Stop Slab Leaks in California: Causes, Costs & Solutions

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Stop Slab Leaks in California: Causes, Costs & Solutions

Updated:  |  Published:

Slab leaks can go unnoticed until it is too late
Slab leaks can go unnoticed until it is too late

Are you concerned about the possibility of slab leaks in your California home?

Fortunately, there are ways to minimize or prevent slab leaks from occurring.

In this article, we will guide you through the common causes of slab leaks in California, discuss whether California homeowners' insurance covers slab leaks, provide insights into the cost of fixing them, and offer solutions on how to permanently stop slab leaks in California.

What Causes Slab Leaks in California?

In California, several region-specific environmental factors can cause slab leaks:

Expansive Clay Soils

In California, the presence of expansive clay soils poses a significant risk to residential structures, especially concerning slab leaks.

These clay soils, prone to expansion and contraction with changes in moisture levels, exert substantial pressure on home foundations. This movement frequently leads to the development of slab leaks, where the water supply beneath the concrete foundation can crack or leak, causing extensive damage to the home.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that approximately 25% of all homes in America experience some form of damage due to expansive soil at some point in a home's lifetime.

Earthquakes

In earthquake-prone California, the constant threat of seismic activity can lead to structural damage in residential plumbing systems. Earthquakes may cause pipes to shift, crack, or rupture, resulting in leaks and water damage.

Slab leaks caused by earthquakes may go unnoticed for a while. If left unaddressed, these leaks can cause substantial damage to the property's foundation and structural integrity, as well as contribute to mold growth and compromise indoor air quality.

a damaged floor caused by a slab leak.
A damaged floor caused by a slab leak.

Water Chemistry

Some areas in California have naturally high mineral content in the soil and water, leading to accelerated corrosion of pipes and slab leaks. Water with a high mineral content is called hard water. Hard water can occur naturally as water moves through soil and rock, absorbing minerals that are then carried along into the water supply.

This corrosion weakens the structural integrity of the pipes and makes them more susceptible to developing leaks over time. You can read our detailed article on the causes of slab leak causes for more information.

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Does My California Homeowners Insurance Cover Slab Leaks?

Whether your California homeowners insurance will cover slab leaks depends on the specifics of your insurance coverage.

For example, All State Insurance offers two types of slab leak coverage which will insure different types of situations:

  • Dwelling coverage: This type of coverage helps "pay to repair damage to the structure of your home." It covers the damaged slab but does not pay for the replacement or repair of the damaged plumbing underneath the slab.
  • Personal property coverage: Instead of covering the damaged slab itself, personal property coverage helps "repair damage to belongings in your home." This means that any of your belongings may be covered, but the slab repair and damaged plumbing are not covered.

Similarly, insurance companies like Nationwide provide dwelling and personal property coverage but do not cover problems that aren't "sudden or accidental".

While most Californian homeowners' insurance will help cover certain aspects of the damage caused by slab leaks, it is rare for a homeowners insurance claim to cover the replacement of damaged pipes underneath the slab.

Some potential exclusions to slab leak coverage can include earthquakes, faulty installation or poor maintenance, general foundation settling/cracking, and slab leaks caused by normal wear and tear.

Homeowners in California should carefully review their insurance policies, paying close attention to specific terms and conditions related to slab leaks. Consulting with your insurance provider to clarify coverage details and exploring additional endorsements for earthquake-related damages can help ensure you have protection in the event of a slab leak.

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How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Slab Leak?

In general, our California slab leak repipes range from $4,500 for a two-bedroom, one-bath house to up to $15,000 for larger properties and more complex projects.

If you are researching repipe pricing for large multi-family properties such as HOAs, condos, or apartments, please visit our Multi-Family Division site. Repipe Specialists' Multi-Family Division can provide quotes for complex multi-unit projects, including project management support across tenant units and project financing. We also have a detailed article that breaks down the factors that will affect the cost of repiping a mobile home.

We have heard from customers that, in some cases, the cost of our whole home repiping services was lower than the cost of replacing a section of damaged pipe within a slab. This is particularly true for homeowners who have performed multiple in-slab repairs over time.

Here at Repipe Specialists, we have performed thousands of repipes across the USA, specializing solely in full home plumbing replacements. A whole home repipe is more affordable than you might imagine and is almost certainly less expensive than repairing damages behind expensive repeated slab leaks. For more information, read our article on the cost to repair a slab leak.

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With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our One-Stop Repipe™ for your home.

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Californian Slab Leaks: How to Stop Them

The only way to prevent slab leaks in California is to avoid having fresh water lines located in or underneath a concrete slab.

To combat slab leaks, we install PEX tubing in continuous lengths from a central manifold directly to outlets. We cap off the existing fresh water lines that are already in or under your slab, leaving them in place. We then route all your new plumbing through walls, ceilings, and attics, avoiding the slab and preventing future slab leaks.

routing new PEX tubing through walls
Routing new PEX tubing through walls

To ensure the longevity of your home's piping against slab leaks in California, PEX is by far the most versatile repipe material. Our whole home repipes are also generally much less disruptive than jackhammering open your slab to access and replace leaking pipes.

Please feel free to contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our local repipe consultants. They can provide a free, fixed-price quote tailored to your specific needs.

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Get a Quote for Your Home Repipe

Here at Repipe Specialists, we've fully replaced plumbing in thousands of homes across the USA with modern Uponor PEX tubing. We continually get positive customer feedback from customers about their whole home repipe experiences. We often exceed their expectations on:

  • Speed: Our repipe crews typically complete a repipe in a day, returning on another day for wall patching.
  • Convenience: Through our One-Stop Repipe™ Process, we handle everything from permits, to wall patching, to inspections.
  • Cleanliness: Our crews are trained to protect your home while working (we cover all surfaces with protective sheeting), and to clean up fully at the end of each day.
  • Peace of Mind: Repipe Specialists is a fully licensed plumber in every state we operate in, and we back all of our repipes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Financing programs: To help take the sting out of unplanned repipe expenses, we offer several financing programs.
  • Price: As a specialist that performs hundreds of repipes a week, we can deliver high quality repipes at a lower cost vs generalist plumbers. We have an article that covers repipe cost factors in detail.

Schedule a free in-home consult, and a local repipe consultant will explain all your PEX plumbing replacement options and provide you with a written, fixed price quote. Stop California slab leaks, repipe through walls and ceilings.

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About Repipe Specialists

Expert Repiping at an Affordable Cost

Since our founding in 1991, we've been completing residential and multi-family building repipes to the highest standard.

With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our  One Stop Repipe™ process: providing you with a high quality and convenient repipe experience while offering significant savings compared to traditional plumbers - plus, our work is guaranteed for life.

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