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Common Slab Leak Signs

Common Slab Leak Signs

A slab leak, simply put, is a leak under the foundation of your home. If not addressed right away, slab leaks can potentially cause devastating flood water damage to your home, property, and piping system.

Slab leaks can be caused by a number of things, like soil chemicals corroding your underground pipes, long-term vibrations in the earth wearing the pipes down, pipes that were poorly installed, to begin with, and most commonly, built up pressure caused by a shift in the earth.

Often, because slab leaks occur underground and out of sight, they can go undetected for extended periods of time, causing thousands of dollars in damages. Slab leaks also put your home at risk of mold and mildew growth, which can lead to health complications including a sore throat and coughing, wheezing, skin and eye irritation, and aggravation of asthma and other respiratory issues.

To avoid the damage and potential health risks that slab leaks can promote, look out for the following signs:

Movement in Your Home’s Foundation

Movement in the foundation of your home is a big red flag! Because the slab foundation under your house is intended to keep your home level, it is not pliable. So when the expansive soil under your home's foundation swells or shrinks (due to changing moisture levels), it can cause part of the foundation to shift, while the other part remains flat.

A shift like that is known as "differential movement" and can cause severe damage to your home's foundation. How do you know if your foundation is moving? Look for things like diagonal cracks in interior walls, uneven or sloping floors, cracked or displaced molding, cracks in exterior bricks or concrete exterior beams, and windows or door binds that won't close.

Random Hot Spots on Floor

If you happen to walk barefoot in your home and feel random places where the floor suddenly becomes hot, or at least warm, this may also be a sign that you have a slab leak. Don’t panic, though! Hot spots on your floor may also be indicative of a less costly leak, like a leaking shower or bathtub valve.

If you are concerned about leaks under your floors, call a plumber to your home and have it checked out. Whether your hot spots are being caused by smaller, less costly leaks, or more severe slab leaks, you’ll be glad to have a professional identifying and correcting the problem.

Plumbing Backups in Several Areas

While backed up plumbing doesn't necessarily point to a slab leak all of the time, it can definitely hint at a problem with your underground pipes. One of the leading causes of sewage backup in homes, for example, is cracked, broken, or collapsed pipes.

If you notice drains backing up in your bathrooms, kitchens, and any other areas of your home, it may be a sign that the shifting earth beneath your home's foundation has already caused severe damage to your pipes.

If you notice this problem, call a professional plumbing contractor right away to get to the bottom of it!