News & Media

Go Back

Slab Leaks: The Problem and the Various Solutions

Is there a puddle in the yard that has no source? Do people hear water running in certain parts of the house when no water is running? Is the home in an area with a lot of clay in the soil? These questions point to the possibility of one of the most inconvenient and expensive plumbing issues: a slab leak

Defining the Slab Leakslab leak

Most houses these days have what is called a slab foundation. This type of foundation is made by digging out the footprint of the house, laying a base of gravel and sand or earth, then pouring concrete into this outline to create the floor and support system of the house. The pipes for the home's plumbing system will have already been laid by this point, and they will be sealed beneath this layer of gravel and concrete.

Thus, a slab leak is when one of these aforementioned pipes breaks via too much water pressure or some form of wear and tear, causing the pipe's catastrophic failure. The water then searches for an exit and flows against the concrete and through the gravel, often ending up in the yard. It can also push through small cracks in the concrete foundation and begin leaking into the house, under cabinets and walls. 

The Hazardous Results of Slab Leaks

When a slab leak occurs, it will always become a serious problem. There is no ignoring a plumbing leak underneath the foundation of a house. The obvious consequence of this sort of leak is the resulting water pooling somewhere on the property, whether in the yard, under the house, or inside the house. But this can cause many other problems as well.

  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Low water pressure
  • High water Bills
  • Structural water damage
  • Sinking foundation

Professional Slab Leak Detection and Correctionplumber

There are ways for a person with common sense to detect the presence of a slab leak, such as feeling a warm spot on the floor that might mean a hot water pipe breakage, hearing running water when all the taps are off, or seeing water pooling without a known source. Still, these methods are crude at best when compared to the professional's ability and tools to perform slab leak detection.  

Professional plumbing technicians use microphones and other acoustic equipment to find slab leaks precisely and in a non-invasive way. However, repairing the leak proves a much more challenging task and the method used will likely depend on the location and severity of the leak. 

3 Ways to Repair a Foundation Leak:

  • Digging beneath the foundation: Plumbers may dig underneath the home to reach and repipe the leaks. This usually involves a deep trench on one side of the home.
  • Bypass: This repair involves disconnecting the leaky pipe and completely rerouting the pipe either through the attic or beside the foundation. 
  • Jackhammering the floor: This involves breaking up a small foundation area to repair the leak directly under the home.

About Affordable Plumbing, Heating & Air

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Affordable Plumbing, Heating & Air, provides work that is done promptly and at a fair price (no overtime fees!). Call today for any plumbing services in the Fairhope, AL area.