A slab leak is a form of water damage caused by a damaged plumbing system beneath the concrete slab foundation. Concrete is porous and susceptible to cracks and water leaks. Depending on the level of damage, it can leave a wet spot on the floor or flood your entire home.
Slab leaks are common in areas with expandable soils containing moisture-retaining clay minerals such as bentonite, beidellite, montmorillonite, smectite, and vermiculite. These clays expand during the rainy season when they absorb water, exerting pressure on the foundation of the building.
During the dry weather, the soil shrinks and affects the structural integrity of the building. Cracks, water leaks, and flood damage are often associated with soil shifting. This post will discuss the causes of slab leaks in Texas and how it affects your home.
How common are slab leaks in Texas homes?
Water damage accounts for 23.8 percent of total losses that homeowners in the United States incur. While rain and snow are the main culprits of water damage in Texas, soil shifting is also a major problem in the area.
This is because Texan soils are expansive and susceptible to soil shifting, with Sherman, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth, Tyler-Longview, Wichita Falls, Waco-Temple-Bryan, Abilene-Sweetwater, and Austin leading in the list of top cities with foundation problems in the US.
Expansive soils expand during spring, while contraction happens during summer leading to problems such as cracks, slab leaks, uneven floors, sagging, and water damage. This post will discuss the causes of slab leaks and their effects on your property.
What causes slab leaks?
Water damage at home comes from rains, burst water pipes, roof leaks, fire damage, condensation, high humidity, and slab leaks.
A slab leak is one of the toughest to prevent because they are attached to the ground where your house is built. Below are the common causes of slab leaks:
- Plumbing issues. A faulty installation of water lines will eventually become loose or break beneath the foundation, exposing your flooring to water damage. Corrosion will also lead to leaks.
- Soil shifting. Expansive soils expand and shrink in different seasons, causing your house’s foundation to crack. The hydraulic pressure that builds up when the soil shifts cause the slab to crack and leak as water pipes also expand and burst.
- Pressure on the plumbing lines. High water pressure damages water pipes in your home, causing leaks.
Slab leak detection: What are the warning signs of a slab leakage?
Slab leaks begin with a small crack on the foundation. This crack can go undetected for a long time because most concrete slabs are covered with wood, carpet, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), ceramic, stone, laminate, among others.
By the time you spot a leak from the water lines beneath the floor, a lot of damage has already happened, and probably mold is growing and wreaking havoc. If your concrete slab is leaking, you may see:
- Wet spots on the floor or carpet
- Cracks on the foundation
- Foul smell from the floor
- Uneven growth of foundation plants
- Soil shifting around the house
- Sound of running water
- High water bill and electricity bill as the house is using more energy to keep the house hot.
- Mold and mildew growth
- Flooded yard
- Warped floor
Consequences of foundation water damage
Slab leaks can cause massive damage to your property. A warped flooring material requires money to repair. Corrosion of water pipes will need cash to replace. Mold growth will require experts to remediate. Below are the effects of slab leaks:
- Mold growth. Where there is moisture, mold, and mildew, find a safe haven. If the foundation of your home is leaking, mold spores will attach themselves there and start growing. They will eventually release more spores into the air, contaminating the indoor air quality and causing a lot of mold allergies.
Mold allergies feel like asthma or hay fever. Your family members will start experiencing a runny nose, watery eyes, skin irritation, redness, and nasal congestion. Sometimes there is a cough and irritation in the lungs.
- Weak structure. When the foundation is constantly exposed to moisture, it will spread to the house’s support beams and cause damage. In addition, the warping caused by the leak will eventually cause the foundation to collapse.
- Financial losses. Many homeowners insurance policies do not cover slab leaks and other damages that occur over time. Since slab damage often results from an unresolved issue, your insurance cover may not include slab leak repair costs. These repairs cost as much as $5,000, and you may be forced to fork this money from your pocket. It is advisable to talk to your insurer to know whether they cover slab leaks in your area. . In addition, undetected slab leaks increase your energy bill, increasing your monthly expenses.
The following measures can protect your home and save costs:
- Ensure that the soil around your house is moist all year round. Excessive dryness and differences in moisture level cause the expansion and contraction of soil, which leaves your home with cracks.
- Avoid letting harsh chemicals through the drain as this can damage plumbing lines and cause foundation flooding.
- Maintain the water pressure in your home between 40-60 PSI as a higher pressure can damage the pipes and cause leaks.
- Get regular inspections to ensure that your HVAC system is working well and no leaks go unrepaired. The Slab Leak Doctor of Texas can help you detect and fix slab leaks in commercial and residential property. Call (214) 214-7522 for assistance.
Experiencing slab leaks in your Texas property? Contact Slab Leak Doctor for help.
Slab leaks can cause you a lot of pain and losses. Hiring the right service provider is important in protecting your home. You need a plumber who can reroute your home’s plumbing lines or break through the concrete slab without destroying your house, can dig tunnels without compromising the integrity of your home, and has an insurance cover to protect you from unforeseen accidents. If you live in Texas, try Slab Leak Doctor for all your slab repair jobs.
With over 40 years in business, Slab Leak Doctor is a local leak repair company based in Texas. We understand your problems and have the right equipment to get you sorted. Our professional team can detect leaks that are not easy to spot and help you with other services such as sewage inspection, hydrostatic testing, and tunnel jobs. Contact our technicians on (214) 214-7522 for quick assistance.