Every homeowner hopes to avoid the troubling problem of water seeping through the floor! If we talk about one of the most challenging issues related to a property’s plumbing system, it’s definitely a slab leak. The pesky problem, which is difficult to identify and repair, causes havoc beneath your home’s foundation, causing structural damage. Aiming to help you make an informed decision, we will discuss the causes and solutions for slab leaks in this blog post. Furthermore, we will divulge the intricacies and cost of slab leak repair in Dallas.
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What is a Slab Leak?
A water leak under the slab is basically a leak that develops under the concrete slab foundation of a property. There are several reasons why a slab leak occurs. Corrosion, chemical reactions, and soil expansion are some of the primary causes of damaged plumbing pipes. A slab leak can occur anywhere in the house (which is why it’s a challenge to detect it). But most commonly, it can be found near the drainage side or the pressure side of the plumbing system.
Causes of Leak Under Foundation
Understanding the causes of slab leaks can help you and the plumber to identify the issue in the early stages and address it promptly before it causes significant damage. Homeowners can also take precautionary measures, such as proper pipe maintenance or annual plumbing inspection, to avoid slab leaks. Here are the reasons behind a leaking pipe under the house:
Unsuitable Plumbing Materials
It is imperative to know how different pipe materials can be prone to damage, eventually damaging the concrete slab foundation. To ensure durability, the choice of plumbing material should be in accordance with the local water and soil conditions.
- Cast iron pipes are durable but vulnerable to corrosion over time, especially in older properties.
- Copper pipes are highly resilient but prone to damage in case of chemical reactions and unsuitable water conditions.
- Galvanized steel pipes ultimately corrode when their zinc coating degenerates.
- Plastic pipes are corrosion resistant, but can easily get damaged if their quality is compromised (or due to improper installation). Common types of plastic pipes include polyvinyl chloride pipe (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipe (CPVC), or cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipe.
Soil Expansion or Erosion in Dallas
While soil expansion is an issue throughout Texas, the problem is pronounced particularly in Dallas. It is the ninth-largest city in the US, known for its humid climate and economic growth. The soil in the region has high smectite clay content, causing it to expand when wet and shrink upon drying, ultimately damaging the pipes underneath the foundations. Another issue that Dallas residents face is temperature fluctuations due to hot summers and mild winters, which change the water pressure. The changing pressure strains the plumbing system, causing water leaks.
If you reside in the west region of Texas, it is worth mentioning here that the soil is less expansive there. Still, it is less than ideal, which is why slab leak repair in Fort Worth, Irving, and other cities in the region is a common occurrence.
Damage to Pipes Due to Various Forms of Pressure
Wear and tear of pipes under the foundation of your home can occur due to different reasons. Chemical reactions between metals in the soil and plumbing material can be a primary cause of pipe corrosion, or it can be due to the highly alkaline or acidic nature of water. Friction against nearby water lines or concrete may also impose constant pressure, which leads to damage. There can be a single or multiple leaks in plumbing lines due to these issues.
Seismic activity, growth of tree roots, excessive use of harsh chemical drain cleaners, or an underground stream may also result in a leaking pipe under the house.
Telltale Signs of a Slab Leak
- Discolored or damp floor covering indicates a leak under the foundation.
- Water coming up from the floor is a sign of a slab leak.
- Carpet that keeps getting soggy for no reason.
- Popped tiles signal water damage beneath the floor.
- A raised “dome”, wet spots, or water stains can indicate water under floorboards.
- An increase in your water bill without a change in water usage may be due to an undetected slab leak.
- Colder showers may be due to a hot water leak under the foundation.
- Noticeable drop in water pressure.
- Musty smells or visible mold growth is a clear sign of hidden water damage.
- Warm spots on the flooring may be due to damaged hot water supply pipes. Your pets may also find the particular warm spot comforting.
Noticing any of these signs calls for slab leak detection and pipe repair by an expert local plumber who will use advanced methods for slab leak detection, such as water line video inspection.
Why Timely Slab Leak Repair is Important?
As they are not clearly visible, slab leaks are hard to detect. If gone unnoticed for a long time, they can cause significant water damage. As soon as you notice any of the signs mentioned above, connect with an experienced plumber to detect the issue and ensure slab repair right away.
Timely slab leak repair helps you avoid further damage, high water bills, water waste, and costly foundation repair. It will also prevent mold growth which severely impacts indoor air quality and health.
How to Fix a Slab Leak?
If you have a slab leak, there are different ways to fix it. While we can help you understand these methods, remember that DIY slab leak repair is not recommended. Only a certified, experienced local plumber will guide you better about the method to repair slab leaks, which will ensure your home’s structural integrity.
Tunneling Under the Slab
If you are looking for a less invasive method and want to fix a slab leak without jackhammering, under slab plumbing repair via tunneling can be a good option. Without excess concrete removal, the plumber will create a tunnel beneath the foundation to access the broken pipe. He will then repair or replace it with new pipes, as required, to fix the leak.
Badly damaged water lines should be swapped with new pipes to fix slab leaks. You can also go for pipe rerouting by installing a new plumbing line to bypass damaged water lines. Pipe rerouting, or replacing the leaking pipe under the house, is a durable solution for slab leaks.
Trenchless Slab Leak Repair
In this method, no major demolition is required to resolve the slab leak issue. Also known as pipe lining, the trenchless repair is when the plumber inserts a new pipe or epoxy pipe liners in the existing pipes to reline it and preserve the slab foundation.
Cutting Through the Slab
Cutting through the flooring and slab by using a jackhammer gives the plumber access to the leaking pipes underneath the foundation. The damaged pipes are either replaced or relined, and the restoration work is done to repair the foundation.
How Much Does Slab Leak Repair Cost in Dallas?
Depending on the severity of the leak and the repair method, labor for slab leak repairs may cost anywhere between $45 to $200 per hour. Trenchless repair costs fall within the range of $1000- $3500, while invasive methods to repair and replace the pipes may cost you up to $4000. In case of significant damage, the slab may need to be replaced, and the foundation repair will cost up to $12000.
Connect With a Plumber for Slab Leak Repair in Dallas
Inexperienced plumbers may aggravate the slab leak issue further. Acquiring expert plumbing services ensure accurate detection and long term solution for slab leaks. Deluxe Plumbers assures you of professional slab leak repair services by connecting you with adept plumbers near you.
Will My Homeowners’ Insurance Pay For Slab Leak Repair?
In most cases, your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of repair and replacement of the slab but not the repair itself. Damage due to wear and tear is not covered by insurance. However, you can review your insurance policy and talk to your insurance provider to know about the specific coverage and reimbursements.
What Is The Average Cost Of Slab Leak Repairs?
The average cost of repairing slab leaks can range between $1000 to $4000.
How Long Does It Take To Fix A Concrete Slab Leak?
Factors such as location, severity of the leak, and the repair method decide the estimated time for concrete slab leak repair in Dallas. On average, it may take anywhere from a few hours to three days to detect and repair the leak, install new pipes, and restore the concrete slab. Trenchless methods don’t require extensive demolition and take less time than traditional methods that involve concrete removal.
How Serious Is A Slab Leak Repair?
Slab leak is a serious issue that you should never neglect. Ignoring a suspected slab leak can lead to cracks in walls and foundation, high water bills, and harmful growth of mold and mildew. In extreme cases, it can even cause your home’s foundation to collapse. It is very important to prevent further damage to your property and call a plumber right away to fix the slab leak.