How To Fix A Slab Leak

How To Fix A Slab Leak?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Some leaks are hard to spot, let alone fix once they've already started leaking. Most homeowners may not notice they have an issue for a long time if a pipe beneath their home's slab foundation springs a leak. The broken pipe allows water to leak into the soil and eventually the house's foundation. The leak not only wastes water, but it can also erode the soil around the structure and damage the concrete. Possible long-term effects include shifting and collapsing of the home's foundation, which in turn could cause floor and wall cracks. It can even bring down major portions of the building if the situation calls for it.

    Slab leaks could be more common in some areas than others. There is a correlation between earthquake risk and pipe breaks. This is because the constant pressure that pipes are under due to the shifting ground can cause them to shear or crack. Slab leaks are more common in older homes due to deteriorated copper pipes or corroded Orangeburg sewer lines.

    Leaks in a concrete slab are often undetected until the homeowner receives their monthly utility bill and notices an abnormally high water consumption. The next step for most people is to check the obvious places for water leaks around the house, like the sinks, tubs, and hoses, to see if they can find the problem. A horrible slab leak that has been occuring in the home may go undetected during and after the inspection.

    Slab leaks used to be a major disruption at work because they necessitated the removal of flooring, the breaking of concrete, and the constant annoyance of construction noises. Are you looking for roofers in Melbourne who have a reputation for dependability? No need to be concerned; Roof Repair & Restoration Systems is able to supply you with specialised servicing and repairs to meet all of your roofing requirements.

    Wrapping the cracks in your concrete is not a good idea if more serious issues are developing beneath the surface. Get a plumber out there if you suspect a slab leak.

    Indicators That You Might Have A Slab Leak

    How To Fix A Slab Leak

    The following are some tools that can be used to help find a leak in your home's slab foundation if you suspect that there is one.

    Areas Of Floor Heating

    If your home's hot water line is leaking, you can potentially locate the source of the problem by feeling the floor in question for unusual warmth. If the leak is coming from the hot water line in your home, you should take this step. If your floors are covered or carpeted in a thin layer of linoleum, this may be a fairly easy task for you. When dealing with a tile floor, this may be more challenging to achieve unless the leak is severe enough to cause water to run into the space between the glue and the tiles. If this is the case, you should inspect the rest of the tile flooring in your home for signs of water damage. Hardwood floors can make it more of a challenge to find a warm spot to sit on the floor during the winter.

    Dome-Shaped Floor Elevation.

    If the leak is severe and goes on for a while, the floor may warp and cause damage. In the aftereffects of severe flooding, the floor may become elevated, a phenomenon known as a "dome." A dome on the floor can be a useful indicator of the source of a leak, but it also means that the house's foundation is being severely compromised.

    Consequences Of Ground Movement

    The building may lean ever-so-slightly upward if the slab that serves as its foundation expands to an abnormal degree. This phenomenon is referred to as heaving. If your home's heaved because of a leak in the slab foundation, you should definitely hire a professional to fix the problem.

    If the home's foundation undergoes a sudden and significant shift, the structure could be severely damaged, and the damage might even be permanent. This damage can spread from the slab to the building's interior and exterior, causing cracks everywhere. It is important to consult a seasoned repair technician who can tell the difference between natural wear and tear and structural damage caused by shifting foundations.

    The Soaring Cost Of Water

    An urgent leak is often the cause of a sudden spike in your water bill that cannot be explained by an increase in either the basic cost of service or your family's water usage.

    Vacuum-Based Leak Detection Systems For Concrete Slabs

    Investing in specialised equipment that can detect leaks may be necessary if you are unable to find a leak using the aforementioned methods. Plumbers will often drain the water from the pipes and then pump air through them to check for leaks. To pinpoint the source of a leak, a plumber will typically employ the use of specialised listening equipment.

    The average cost to find a slab leak ranges from $150 to $400. Although it's best to have a professional plumber locate the leak, you can buy the tools yourself if you'd like to give it a shot.

    What Can Cause A Slab To Spring A Leak?

    You may be wondering: what is a slab leak and what causes them? They occur when water seeps through the cracks in a concrete slab's base and can be caused by a number of factors. One of the most common reasons is that the clay soil beneath the foundation has shifted. When the relative humidity and temperature change, clay expands and contracts, putting pressure on an unsupported concrete slab.

    It's also possible that the pipes in your home were poorly installed or are rusting because of poor quality. If your pipes are made of copper, which is more prone to corrosion than other pipe materials, it is especially important to have them inspected. There's also the possibility that the water's pH level is too low, making it too acidic, and thus causing corrosion in the pipes and eventual irreparable damage. Your water pipes won't spontaneously begin leaking for no good reason. The following are some of the most common reasons why water leaks go undetected:

    Water Pressure Is Extremely High

    There is a maximum water pressure that your plumbing can handle. Too much pressure in the water supply can cause leaks at pipe joints and possible ruptures in more vulnerable spots. The water pressure may be too high for your plumbing system if the regulator is not properly adjusted, if something is blocking the pipe, or if the pipe's diameter is being restricted by something else.

    Improper Maintenance

    Water damage and leaks can be caused by shoddy repairs, especially if you attempt to fix them yourself. In the case of a water pipe repair, for instance, not properly tightening the connection afterwards is a common mistake. Leaks can occur at any time, regardless of whether or not there is maintenance being done on the plumbing. For instance, if you need to make holes in the wall for electrical wiring, you could potentially damage the pipes that carry water to the building.


    A large percentage of plumbing systems use metal parts that have been coated to prevent corrosion. However, the effectiveness of the anticorrosive treatments wanes over time, and the metal corrodes. Water can leak out of a corroded pipe because it has cracked, developed holes, or become loose.

    Wear Or Age

    Every part of a plumbing system will eventually wear out, making the entire system more vulnerable to breakage and leaks. Washers lose their pliability and thickness over time, resulting in less secure pipe connections. For this reason, an older plumbing system is more likely to have leaks than a brand new one.

    Temperatures Below Freezing

    The likelihood of water pipe breakage or burst is higher during the winter. In the event of freezing temperatures, there is a risk that the volume of the frozen water will be greater than that of the pipes, leading to cracks. Cracks of any size can eventually become leaks if water pressure is high enough to push the cracks apart.

    It is our sincere desire that you never have to deal with a water damage emergency at your house due to a hidden plumbing leak. If you suspect hidden leaks, call Heating and Plumbig to investigate and fix the issue. We'll help you avoid the fines that come with plumbing leaks because of our extensive background working on plumbing systems in private homes. Roof Repair & Restoration Systems is the place to come to find the most qualified roof guttering specialists.


    Pipes encased in the concrete foundation of your home are extremely vulnerable to earthquake ground motion and the resulting damage it can cause. Damage to underground pipes makes slab leaks impossible, but earthquakes can loosen joints above ground. It's also possible for pipes to develop cracks and leaks due to the tremors the earth causes.

    If you have heard sounds like water rushing inside your home, you may have a slab leak. Conversely, if you notice a hot spot on your floor, it could be because of a leak in a pipe that supplies hot water to your home. Once a leak starts in the slab foundation, mould and mildew can quickly spread throughout the rest of your home, including the walls, floors and ceilings.

    A Strong Acidity in the Water

    It's possible that the pH of the hard water in your area is significantly lower than normal. Most commonly, the pH of hard water is between 1 and 4. If your water is overly acidic, your pipes could rust and rupture over time. Many households opt to soften their water by purchasing a water softening system. This machine filters out unwanted minerals like calcium and magnesium from the water, leaving behind drinkable liquid. Although a water softener will help your pipes last longer, it is possible that it will damage the pipes in your home's foundation.

    Soft water usually has a pH between 10 and 15, with a pH of 15 being the norm. There will be a slow but sure deterioration and eventual leakage of the pipes that run beneath your concrete slab if the water in your suburban neighbourhood has a high concentration of alkaline. If you notice any stains like blue/green in your toilet, sink, or shower you likely have acidic water. If there are stains, that could be an indication.


    It's possible that the water pipes in your home's foundation could wear away at the concrete slab as water is constantly redirected through them to supply your home's various appliances and sinks. This is an annoyance at best and a dangerous situation at worst. Additionally, the pipes may come into contact with a wide range of materials, including dirt, gravel and even other pipes. Damage to your pipes' exterior can be caused by increased friction as they rub against a concrete slab. If the exterior pipe walls thin out, water will start leaking near the slab foundation of your home.

    Water Pressure Is Extremely High

    If the water pressure in the pipes below your slab foundation is too high, the pipes could burst or the foundation could collapse. Too high water pressure typically manifests as a rattling noise when the water is turned on and/or dripping faucets. It is possible to find out if the water pressure in your house is too high by purchasing a water pressure gauge. This type of pressure gauge can be used to measure the PSI (pounds per square inch) in your plumbing lines.

    Whether you're in the city or the suburbs, you might find a water pressure rating anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds per square inch. A slab leak occurs when the water pressure in your home is too high or too low, causing damage to the pipes located beneath your flooring. A water pressure reducing valve installed on your property to safeguard your pipes is a straightforward measure you can take to prevent problems of this nature in the future.

    Disintegrating Orangeburg Pipes

    If you notice any fissures in your ceiling or walls, it's likely that you have a slab leak. It is common for this kind of sewer pipe leak to occur in older homes that were built with Orangeburg sewer pipes. Lubricants, polymers, household cleaning agents, and drain cleaners are all examples of chemicals that can damage Orangeburg pipes and speed up their deterioration compared to pipes made of other materials. It's not like this with any other kind of pipe.

    The bitumen cement used to assemble Orangeburg pipes is not particularly resistant to chemicals. Drain cleaners and bleach, for example, contain harsh chemicals that can eat away at the rubber gaskets that line the inside of Orangeburg pipes, causing them to corrode and eventually burst. A licenced plumber in Florida can inspect your home and determine if the floors hide Orangeburg pipes.

    Possible Consequences Of A Crack In The Foundation

    How To Fix A Slab Leak

    It is crucial to have a professional take a look at the pipes beneath your home as soon as possible if you suspect a leak. Asbestos and mould, both of which thrive in damp environments, are known to cause a wide range of unpleasant health effects, from respiratory issues like asthma to skin irritations like rashes and itchy eyes.

    The foundation and walls of your home could be severely damaged if you don't take care of it immediately. As water pressure increases, it's possible that the building's foundation will shift, weaken, or even collapse. Moisture in the carpet, a foul odor, and destroyed landscaping are all possible results of a slab leak.

    Resolve A Slab Leak

    Given that you have found the source of the slab leak, what steps will you take to fix the issue? The average person won't want to take on this task because it will be difficult, dirty, and expensive. It is HIGHLY recommended that you hire a professional plumbing company, as a number of problems could arise during the repair that the average do-it-yourself homeowner isn't able to handle.

    Find The Leak's Exact Spot With Absolute Certainty

    Before you start tearing up your concrete slab to fix a leak, you need to be certain that you know exactly where the leak is. If you are even slightly unsure of what you are doing, don't start destroying your home while trying to fix the leak. If you want to start breaking up your floor to find the leak, you need to know where it is with 100% certainty first.

    Be Ready For Dangerous Weather

    Make sure all of the furniture has been removed from the room before you start tearing up the floor. To accomplish this, you must empty the room of all its contents, including its furnishings, artwork, rugs, electronics, and valuables. There will be a great deal of dust in the air during this process, so it's best to move your possessions out of the room you'll be working in. They'll be protected from the dust that would otherwise settle on them.

    Be sure to protect yourself by wearing safety equipment like gloves, goggles, a face mask, thick clothing, and steel-toed boots. If at all possible, having a second person who is willing to help and is also protected is highly recommended.

    Get Your Hands On The Proper Tools

    A jackhammer, if available, will be of great assistance in getting to the area under the slab, where the repair must be made. You'll have easier access to the location now. However, if you lack the knowledge and experience required, you should not attempt to operate this potentially deadly piece of heavy-duty power equipment.

    Without the proper training, a jackhammer operator poses a significant risk of injury to themselves and any bystanders in the area. It is possible to do more harm than good when excavating near pipes or the home's slab foundation. Therefore, it is crucial to seek the assistance of trained experts all through the excavation process.

    Your ability to safely excavate your under-slab pipes and locate the source of the leak is crucial before you can begin fixing the problem. However, if you suspect that the leak is coming from a sewage line, you should contact a professional service so that they can deal with the potentially hazardous waste materials involved in sewage disposal and sewage line repair.


    Older homes are more prone to slab leaks as a result of rusting copper pipes and corroded Orangeburg sewer lines. Additionally to wasting water, the leak poses the risk of eroding the soil around the building and cracking the concrete. The foundation may shift or collapse over time, resulting in structural damage to the house and cracks in the floors and walls. The removal of flooring, the breaking of concrete, and the constant annoyance of construction noises used to be a major disruption at work due to slab leaks. Are you in need of reliable Melbourne roofers? Don't fret; Roof Repair & Restoration Systems has you covered in that respect, too.

    Content Summary

    1. It can be difficult to identify the source of a leak, let alone stop the leak once it has begun.
    2. When a pipe cracks beneath a home's slab foundation, it can go undetected for quite some time.
    3. A leak from the broken pipe threatens to undermine the structure of the home.
    4. It's possible that some areas are more susceptible to slab leaks than others.
    5. In areas prone to earthquakes, pipe failures are also more likely to occur.
    6. Most people then move on to the next logical step, which is to look for the source of the leak in the most common places such as sinks, bathtubs, and hoses around the house.
    7. The inspector might miss something major like a terrible slab leak that has been happening in the house for some time.
    8. In the event that you think you have a slab leak, you should have a plumber take a look.
    9. Potential Signs of a Slab Leak If you suspect a leak in the slab foundation of your house, you can use the following methods to locate the source of the problem.
    10. Zones With Radiant Floor Heating Feeling the floor for abnormal warmth can help you pinpoint the location of a hot water line leak in your home.
    11. Do this if you suspect that the leak is coming from your home's hot water line.
    12. Having said that, you should check for water damage on the rest of the tile flooring in your home.
    13. Floor rises up in the form of a dome.
    14. Although a dome on the floor can help pinpoint the source of a leak, it also indicates that the house's foundation is failing.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Slab Leak

    The slab repair specialists will use epoxy pipe liners to seal the broken pipe. They will do a camera inspection to see the extent of the damage. If trenchless repair is viable, they will clean the pipe, place the epoxy pipe liner and inflate it, and then let it cure. The entire process can be completed in a few hours.

    According to HomeAdvisor, the national average of a slab leak repair job is about $2,280. Meanwhile, the average cost of a simple pipe repair is about $630. On the high end, however, repairs may be up to $10,000 or more if total repiping and damage remediation, such as mould or asbestos abatement, are required.

    These water leaks start invisible to the eye and go undetected for weeks or even months. They can cause hidden water damage and mould. After 72 hours after a water leak, mould can grow, thriving in damp, dark places like behind cabinets and between walls.

    Check your carpet and baseboards. Water leaks caused by plumbing problems or inadequate drainage after a significant rainfall can result in water seeping through the slab foundation and soaking the carpet padding or wetting baseboards. If you notice damp spots in your carpet or baseboards, you may suspect a slab leak.

    In addition to wasting water, the leak can damage the concrete and erode the soil around it. Over time, it may cause the foundation to buckle and shift, cracking the home's floors and walls. In severe cases, it can even cause portions of the house to collapse.

    Scroll to Top