When you imagine a leak, you probably think of an annoying “drip drop” underneath your sink. These are just the easy leaks, though. The real issues are from the ones that happen out of sight and out of earshot. In fact, they’re lurking under your feet, and you probably won’t notice them until they come and break through your kitchen floor!
Okay, we’re being a bit dramatic. We’re not talking about a literal monster. What we’re referring to are slab leaks. And it’s true that they’re nothing more than leak, but when you consider the level of damage they can do to your home, you’ll understand how they can become a full-blown monster.
It Starts With a Spike in Your Water Bill
Leaks will always contribute to a gradual increase or a sudden spike in your water bill. It may be a small leak, but if it runs 24/7, the costs will add up fairly quick.
Slab leaks are no different. And since they occur underground, there’s the possibility that the soil has shifted and caused the pipe to burst—a much bigger issue than just a pinhole leak. As soon as you notice any funny changes to your water bill, turn off the main water line and have a Santa Fe, NM plumber come inspect the system.
Then Comes Damage to the Home
A slab leak is essentially a leak that has formed beneath the foundational slabs of your home. As the soil becomes saturated with water, it will expand and push up. The concrete slabs that make up your foundation will shift upward, and that can cause serious damage.
Cracks and Damage:
- Cracks in the flooring: Concrete, tile, and even wood flooring can show damage from the shifting foundation.
- Damage to the walls: Cracks can appear in the walls just above the baseboards.
- Water damage: The water that leaks from these cracks can contribute to water damage throughout the home.
- Hardwood flooring will buckle and warp from exposure to the water.
- Carpeting can become soaked from underneath, eventually leading to mold and mildew growth if not noticed.
- Areas of the lawn near the house can become soaked and spongey with water.
Signs of a Slab Leak, So You Can Avoid It
Before the slab leak can get to the point that it’s damaging your floors and bringing water into the house, there are some signs you can look out for.
Lowered Water Pressure: Just like any leak, it will create an imbalance in pressure through the pipes. This means when you’ll get a slow dribble when turning on your faucets.
Warm or Cold Areas on the Floor: Depending on what kind of pipe has burst, you may feel either hot or cold temperatures when placing your hands or bare feet on the floor. It’s not uncommon for pets to cozy up on top of warm spots, so keep an eye on their behavior.
Musty Odors: As previously mentioned, a leak occurring beneath carpeting can lead to the growth of mildew and mold. If it does, you’ll most likely smell it.