When you have a slab leak, it isn’t always obvious. You will be able to tell if you have one by certain symptoms if you are paying attention, however. Some things to look for include unusual or “funny” smells, a spike in your utility bill or warped flooring or a damp carpet in your basement.
Warped flooring or a damp carpet is caused by moisture that is seeping in through your concrete and mold is another sign that you may have leaking. When water seeps into your floors, they will end up traveling up your walls, and since drywall absorbs water quickly, your damp drywall will quickly become moldy walls. Just as a wet dog has a certain smell, wet carpet and flooring will have a certain smell to it as well. Yard damage is another sign that you may have a problem on your hands. A leaky pipe can lead to soft patches or even flooding in your yard and can eventually ruin your landscape. Slab leaks will also cause significant damage to the foundation of your home and can cause cracks and shifts which will cause your floor to have bumps or uneven spots.
It is important to look out for slab leak symptoms because if you can catch a slab leak quickly enough, you will be able to avoid some costly damage. The longer that leaks have the chance to progress and accumulate, the more damage will be caused and the more money you will have to pour into repairs. There are a few different causes for slab leaks. A slab leak could be caused by a ground shift. A ground shift is quite common and can occur after only a few years. It can put pressure on your water lines, and this can cause them to crack and leak. Earthquakes will also have the same effect but within a shorter period of time.
Faulty wrapping can also cause pipes to rub against concrete and cause cracks and leaks. This happens when they are not wrapped properly, to begin with and when pipes expand and contract, they will end up rubbing against whatever is around them. A nicked line may be caused during installation or renovations and could be overlooked if the nick is quite small. However, over time it will turn into a much bigger problem. Electrolysis is another way that a leak can begin and happens when the copper in your pipes interacts with the minerals in the soil beneath your residence. This small chemical reaction can cause your pipes to erode over time until they eventually leak.
As soon as you suspect that you have a slab leak you will want to take action. The longer you wait the bigger the problem will grow. You should try to soak up as much water as you can and clean up any standing water that you can as you wait for help to arrive, but you will most likely need to get professional help to resolve the problem permanently.