Are you dealing with a slab leak problem in Lake Forest, CA? Slab leaks are among the hardest-to-detect causes of water loss because the leaks often empty into the water table under your home’s foundation. Sometimes, these leaks are only pinhole breaches that cause small losses which homeowners can’t detect. However, the governor of California recently directed the California State Water Board to establish regulations to reduce water usage, and this is one area where the state (and homeowners) can conserve water, cut costs and reduce the collateral damage caused by plumbing leaks.
Unfortunately, it can take months or years before slab leaks are spotted, and in the meantime, they can cause tremendous damage. These leaks are problematic for two primary reasons: They’re hard to detect and hard to reach for nonprofessionals. However, knowing the signs of slab leaks and keeping up with your home’s condition make it easy to know when there’s a problem. If you think you have a slab leak, you should contact a trusted plumbing professional to handle slab leak repair.
What Are Slab Leaks?
Slab leaks can remain undetected until you find yourself swimming to get to the refrigerator. These leaks can dramatically increase your water bill, cause severe damage to your home’s foundation and infrastructure and pose extreme health risks by creating a breeding ground for mold. The causes of slab leaks are numerous. Pipes wear out over time, and temperature changes can cause your pipes and the surrounding materials to expand and contract, which results in small leaks and cracks. Other causes of these leaks include:
Cracked Flooring or Foundations
Cracks in your floors or foundation can be one of the most dangerous signs of leaks. Leaking water under the foundation often isn’t noticeable. Small leaks won’t affect your water bill too much, and you might not notice any puddles until your floor begins to crack. Once your floors crack, the leak can become a nightmare by creating standing water, damaging your home’s infrastructure, ruining appliances and encouraging mold and mildew to breed.
California is well-known for tectonic activity, and the shifting ground puts extreme pressure on infrastructure and water lines. Pipes that aren’t wrapped properly can easily rub against the concrete and develop cracks and leaks.
Vibrations and Movement
Your home and grounds are subject to wear from many natural and engineered processes. The vibrations of running water can wear out pipes over time, and pinhole leaks can rapidly grow into larger pipe breaches. Copper pipes often undergo electrolysis when the chemicals and minerals in the ground react with the copper, which causes it to erode until pipes begin to leak.
Detecting Leaks Before They Generate Severe Problems
Slab leaks are actually easy to detect if you know the signs. These leaks never go away or repair themselves–they only grow worse as water and conditions increase the size of any breaches. Wasting water in California is a big issue even if you don’t consider the potential damage to your home and the cost of wasting water. The primary signs of slab leaks include:
- Increased Utility Bills : Even small increases in your water bill could indicate pinhole leaks in and under your home’s foundation.
- Water Spots : Water spots on the floor are among the clearest signs of slab leaks. Often caused by leaks in hot water lines, these leaks might not be visible but can be felt when walking over the affected area. Floors often develop warm spots when the concrete is heated by water leaks.
- Cracks in the Foundation : Outside water damage can crack your foundation, but the problems could be caused by slab leaks.
- Swelling : Sewer leaks often cause areas of the floor to swell. Look for raised sections in your flooring to detect these leaks. Other signs include toilets that flush sluggishly and unusual odors.
- Interior and Exterior Damage : Leaks often damage parts of your foundation, flooring and tiles. Outdoors, you might get frequently flooded areas not caused by rain or damage to outdoor pools and landscaping.
- Mold and Mildew : Leaks can spread by osmosis into your drywall where the dampness triggers the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause health issues for sensitive members of your family.
- Odors : Unusual or unexplainable odors are a key sign of an undetected leak. These smells can range from musty odors to extremes where your home smells like raw sewage.
- Unusual Sounds : Listening carefully is a good way to detect leaks. You can often hear the sound of water running or dripping. If there’s any question about the sound’s source, try turning off your appliances before listening.
- Low Water Pressure :
Leaks can reduce your water pressure, so investigate any loss of water pressure.
The best strategy is to deal with any leak immediately before it escalates. A minor leak can quickly develop into a flood if you don’t repair it. That’s why it’s critical to hire a Lake Forest plumber that you trust. The wrong contractor or neighborhood handyman is a poor choice when your home’s integrity is at stake. Slab leaks aren’t repaired jobs for amateurs because of their difficulty to detect and repair.