Most homes are built on a concrete foundation. This foundation usually consists of a flat slab of concrete that lays directly underneath the house and provides a protective and supportive base for it. In most cases, a network of copper water lines run underground through the home’s concrete foundation to provide running water inside the house. What happens if there is a slab leak?

A slab leak is a water leak that develops in one or more of the copper water lines that run through the concrete foundation underneath your house. Slab leaks can be very destructive. These leaks can also be difficult to locate because they often do not cause external signs that are clearly visible until the leak becomes very severe. A severe untreated slab leak can eventually fully destroy the foundation of your home, causing it to collapse completely.

Slab Leak

Slab Leak

Slab leaks are not something to take lightly, but discovering the development of a slab leak under your house’s foundation also doesn’t have to be a complete disaster. Learning how to go about avoiding, locating, and repairing a slab leak can help you avoid catastrophe—even in the case that a slab leak does develop underneath your home.

How to Avoid a Slab Leak

There are many factors that can contribute to the development of slab leaks, which means that there are several things you can do to try your best to avoid a slab leak underneath your own home.

Slab leaks can be caused by prolonged use of excessive water pressure in your home. The use of excessive water pressure can weaken the water lines underneath your home over time. Try to avoid turning your sinks or your showers on full-blast except when necessary, especially if you have naturally high water pressure in your home.

The harsh ingredients in chemical-based drain cleaners can also damage the water lines underneath your home, potentially causing them to leak and cause a slab leak. Avoid using chemical-based drain cleaners in the showers, sinks, or toilets in your home and use more gentle drain cleaners or other methods to keep your drains clean.

That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that not all slab leaks are avoidable. Slab leaks can also be caused by factors that are completely out of your control, such as inadequate initial installation of the foundation of your home or the natural shifting of the foundation or ground underneath your home.

How to Locate a Slab Leak

Slab leaks are water leaks within thick slabs of concrete, so they can be tough to spot. It is important to locate a slab leak before it is able to cause too much damage to the foundation of your house.

detect a slab leak

Detect a slab leak

Visible signs of slab leaks include puddles of water near the foundation of your home, puddles of water inside your home, unexplained warps in your hard flooring, or wet areas in your carpet. These visible signs can help lead you to where exactly the slab leak is located.

However, there are also several non-visible signs of slab leaks. If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill, smell a moldy odor around or within your house, or hear the sound of running water when no one in your home is using the shower, the sink, or the toilet, that could be a sign that a slab leak has developed underneath your house.

If you notice one or more of the above visible or non-visible signs, contact a professional to determine definitively whether or not you have a slab leak and—in the case that you do—investigate and repair the leak for you.

How to Repair a Slab Leak

Once you have determined that there is a slab leak under your home’s foundation and have located the leak, it is important to repair the leak as soon as possible. Slab leaks can cause severe damage to the foundation of your home and can eventually cause your home’s foundation to collapse, which obviously creates a host of much bigger problems itself.

The best way to repair a slab leak in your home’s foundation is to hire a professional to repair it for you. The integrity of the foundation underneath your house is very important and slab leaks can be tricky to repair, so it’s very important to make sure the job is being handled right by a knowledgeable professional.

If you are located in southern California and want to get a potential slab leak underneath your home investigated or repaired, consider contacting Accurate Leak Locators and
Plumbing. Accurate Leak Locators is a family-owned leak locator and plumbing business that offers incredible customer service and provides top-quality services. The slab leak repair professionals at Accurate Leak Locators are equipped with 20 years of experience in locating and repairing water leaks in concrete foundations. They can take care of your slab leak to keep the foundation of your home strong and intact for many, many years to come.