How to Repair a Slab Leak?
Homes that do not have basements are prone to suffer from slab leaks. Slab leaks can be very annoying as it can lead to a lot of damage if left without repair. If you do not know what is a slab leak then we tell you here. Fixing the plumbing problem is not as difficult thus here we also discuss about how to repair slab leaks.
A slab is the concrete foundation beneath a home. The incoming water pipes and sewer lines underneath the slab foundation may have cracks or holes which can cause water to leak out under the foundation. To protect your home from water damage you must know how to detect a slab leak.
How to Detect a Slab Leak?
A homeowner should be aware of the signs that indicate a slab leak.
The indication which tell that there is a slab leak beneath your house are-
- Significant rise in the water or electricity bill may occur due to a slab leak.
- The sound of water running continuously but nothing is on.
- You notice visible wet or damp patches on the carpet or flooring.
- Water pressure has gone down.
- Baseboards get wet.
- Wet planters are noticed near the house.
- Water noticed on the floor or carpet.
- Water seen coming out from beneath the water heather but the platform is dry.
How to Fix a Slab Leak?
Fixing a slab leak is a multi-step process and it requires a skilled slab leak repair professional to carry out the task efficiently. The first step is to locate the region of leak. Next is the removal of flooring, carpeting, and all furniture. This is done to get access to the concrete foundation. This foundation of concrete is then drilled to expose the slab leak in the pipe. Once the slab leak is visible, the damaged pipes are repaired and the hole is filled again with concrete after which all flooring or carpeting is replaced.
Repair Instructions for Leak
There are four basic options of repairing a slab leak.
Direct Access or Jack hammering
This is the most common method. Here a crew comes in and removes the flooring and then jackhammers through the cement foundation to locate the pipe. A portion surrounding the pipe is removed and replaced with a new pipe. The new section of the pipe is soldered in place by a plumber. After the new part of the pipe has been fixed the water pressure is restored to ensure it does not leak. If it does not leak then the concrete foundation is replaced gain along with the flooring.
This is a process of applying epoxy lining on the interior parts of the pipes after cleaning them. This seals the hole and blocks the leaking. The coating is applied to all the pipes underneath. This is a method that can save a lot of money over traditional repair techniques and comes with a warranty of 10 years so you are at peace in the near future.
If you want to stay away from repairing leaking slabs forever and is tired of trying other methods then this is the final option that you can opt for. This is a method where all the water pipes of the house are rebuilt separately from the soft copper tubing that has been buried previously. Thus, brand new network of pipes are installed in the house in the walls and ceilings which completely evade the old pipe foundation. The new water system makes use of non-metallic PEX piping.
At present this is the standard repair technique for a slab leak and it is approved by the insurance companies. A new water line is placed through the walls and ceilings of your home to replace the leaking line beneath the floor. This option destroys the interior surfaces of your home but can be extensive on longer lines. This method is opted only when the leaking line is short or not able to be repaired with epoxy lining. This method also comes with drywall repair service provided by few plumbing companies.
Repairing sewer leaks is a bit costly. The rate can be anywhere between $800 to more than $20,000. The costing is determined by the nature and magnitude of the problem. If your home has old iron lines then it will need a major repair. Repairing a water line leak calls for a breaking through the foundation and cutting the damaged pipe out and installation of a new pipe. These repairs are simpler and cost around $1,000.
The above methods can help you deal with the problem of slab leaks. All you need to do is choose the right method based on the nature of the leak that has occurred underneath you house.
Thank you for explaining this in a way that is so easy to understand. I have been trying to understand how to repair a slab leak but so far everything I’ve read has been quite difficult to get a hang of. You’ve tackled the topic head on and simplified it for people like me, right from how to detect a slab leak to how to fix it. Reading your article makes me feel like it is so doable. Of course, all said and done, I am glad I have a reliable plumber who I can rely on if things look overly complicated and out of my scope, when the slab leak issue arises.