Slab leaks occur in homes that use slab foundations. Unlike crawl spaces or basements, slab foundations consist of little more than a block of concrete supported by deep footings. Slab foundations are cost-effective, but locating a plumbing leak within or below one is far from a trivial problem. Unfortunately, pipes buried in concrete are just as prone to leaks as those exposed to the air.
Since you can't see the pipes in your concrete, you usually won't notice flooding unless the problem is incredibly severe. Instead, you may notice excessive moisture, high humidity, increased water bills, or small water spots in low-lying areas. Once you notice a slab leak, you may want to attempt to solve it yourself, but there are three reasons you should rely on a professional for this complex task.
1. Knowing Is Only Half the Battle
There are various ways to discover a slab leak, or at least to do a pretty solid job of confirming your suspicions. Remember that a slab leak is like any other leak — you will consistently lose water, even if you can't see it. As a result, you can watch for secondary signs, such as increased water bills or a well pump that runs continuously.
However, knowing that you have a slab leak is only the first half of the battle. Before you can repair the problem, you need to know where it is. Unfortunately, this part of the job is far more complex. Without having a good understanding of where you can find the leak under your slab, you'll need to spend far more time, money, and effort digging through your foundation.
2. DIY Detection Methods Are Unreliable
Professionals use sophisticated equipment to map the plumbing under your home and determine the precise location of the leak. This process requires significant amounts of skill, knowledge, and experience. Since many pipes may run side-by-side under your slab, it's essential to find the right one before deciding on the best repair method.
Unfortunately, DIY methods are far less reliable. Without high-tech equipment, you may need to rely on looking for wet areas, feeling for warmth on the floor, or just taking a wild guess. These methods are unlikely to produce good results, potentially causing you to waste time and money trying to solve the problem.
3. More Information is Always Better
You might think it's enough to have a general idea of a leak's location, but this doesn't provide you with enough useful information to make an informed repair decision. For example, you may want to cap and bypass a leaking pipe instead of tearing up your foundation and replacing the damaged plumbing. To make this decision, you'll need more than a vague idea of the problem's location.
By relying on a professional to detect your slab leak, you'll have all the information you need to choose a repair solution that meets your specific needs and budget.
For more information, contact a company like John Blitch Plumbing.