A slab leak happens when the plumbing joints leak or the pipes crack beneath a slab.
The soil is eroded as water runs beneath the house. This removes support for the slab. This puts more strain on it and potentially causing cracks. These cracks can range from a hairline to an inch or more in width. The water will then have a direct path into your home.
Depending on the extent of the leak, you may sustain significant water damage to your flooring. It can also damage walls, furniture, appliances, and other property. And, as you might expect, fixing a leak beneath tons of concrete isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not a do-it-yourself plumbing job.
Plumbing materials can also cause slab leaks. Slab leaks can be caused by a faulty plumbing system in your home. Examples of this are the following:
- Faulty installation weakened water lines
- Chemical reactions (metals in the earth reacts to metals in the plumbing system)
- Soil shifting beneath the slab
How to Repair a Slab Leak
The first method for repairing a leak is to jack-hammer the concrete slab, dig down to the pipe, and repair it.
The most important step in this type of repair is accurately locating the leak. If you miss it, you risk punching multiple holes through the concrete and creating a huge mess inside the house.
The second method is to dig a tunnel under the slab from the outside all the way to the leak. Digging a tunnel is the least invasive way to make the repair.
First, you must identify the leak. Once identified, locate the nearest exterior wall and dig a 3′ deep access pit. Then you tunnel horizontally beneath the slab until you reach the repair site.
The third option is to remove the leaking line beneath the slab and install a new line through the wall or attic. The final option is to use the existing copper line as a sleeve by running a new line through it.