How to Know if you Have a Slab Leak

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If you have running water in your house, there’s a good chance you will have to deal with a water leak at some point. Some leaks – such as a dripping faucet or broken toilet seal – are relatively easy to detect and repair. Slab leaks (leaks coming from the pipes that run under your foundation), on the other hand, can be quite difficult to discover. The sound of running water, decreased water pressure, warped flooring and walls, and pools of water on your floors are just some of the signs to look out for. Here is how exactly to know if you have a slab leak:

1. The Sound of Running Water

Water running through the pipes in your walls has a distinct humming sound. You likely hear it when someone is in the shower or when you’re running the dishwasher. However, you should only hear water running when you’re actually running a faucet or using the washer or dishwasher. If you can hear water running non-stop, something is wrong. If you can’t find an obvious source of the leak, it may very well be a slab leak.

If your hot water lines are affected by the leak, you may also hear your hot water heater kick on and off more than usual. Always tune in to the sounds around your home; they may be trying to tell you something. Any time you hear constantly running water, turn off the water to your home and call an experienced plumber right away.

2. Decreased Water Pressure

Water pressure varies from house to house and can slowly decrease over time due to clogged pipes. Decreased pressure that happens dramatically and suddenly, however, is almost always due to a plumbing leak. If you experience a drop in water pressure, confirm that all water valves are fully open and that your pressure regulator is working. If everything seems in order, it’s time to start looking for a leak and/or call a plumber.

3. Warped Flooring and Walls

Slow, steady leaks may go unnoticed even by the most perceptive homeowner. Unfortunately, every minute that a leak continues, it produces water that has to go somewhere. In some cases, it will wind up under your floor or in your walls, causing water damage that will get worse with time.

Be on the lookout for signs of warping and moisture. If your doors don’t shut like they used to, they may be warping. Cracking drywall, musty carpet, and dipping floorboards may all be signs of water damage and warping. These problems are almost always caused by slab leaks.

4. Accumulating Pools of Water

As mentioned before, leaking water has to go somewhere. If you notice water pooling in unusual places in your basement or outside your home, you may have a slab leak. Pay attention to puddles and damp areas – especially during dry spells. If your lawn is still damp in an area after days with no rain, this may also indicate an issue. If a puddle forms suddenly – even though it hasn’t rained recently – you may have a plumbing emergency on your hands.

5. Higher than Usual Water Bill

The typical home loses anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water to leaks each year. These leaks usually only cause minor fluctuations in utility bills. If left unchecked, however, a persistent leak can cause higher-than-usual water bills over an extended period of time.

It’s a good idea to periodically compare your water usage to previous months and years. If your usage goes up without an explanation, you may have a leak.

6. Problems with Your Foundation

If a slab leak goes undetected, it may cause issues with your foundation. Signs of sinking, warping, and cracking should all be taken very seriously. Keep in mind that you may not notice problems with your foundation right away. However, if you notice cracked drywall or settling of your house, you should always have your foundation inspected immediately.

A water leak is a serious issue that could cause catastrophic water damage if it’s not corrected in a reasonable amount of time. If you suspect that you have a slab leak, do not delay; contact Denton Roto-Rooter today.