Slab Leaks: What Are They and What Causes Them?

January 10, 2022

Slab Leaks: What Are They and What Causes Them?

If you live in an older home or work in a business built after World War II, you can expect a concrete foundation underneath. While strong, sturdy, and stable, one major risk with concrete foundations is the risk of slab leaks. Anyone unfamiliar with slab leaks: what are they and what causes them, read this guide.

What Are Slab Leaks?

Basically, slab leaks are what happens when your home’s concrete foundation begins to crack or break due to shifting soil. With the popularization of concrete foundations in the 1950s, older homes and buildings are much more susceptible to slab leaks. Typically, this is a four to six-inch concrete slab poured directly onto a prepared surface with plumbing lines underneath. Shifting soils or breaks in the concrete can cause serious problems for the piping. Soil erosion puts pressure on the plumbing system, which can cause water damage or ruin your fixtures.

Why They Occur?

Slab leaks don’t always occur due to soil erosion or corrosion. Sometimes plumbing materials can further cause slab leaks due to faulty installation, weak water lines, or chemical reactions from heavy metals. One common material that causes slab leaks is cast iron. Unprotected older cast iron pipes corrode due to minerals in the water. Fortunately, most cast-iron pipes today use a protective material to mitigate this issue. Galvanized steel pipes and copper pipes are also common materials that cause slab leaks. While strong, they can clog lines with waste and mineral backup. Even though copper is corrosive resistant, improperly installed copper pipes can break due to their weak strength.

How To Prevent Slab Leaks

When it comes to what causes slab leaks, here are some ways on preventing any future slab leaks from occurring. The main way to fix any slab leak is to call a professional plumbing service. They have the tools, knowledge, and experience in slab leak repair to save you thousands of dollars from potential property damage. Call a plumbing service immediately if you live in an older home or suspect you have a slab. Some indicators of slab leaks include higher water bills, sounds of running water when no taps are open, damp flooring, or a visible shift in the soil around your home.

Harris Main and Water Sewer Contractors have the solution to your slab leak issue. As professional water main and sewer contractors, we make all the necessary repairs to prevent serious water damage in your home or property. We do it all—from pipe rerouting to professional sewer repair. We also offer emergency contact for issues you need to have resolved as soon as possible. Call us with 24/7 scheduling for a free estimate on your plumbing issue.

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