Water that is too alkaline (soft water) or too acidic (hard water) will cause your pipes to deteriorate at a more rapid rate.
Q: What are the signs of a slab leak?
A: There are a few different signs that you have a slab leak. A few of them include:
Sudden spikes in your water bill
The growth of mold and mildew
Pooling of water in your yard or around the base of your home
Damp spots in your carpets along your baseboards
If you notice any of these signs, be sure to call your local plumber right away so they can come out to inspect any damage and provide you with a solution!
Q: How do slab leaks impact a home?
A: Slab leaks can have a lasting impact on your foundation, destroying its ability to firmly support the weight of your home. Because these slab concrete foundations are essentially sitting on top of the soil, any water running underneath it and eroding the ground beneath the foundation will make the foundation incredibly unstable. This instability will cause further damage to the foundation by causing it to weaken, crack or even collapse in extreme cases.
Aside from damaging your foundation, slab leaks can also cause water damage within your home. Any water that leaks out from your pipes will typically seep up and settle under your carpet or against your baseboards. No matter the damage that has already been caused, it is essential that you get the slab leak taken care of immediately to prevent anything worse.
Q: What should I do when I find a slab leak?
A: If you notice any of the signs that we talked about above, or you have experienced other issues with your plumbing, then you should call a trusted plumber right away! As we explained, slab leaks can cause a great deal of damage which is why it is so important to stop the problem as soon as it begins, or better yet, before it even becomes a problem.
Regular check-ups on your plumbing system can help you uncover any hidden issues that would have gone undiscovered without a checkup.
How 5 Star Plumbing, Heating and Air Can Help
No matter what kind of plumbing issues you face, 5 Star Plumbing, Heating and Air will know how to fix it. With over 25 years of experience in Southern California plumbing, we have seen it all and know how to fix it. Call us today or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer!
If you suspect that you have a slab leak in your Inland Empire home, don’t hesitate to call 5 Star Plumbing, Heating & Air at (951) 363-2911 or contact us online for service!