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Plumbing leaks can take on many different forms. For example, you might notice a small trickle coming from your kitchen faucet, or your toilet won’t stop running. These leaks can also be more drastic, such as when the drain pipe in your bathroom starts gushing water.

While all of these plumbing problems are concerning and should be handled promptly, there’s one type of leak in particular that you might not be familiar with: slab leaks. If there’s a leak in your concrete slab foundation, this can cause extensive damage to your foundation, flooring, and walls — putting your home’s structural integrity at risk.

Of course, the first step in detecting and repairing this problem is to know what a slab leak is. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn the ins and outs of this plumbing issue.

Let’s go over everything you need to know about what causes slab leaks and what you can do to remedy them.

How Common Is a Slab Leak?

Slab leaks are more common than you might think, especially in older homes with outdated plumbing. Although they might seem like a rarity, it’s important to recognize that slab leaks can occur at any time — although they can be sneaky and difficult to detect.

Keep an eye out for these potential signs of a slab leak inside your home:

5 Signs of a Slab Leak infographic

So, What Are Slab Leaks, Exactly?

In most cases, slab leaks occur when the Orangeburg or copper pipes that run through a concrete slab foundation corrode and spring a leak. Like many other plumbing problems, these leaks can come in many different shapes and sizes. You might encounter a small trickle of water that hardly seems noticeable, or you could have a significant gush on your hands.

The severity of the leak can depend on the extent of the pipe damage that’s present. If you’re dealing with a large leak, you may notice price increases on your water bills — but you should also be concerned about potential water damage.

What Causes Slab Leaks?

Now that you know what a slab leak is, you might be wondering why they happen. Besides outdated or corroded pipes, what causes these leaks to occur? There are many factors that can lead to this problem, and it can be incredibly helpful for homeowners to be aware of them.

Although this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, we’ll discuss some of the most common factors that can cause slab leaks below.

Friction

When water flows through the pipes located near your concrete foundation, the pipes can rub against the concrete slab and sustain damage. Over time, debris such as gravel and dirt can also cause your pipes to experience extensive wear and tear. As you can imagine, this damage can eventually lead to leaks.

High Water Pressure

If you want to have a good idea of what causes slab leaks to occur, it’s impossible not to mention high water pressure. When your water pressure is higher than it should be, this could put a lot of strain on your pipes and may eventually cause them to crack.

Sure, no homeowner wants to deal with low water pressure when washing the dishes or taking a shower. However, high water pressure can be just as frustrating — and it can be damaging. 

Acidic Water

Did you know that the quality of your water can have an adverse effect on your plumbing? If your water is too acidic, this can cause the pipes near your concrete slab to deteriorate over time. Eventually, these lines can crack and result in a concerning leak.

How Do You Fix a Slab Leak?

There you have it. We’ve now discussed what a slab leak is and why they tend to occur. Now it’s time to go over how to fix this problem so that you can prevent extensive water damage to your home.

When it comes down to it, the best solution is to contact your local Charleston plumber for a slab leak detection service. During one of these services, a professional will use advanced equipment to locate the leak and determine the extent of the damage. Afterward, we will discuss repair costs with you and devise a strategy to fix the issue.

Most slab leak repairs involve using an epoxy resin to seal up the damage. However, there are other options available.

Have a Plumbing Emergency? Call LimRic

If you’ve been noticing higher water bills, low water pressure, or the sound of water running in your home, you could be dealing with a slab leak. Fortunately, you now know what a slab leak is and how to remedy the problem.

The professional team at LimRic is here to help. Our Charleston plumbers are highly trained and experienced at handling a wide range of issues, including leaks. We offer emergency plumbing services when the problem requires immediate attention.

Leaking water is never a laughing matter, but you can count on us to deliver a satisfactory solution and restore your comfort. We’re incredibly familiar with what causes slab leaks, drain clogs, sewer overflows, and many other emergencies and will get the problem resolved fast.

Don’t let a problem with your plumbing system disrupt your daily life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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