When a pipe in your home is leaking, it’s often pretty easy to spot. Leaky pipes below a sink will quickly spill water out onto the floor and a leak in pipes running through your ceiling becomes obvious as water seeps through and begins dripping on your head. There are also leaks, like slab leaks, that are a bit harder to spot because of where they occur.
Slab leaks are leaks that occur in pipes located behind or below a slab of concrete. This may be in the walls or floor of your home, and because the concrete is so thick and not generally porous, a great deal of water can collect behind it before you begin to notice signs of a problem. If you notice that your carpet feels damp for no reason or that your wallpaper is beginning to develop wet spots, a slab leak somewhere below the floor or behind the wall is likely the culprit.
Unfortunately, by the time you notice these signs, the water could have been building up for weeks or even months, so the sooner you get someone out to address the problem the better.
Slab leaks develop for several reasons. A lot of the time they are caused by improper installation of your water pipes. The fittings holding the pipes together may be faulty or your pipes may be made of inferior materials. Exposure to extreme temperatures also often plays a big role in the formation of slab leaks, as pipes that freeze and thaw are much more likely to develop cracks. Excessively high water pressure or very hard water could also gradually corrode your pipes.
No matter the reason for the leak, you need to get it fixed fast. Slab leaks can compromise the integrity of your walls and floors and do damage to other areas in your home. However, getting these issues resolved is often easier said than done. Pinpointing the exact source of a slab leak behind a massive slab of concrete is difficult.
With experience and the proper tools, slab leak repair does not have to be as intrusive and destructive as it may seem at first. Professional plumbers use advanced diagnostic equipment to pinpoint the source of the leak so that they know where to concentrate their repair efforts. This means that they can access the source of the problem without tearing up your entire basement floor or removing most of a wall from the outset.
All slab leaks are potentially serious situations, but when they occur on a balcony, slab leaks can be dangerous. If you have a balcony on your house, it is a good idea to periodically check beneath it to see if there are any cracks developing and if there is any water traveling along the length of those cracks. Any cracks in your balcony are unsafe, but the addition of water from a slab leak behind the balcony quickly compromises the integrity of the structure, becoming a huge safety hazard.