3 Tips For Finding A Slab Foundation Leak

When most people think of water leaks, they imagine bursts pipes with obvious flooding, or soggy, decaying wallboard beneath a sink. Unfortunately, not all leaks are immediately apparent. For homes on a concrete slab foundation, the plumbing pipes are usually installed within and through the slab. These leaks aren't always immediately obvious, but the ongoing damage can be devastating. Higher water bills, mold and mildew, and even major foundation damage can all occur. The following tips can help you recognize one of these leaks early.

Tip #1: Check your flooring

Leaks are often easier to detect on hard flooring. Linoleum or vinyl tiles may begin to bubble or peel up, while tile floors often begin cracking along grout lines. It may take longer to notice the water damage on carpet since it will leach slowly through the pad, but if you notice a mildew odor, dampness, or discoloration and there have been no external spills, then a slab leak could be the cause.

Tip #2: Inspect the Walls

Your walls may provide the next clue. Leaks can result in the foundation settling unevenly, which will show in the walls. Cracks along the baseboards or branching out from the corner of a window or door are some of the most common signs. You may even notice that doors or windows become difficult to close or won't latch correctly. These are all signs that it is time to have the foundation checked.

Tip #3: Water Pressure Issues

A sudden loss of water pressure is often a sign of a water leak. Occasionally, pressure losses occur at the municipal level, so you may want to ask your neighbors if they are also having issues. If not, check your water meter. Turn off all water in the home and in the yard, and then watch your meter. It shouldn't be moving anymore. Take a note of the numbers on the meter and come back in one hour – making sure to leave the water off during this time. If the numbers have changed, you have a leak somewhere in the home.

A minor leak may not even register on your water bill or cause any immediate signs of problems. If you have a slab foundation, it's a good idea to perform the water meter check a couple of times a year just to make sure there are no hidden leaks. If you do detect a leak, you can call in a repair professional before major foundation damages occur.

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