A slab leak detection is the result of a pinhole leak in one of the many water pipes under the concrete foundation of a home. These pipes deliver water to fixtures throughout the house, like faucets, showers and washing machines.
Pipes can corrode or become damaged as a result of various factors. Some of these include faulty copper pipes, soil erosion or ground shifts that cause pressure on the pipes and other issues such as poor or inadequate pipe wrapping that can rub against the concrete slab foundation.
Acidic or alkaline water is another common cause of slab leaks. The pH level of water varies from 9 to 14 and if the water in your area is too acidic, it can cause corrosion and disintegration of the pipes beneath the slab. This is a more significant problem than a pinhole leak because the water can damage the pipe inside the concrete, which can lead to a costly repair.
Older homes are more prone to this problem because they tend to have older copper pipes that are softer and more likely to rust or deteriorate over time due to the abrasions caused by the concrete and rocks that touch the water lines beneath the foundation of the home.
Earthquakes or other ground shifts can also cause a slab leak because the shifting ground puts pressure on the pipe and can crack or shear the copper line. This can happen quickly and dramatically during earthquakes, but smaller ground shifts that occur over a period of years can cause this problem as well.
The abrasion and stress of the pipes themselves can also cause a pinhole leak. During installation, the pipes are not always anchored down correctly, or they may be improperly wrapped in plastic. This can cause the pipes to move and flex, which can wear down and rip the pipe from the concrete foundation.
Ground shifts and soil erosion are more common in areas that experience earthquakes, but it can also be a problem in other parts of the country where people build houses on rocky or hilly terrain. This can cause the ground to shift and put a lot of pressure on the pipes underneath your house.
Other causes of slab leaks include poorly installed or aging water and sewer lines, which can cause them to develop pinhole leaks over time. These leaks can be very costly to fix, as the pipes in the concrete foundation need to be removed and replaced.
A professional plumbing service should be contacted to diagnose the problem and provide a proper solution. A professional plumber will have the tools and expertise to pinpoint the leak, remove the leaking pipes, repair them, and then seal the entire concrete foundation to prevent further damage.
Mold growth is another common problem that can arise when a slab leak goes unattended for too long. Mold can be difficult to remove, and it can affect both the health of your family and your home’s aesthetic.