A home is built on a concrete slab when soil is unstable. Given this condition, plumbing lines are set to run underneath the concrete slab, making them hard to reach. The problem is, soil erodes over time due to earth movement or corrosion caused by water.
When the ground beneath your house becomes unstable, the concrete slab foundation will deteriorate, and this can cause displacement or damage to the pipes. Since these pipes are designed to deliver water to your fixtures or drain waste to the sewers, cracks and breakages on your pipes can cause serious problems.
Of course, this does not happen overnight. So, you must be mindful of the signs that tell you that your pipes under the slab are already leaking.
- Water bill is higher than usual
You will notice that your water bill has been unusually high in the past few months, even after verifying that your water fixtures are in good shape and your water consumption has not increased. When those pipes underground have cracks, water will definitely escape. These leaks will persist and will get even worse if not addressed by a certified plumber.
- Wet floors
A small pool of water might be found in one area in your house, and it always collects water no matter how you clean it. Damaged pipes will have leaks and water from the leaks will rise into the surface, causing that pool of water. It will damage your floor especially if you’re using wood.
- Water pressure is low
When water is escaping through the cracks in the water pipes, a large supply of water will not reach you when you turn on your shower or faucet. If you have tried to turn off all your water fixtures and the water pressure is still low, it might be time to consider this problem.
- Foul odours inside your home
Most homes that commonly experience this are the ones who have carpets. When water surfaces into the floors, the carpet absorbs all the moisture. When moisture is trapped there, it will start to smell, especially when it is not attended to immediately because molds and bacteria will start to breed.
So how do we address these problems?
SOLUTION #1: REPLACE THE BROKEN PORTION OF THE PIPES
In order to fix a small portion of broken pipe, the solution normally is to drill a hole through the concrete slab and replace the damaged portion. Sometimes it is not a very good option for some homeowners because it would require removing their floor tiles in order to access the concrete slab.
It does not also guarantee that you can rest easy with your pipes, as you may experience another outbreak some time. If a certain part of your pipe has already been damaged, pretty sure the rest of your pipes have already deteriorated and may have another water leak soon.
SOLUTION #2: INSTALLING A PIPE LINING
One way to avoid having to drill holes and destroy your floors is to insert a thin layer of epoxy coating in the interior of your pipes. The epoxy, once embedded in your pipes, will harden and cover the holes and cracks.
SOLUTION #3: REPIPING
Since it is very costly to remove your floors and concrete slabs to replace the broken pipes, a great alternative is to reroute to a brand-new pipe outside the concrete foundation. The advantage of this is it will be easier to access in the future.
The Bottom Line
You have to take note that slab leak repairs are not easy tasks. It would also cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars if not done properly. It would save you much if you deal with a professional. A 24 hour emergency plumbing service is always a phone call away.