anytime plumbing
13 Jul

A Quick Guide to The Cause and Detection of Slab Leaks

Although home ownership provides us with a number of benefits and privileges, it also requires a lot of constant upkeep and preventative maintenance.  We are responsible for maintaining the durability and protection of our homes.  At the same time, we must ensure that the structure remains uncompromised by any unanticipated accidents such as plumbing issues.  Consequently, one of the more common repairs that the Anytime Plumbing Santa Cruz plumbing specialists are familiar with is slab leaks.

What is a slab leak?

While visible leaks are always a concern for homeowners, it’s the invisible ones that can-do substantial damage, if they go undetected and unrepaired.  Once such leak is a slab leak.  This is a plumbing leak that typically occurs beneath the concrete slab that serves as your home’s foundation.  If the leak goes unnoticed, it will eventually compromise the foundation and cause thousands of dollars in damage.  Because of the frequency of earthquakes in California and the way in which they can shake a home’s foundation, slab leaks are fairly common plumbing issues. And that is why it helps to call in professionals as they are conversant with all aspects of such leaks.

What are the causes of slab leaks?

Are you experiencing low water pressure in the shower? Have you noticed damp spots on your carpeting or flooring? Is your water bill increasing every month? If the answer to any of these questions was “YES”, you might have a slab leak.  There are a number of reasons that slab leaks develop, many of which go beyond your control.  The following is a list of the causes that the specialists at Anytime Plumbing of Santa Cruz have discovered on past jobs:

  • Abrasion during pipe usage – the constant friction caused by pipes rubbing against cement, gravel, or other pipes wears them down and causes them to spring leaks
  • Outside pressure caused by shifting soil under your home’s foundation – this could be due to an earthquake, soil erosion, or an underground stream
  • Pipe damage resulting from improper home construction and plumbing installation – it could also result from poor pipe quality as well
  • Poor water chemistry and quality / pH level – overly acidic (“hard”) or overly alkaline (“soft”) water can cause your pipes to corrode
  • Time and aging – this is the biggest culprit and the major cause behind the four reasons mentioned above. Thus, get proper maintenance done by experts so you are aware of the wear and tear over time.

Due diligence and preventative maintenance will help you keep your plumbing in good condition.  However, watching out for irregularities will help in the prevention of slab leaks as well. If you need the services of experts, call us today and let our plumbing experts do a quick evaluation and let you know the condition before there is any major cause of concern.

What are the warning signs of a slab leak?

While many leaks can be easily detected, a slab leak is a very different animal.  Because they are often difficult to detect, they can be a major source of stress and frustration for the homeowner.  However, if you recognize the warning signs, contact Anytime Plumbing of Santa Cruz immediately to address the problem.  Here are the 7 warning signs to watch for:

  • A noticeable spike in your monthly water bill – when you have a slab leak, your water is constantly running, even when your faucets are turned off
  • An unpleasant smell or odor – the moisture from a slab leak can lead to the growth of mildew and mold which over time will get absorbed by your carpeting or flooring and even your walls
  • Damaged or wet floors – when the water from a slab leak has nowhere else to go but up, it will reach your flooring and eventually cause significant damage
  • Hot spots on your flooring – 80% of slab leaks occur in hot water lines which eventually heats up the concrete under your flooring and causes it to feel warmer
  • Pooling water inside or outside of your home – this happens when the water from a slab leak finds a place to go inside or outside of your home
  • Reduced water pressure – this is caused when water escapes out of a pipe and has difficulty reaching the point where it’s needed
  • You hear water running even when all faucets are turned off – the sound of flowing water when all of the faucets are turned off is a good indication of a slab leak

If you are concerned that you might have a slab leak and would like to schedule an inspection by a leak detection specialist, contact Anytime Plumbing of Santa Cruz at your earliest convenience. Our experts are available to answer your queries and provide you with the expert recommendations as per your specific requirements.

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