Leaky Slabs

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Coming home from a long day at work is the moment you should start relaxing. Unfortunately, it is hard to do that when you find your water bill is insanely high or you find mildew or water spots around your home. These are just a few of the tell tale signs of a slab leak. Most houses in the Plano area normally have a slab construction, which means that the house is built on a concrete slab, which sits directly on the ground. Especially in older homes, the plumbing running under the slab is copper piping. When this piping leaks, you have a slab leak.

As previously mentioned, an excessive water bill and finding mildew or water puddles around your house can signal a slab leak. Hearing the sound of running water in your pipes when another person is using the water in a different part of the house can indicate a slab leak as well. If you walk around barefoot or in socks, check to see if you feel any unusual hot spots on your floor. This can be a sign of a hot water leak. A simple way to check is by looking for any movement at your water meter. Check the position of the water and wait several hours without using the water. Then check again. If the position of the line has moved, you have a leak.

Slab leaks are caused through a variety of reasons. Copper pipe expands and contracts with the temperature. This can cause the piping to crack. If it comes into contact with a sharp object, like a rock, it can saw through the pipe. Aggressive soil and water can cause corrosion in your piping. Ground movement in grated or filled lots or natural earth shifting can cause your pipes to move as well. This extra stress can create leaky pipes. Sometimes pipes are kinked, dinged, or forced into position when they are initially installed or other construction workers damage them after they are installed. Copper piping can last up to 50 years if it is properly installed and kept free from stress factors. A 30 or more year old home usually needs a lot of repairs, like a new roof, garage door, or patio cover. This also includes checking your water piping system. If the city changes their water purification standards, this can alter the tap water chemistry and can mess with your pipes.

There are 3 options for a repair. A spot repair opens up your slab at the spot of the leak and repairs the leaking pipe. This method is cost effective for newer construction. Repiping or rerouting replaces your entire line of piping that was leaking. This is most effective for older plumbing systems that have a history of leaking. The final option is epoxy pipe coating. Here, a pipe coating is applied though the inside of your plumbing while they are still underground. This technique is reserved for systems with a series of small leaks making a normal repair too costly or too inconvenient to dig up your slab.

Don’t completely lose your mind if you find that you may have a leak. It could be something as simple as a running toilet or drippy showerhead. Let the professionals test your slab and find out the root cause. Call Plano Plumbing & Leak Detection at 972-672-8616 for 24-hour service.

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