A slab leak causes water to collect underneath the foundation of a home. If left undetected for long enough, it can cause enough water to build up that it can damage the basement floor and foundation – the home's slab - by causing it to shift, leading to expensive structural damage.
Slab leaks can be caused by corrosion in the pipe itself, or from damage to the slab from cracks and settling.
Water Seeping From Under the home
If you notice water seeping from under the house, it's important to identify the cause as soon as possible. When a slab leak is suspected, the first step is to rule out other causes, such as leaks from toilets, faucets and other plumbing systems. Next a plumber will need to check the water supply and drain pipes that are inside the concrete slab for leaks.
High Water Bill
A common warning sign of a slab leak is an unexpectedly high water bill. Unless you have had additional guests or are running a sprinkler more often, don't ignore this warning sign. Have a plumber inspect your home as soon as possible.
This can resemble a spill on the floor or wet spots that have no apparent cause. Rule out other causes such as pipes leaking above, water heaters and water seepage from rainfall.
If you notice water on exterior walls and there is no obvious cause, like humidity or a sprinkler hitting the house, water from a slab leak could seeping from the inside out.
Cracks in Foundation
Because water under the slab can cause the foundation to shift, cracks may appear on basment floors or on exterior or interior walls.
If you notice any of the warning signs above it's important to have the plumbing system checked as soon as possible. Slab leaks can result in thousands of wasted gallons of water a year and significant damage to your home if left unchecked. Your plumber can check the entire home and eliminate any other causes to determine if a slab leak is present. If problems are found, the water can be turned off and repairs can be performed to prevent further damage.