If your home has a slab foundation, this means that it was built on top of a concrete slab. Before your home’s concrete slab was poured, plumbing pipes were roughed in. As a result, many of your home’s main pipes and lines are actually located underneath your home. Unfortunately, this means that when a leak occurs, it can go undetected for a long time and cause serious damage to your foundation.
By being aware of the common signs of a slab leak, you can address the issue early, mitigate the damage, and hopefully save yourself some money in repairs.
There’s a Spike in Your Water Bill
If you keep an eye on your water bill, you’re likely to notice if there’s a sudden and unexplained increase in your reported water usage. Because a slab leak means water is running 24 hours a day, you’ll certainly see a spike in your water consumption. The increase will vary depending on the size of the leak, but any noticeable change in your regular water bill is worth investigating as a potential slab leak.
You Notice Reduced Water Pressure
When there’s a water leak in your home’s slab foundation, you may also notice that the water pressure in other areas of your home (such as faucets and showers) is lower than usual. This is because less water is running through your pipes when you have an active leak.
You Have “Hot Spots” on Your Floor
Oftentimes, slab leaks occur in hot water lines. When hot water leaks out through the slab, this can cause the flooring directly above the leak to be warm or even hot to the touch. If you’ve noticed that some areas of your flooring feel warm when you walk on it, this should be investigated as a possible slab leak. This will be most noticeable on hardwood, linoleum, laminate, and other solid flooring types.
Flooring is Wet and Damaged
Unfortunately, when leaks are severe enough, they can also cause damage to the flooring above. If you have carpet, be on the lookout for unexplained damp spots and/or a darkened appearance. On hardwood, linoleum, and laminate flooring, you might notice that the floor has a warped appearance.
You Notice a Mold or Mildew Smell
When water leaks underneath your home, it is common for moisture to get trapped underneath your floors. Over time, this can lead to mold and mildew growth, which may result in a noticeable musty smell throughout your home. Not only can mold spores be dangerous to your health, but mold can easily spread to walls and other areas of your home.
When mold and mildew spread and cause widespread damage, it may become necessary to replace flooring, drywall, and other affected areas. This, of course, can be costly for you.
You Can Hear Rushing Water
If you suspect that you may have a slab leak, try turning off sources of water in your home (faucets, dishwasher, washing machine, etc.). Then, head to the first floor of your home and listen closely for the sound of rushing water. If you still hear water running, this is a surefire sign of a slab leak that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
There’s Water Pooling Inside or Outside Your Home
In some cases, there may even be noticeable pooling of water from a slab leak inside or outside of your home. If you see water pooling around the outside of your home on an otherwise dry day, this should be investigated as a possible slab leak. Likewise, be on the lookout for standing water inside your home, especially if it’s on the main floor and located nearby plumbing appliances like your washing machine.
Stop the Damage By Calling a Plumber
Slab foundation leaks are not an issue you’ll want to ignore as a homeowner. Over time, leaks will only get worse and cause more serious problems. The sooner you address and repair a slab leak, the less long-term damage you’ll have and the more money you’ll save.
The key is to choose the right plumbing professional to properly diagnose and repair a slab leak at your home. Not all plumbers have the experience, tools, or resources to handle a slab leak—so it’s important to do your research.
At H.E.B. Plumbing & Sprinkler – Kathlyn Smith, we take great pride in our ability to pinpoint even the smallest of slab leaks. From there, we have the state-of-the-art tools needed to complete repairs promptly, in a timely manner, and with as little interruption to your daily life as possible.
If you suspect that you have a slab leak at your home, please give our team a call. We would be happy to schedule an appointment that suits your busy schedule. We also offer a wide range of other plumbing and sprinkler services to suit your needs, so be sure to keep us in mind!