Foundation or slab leaks is a plumbing industry term that refers to leaks that occur in the plumbing water lines that run below the concrete foundation of a home. These foundation slab leaks can quickly become very costly and cause a lot of damage. Because your entire home rests on your slab foundation, it is important for leaks to be addressed as quickly as they are noticed. However, oftentimes homeowners do not notice the leaks until it is too late. Fixing a foundation leak should not be a do-it-yourself project because it requires a great amount of skill to get to the pipes without causing structural damage. Here, we will share some signs of slab leaks that will help you to notice earlier so that you can get the proper plumbing help as soon as possible!
1. A sudden increase in your water bill.
If you spring a leak anywhere in your plumbing system, the first place many homeowners notice it is in their water bill. An unusual spike in your water bill without an explanation indicates that your water is running even when it is not turned on. This is a sure fire sign that you have a leak in your plumbing system somewhere.
2. Musty odor.
Another common sign that homeowners notice readily, but often don’t think much about is the musty smell that pooling water can create. Damp areas, whether on bare concrete basement floors or under hardwood or carpet flooring emits a noticeable, distinct, musty smell. Anytime you smell a musty odor, it indicates the presence of mold or mildew and should not be ignored. Whether it is a small pipe leak or a foundation slab leak, either one is causing significant water waste and damage to your home.
3. Damp or warped flooring.
If the water is collecting, it will certainly affect your flooring. Whether your concrete basement floor or carpet feels damp to the touch or your hardwood or laminate flooring appears warped or bulging, these signs all indicate that there is water where it should not be — on your floor! These signs are similar to that of water stains on the ceiling, that somewhere there is water leaking. These signs should not be ignored, if the flooring that you can see is damaged, imagine the damage to the subfloor and foundation slab underneath!
4. Warm spots in the flooring.
If you notice warm, or hot, spots on the floor, it indicates that there is a hot water line break. Not only can this cause water damage, but if your hot water heater is set high enough, it can also cause burns to your property and scalding to those who walk on it. If you notice hot spots in the flooring, don’t take this as an additional heating method, have your plumbing system and foundation slab checked for leaks right away!
5. Pooling water outside the home.
Pooling water around the outside of your home can also indicate a foundation slab leak. Water will look for the path of least resistance and the quickest way to escape. If there are gaps in your foundation, the water may leak around your house and pool on areas such as your patio, sidewalk, or on your lawn. If you notice water pooling outside with no apparent reason — hose, sprinklers, rain — you should assume it is a foundation leak until proven otherwise, especially if the water appears to be coming from underneath your home.
6. Foundation cracking or movement.
A very late sign that you have a foundation slab leak is damage or shifting in your concrete foundation. If you notice cracks or shifting in the foundation, this means that either the leak has persisted long enough that it has penetrated and broken the foundation down, or that you have a main water line break and the force of the water has caused significant trauma to your foundation quickly. Either way, breaks in foundation should be considered a plumbing emergency and needs to be addressed immediately. Cracks or shifting in your slab foundation compromise the structural integrity of your entire house.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to have them checked out right away. The longer that you allow the problem to persist, the more extensive the damage will be. If your home is situated somewhere that does not tolerate water well or has a low water table, it could spell big trouble even quicker.
If you do find signs that you have a foundation slab leak in your Dallas home, do not wait until there is more damage, call the expert plumbers at C & C Slab Leak and Plumbing to do an inspection right away! It is better to be too cautious than to wait until significant damage is done when it comes to water and leaks! Contact us for your free estimate today.