Most times, homeowners think that a slab leak is preventable. There may be instances where they are, but most commonly, they’re from the following occurrences:
Thermal expansion and contraction: Copper pipe under the foundation gets a scale buildup inside the pipe as it ages. When this scale flakes off it leaves the pipe pitted and a weak spot in the pipe. Over time, and due to the pipe expanding and contracting due to changes in the water temperature, a pin hole leak will develop.
Pipe insulation failure: Copper pipe is often anchored in the ground by metal rebar. If the insulation surrounding the pipe fails and the pipe comes in direct contact with the rebar it is only a matter of time before electrolysis causes a leak to develop.
Construction debris: If rocks or other sharp objects are introduced into the trenches where the pipe is laid they can eventually cause a hole to develop in the pipe.
Chemistry: When the copper in your pipes react with the naturally occurring minerals in the soil, an electrical reaction occurs. Over time, this process, called electrolysis, erodes the walls of your pipes until it forms a hole and thereby a leak.
Now that you know where they come from and you’re pretty sure you have one, there are some ways to mitigate the potential risks to your home and family:
If the expense is holding you back from dealing with your slab leak, talk to your homeowner’s insurance agent. A slab leak repair may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance, and if so, your provider will want you to call in the licensed professionals.
Licensed professionals, such as the people from Sav-On Plumbing, will be able to help you locate the source of your leak. For example, a leaky pipe is noisier than one that is leak-free, so an electronic listening device can help chase down the exact location.
Once they know where the leak is, they’ll help you to understand the best options to access and repair the leak with minimal disruption of the rest of your home.
Slab leaks don’t have to be scary or intimidating. If you notice water that you suspect may be from a slab leak, call in the professionals. Together, we’ll help you get a handle on the leak and work with to correct the problem with a minimum of expense and damage.