A leak in an exposed pipe generally isn’t a major issue to fix. In fact, with the right tools and how-to videos, you might even be able to do it on your own. But what about when that pipe is hidden under the concrete slab of your home? The location of a leak can completely change the game, immediately making the situation much more difficult to deal with. How are leaks that are quite literally buried under concrete supposed to be repaired? Keep reading to learn more about dealing with slab leaks and slab repair in Sacramento.
How to Sub-Slab Pipes Leak Anyways?
If a pipe is buried underground, what causes it to start leaking to begin with? Most often, these leaks are caused by corrosion. While plumbing pipes are designed to last for decades, they are all subject to eventual corrosion, so this is most commonly seen in older homes. As pipes corrode, they can develop weak spots that eventually crack and break, leading to leaks.
Another possible cause of a slab leak is abrasion. When water rushes through your underground pipes, they vibrate slightly; if the pipe is too close to a rock or other hard material, this can cause the pipe to constantly rub against the harder material until it creates a weak point in the pipe that cracks and leaks.
How Do You Know You Have a Slab Leak?
When a pipe inside your home starts leaking, it usually doesn’t take too long to notice. You’ll hear the dripping sounds, see the moisture accumulating, or notice the signs of water damage to your home’s building materials. But when a slab is under concrete and surrounded by soil, how can you even tell you have one? After all, the excess moisture will just soak into the soil and remain out of sight, won’t it? Here are a few signs of a slab leak that you should be on the lookout for:
- A sudden increase in water bill without a clear reason
- Unexplained puddles or wet spots on your landscaping
- Hot spots on your home’s floors
- Discolored water (caused by soil entering the crack in the underground pipe)
- Low water pressure to all plumbing fixtures in the home
- Buckling and cracking concrete
If you notice any of these signs of a slab leak on your property, you should contact our leak detection specialists to help you determine if you have a leak and where it’s located.
How are Slab Leaks Repaired?
Once you know you have a slab leak, how does it get repaired when it’s buried under concrete? Truth be told, it’s not exactly an easy process. The first step is finding the exact location of the leak; we want to ensure we know the leak’s location with as much accuracy as possible to minimize the amount of demolition required to access the leak and repair it. We do this through advanced leak detection equipment like moisture detectors, audio equipment that can hear the sounds of leaking underground, and more.
Once we know the exact location of the leak, we’ll break up the concrete directly over the impacted area and dig up the soil to expose the pipe. Depending on the extent of damage to the pipe, we might repair only the small section or replace a large segment of the pipe; in cases of extreme corrosion and old pipes, we may recommend replacing the water main altogether. Once the pipe is repaired or replaced, we’ll perform a series of tests to ensure all issues have been addressed and you have no further leaks. Only then will we rebury the pipe and pour new concrete to get your home back to normal.
If you suspect you have a slab leak, contact Bullseye Leak Detection to work with a plumbing contractor in Sacramento who specializes in finding and repairing these kinds of leaks. Call now to schedule an appointment!