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A Homeowner's Guide To Slab Leaks, Part One

Is something strange happening in your home? Maybe your carpet is inexplicably wet or certain parts of your floor are unusually warm. If you listen closely, you can hear running water, even though all the faucets are turned off. And worst of all, your water pressure has dropped and your bill has gone sky high. No, your house is not inhabited by evil spirits — but you might have a slab leak. Luckily for you, San Marcos plumbing experts are easier to come by than exorcists. Read on to learn what a slab leak is, what warning signs to look for, and why this is one repair that just can’t wait.

What’s a Slab Leak?

If your home has a slab foundation, your pipes run through that foundation. It’s the most efficient and least expensive way to get water into your home. Occasionally those pipes become corroded as the house settles and develop pinhole leaks, which lead to a slab leak. A slab leak can also occur if a pipe in your foundation bursts.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Slab Leak?

When you have a slab leak, water accumulates underneath your home. Eventually, it has nowhere else to go and will flow out from the foundation either inside or outside your home. If you see water pouring out from the foundation outside, or find pools of water on your kitchen or bathroom floor, check first for a nearby leaky hose or broken appliance. If you can’t easily pinpoint the source of the leak, it might be coming from your slab.

Hot spots on your floors are another sign to watch out for as leaking hot water pipes will transfer that heat to the concrete slab and then to your floors. If the heat is only in certain spots, and the rest of the floor feels normal, a slab leak is likely the culprit.

In addition to signs you can see and feel, be on the lookout for odd sounds and smells. Some homeowners could actually hear the hissing or splashing sounds of running water when no water was on in the house. And if water is pooling underneath carpets or if it’s been absorbed into the drywall, you’re likely to smell that musty, mildew odor.

Finally, look for changes in your daily life and monthly bill. If you’ve experienced a sudden drop in water pressure, it might be that there’s less water available for your morning shower because so much of it is escaping into your floors and walls. And even a little leak can have a big effect on your bill. Unexpected higher bills combined with the other signs outlined here? Call your San Marcos plumber to investigate for a slab leak.

What Do I Do?

When it comes to slab leaks, time is money! Not only are your bills going to continue to climb, but slab leaks can lead to costly home repairs. Cracked walls and warped floors will start to occur as the foundation shifts due to the leak. Contact your San Marcos plumbing professional as soon as you notice these warning signs, and check back with us next week, where we’ll go into greater detail about the proper methods for slab leak detection and repair.