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Do You Have a Leak Under Your Slab? Here's What To Do.

Updated: | Published:

Baseboard water stains can indicate a slab leak
Baseboard water stains can indicate a slab leak

Do you suspect that you have a leak under your slab but don't know what to do next?

Here at Repipe Specialists, we have performed thousands of repipes on leaks under slabs in homes across the country.

We will guide you through a step-by-step process of what to do if you suspect that you have a leak in or under your slab foundation.

We will discuss early warning signs of a slab leak, how to find and contain the leak, options for fixing the leak, whether homeowners insurance will cover the cost of a leak, and how to prevent future slab leaks.

Warning Signs of a Leak Under Slab

If you believe you have a leak in the freshwater lines under your slab, there are several clear warning signs to look out for.

If you're unsure whether these warning signs are connected to a leak under your slab, we've put together some indicators to help diagnose the problem.

Knowing these warning signs will help you determine the best course of action.

It is important to be proactive and tackle the signs early before they can cause more significant problems - such as structural issues to your home. Here is our list of the Top Ten signs to look out for:

  1. Dampness and Wet Spots on the Floor: This is one of the more common signs of a leak under your slab. If you notice dampness or wet spots on the floor that can't be attributed to other sources (for example, slab/floors being wet due to outside drainage issues, or irrigation close to the house), it may be a sign that a pipe is leaking under the slab. Moisture from a slab leak can also cause wood flooring or baseboards to warp or buckle.
  2. Unexplained Increase in Water Bills: If your water bill suddenly spikes without any corresponding increase in water usage, it may be a sign that water is leaking somewhere in your home. This warning sign is commonly caused by a more significant leak, because it can be hard to detect incremental increases from smaller leaks.
  3. Musty and Moldy Smells: Moisture from a leak under slab can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth in areas of the home that are located close to the slab. These areas can typically be hidden from view, for example: under cabinets or at the base of wall cavities. If you notice a musty or moldy smell in your home, it could be a sign of a leak.
  4. Water Stains or Discoloration on Walls: Leaks under slab can cause water to leak into lower parts of walls and around baseboards, creating stains or discoloration. If you have noticed stains or discolorations appearing suddenly, acting quickly is key to ensure there are no structural damages caused by leak under slab.
  5. Baseboard stains from a slab leak
    Baseboard stains from a slab leak
  6. Hot Spots on the Floor: Warm or hot spots on the floor underneath slab can be a sign that a hot water line is leaking under the slab. This warning sign is relatively easy to look out for.
  7. Cracks in the Foundation or Walls: Over time, the shifting or settling of a foundation due to a leak under slab can cause cracks in the foundation or walls of your home. The movement of soil can be a effected by a leak or cause one directly. This problem can be attributed to expansive soil, directly affecting the foundation of the home.
  8. Sudden Sinkholes or Depressions in the Ground Around the Foundation: A leak under slab can cause soil erosion. This can lead to the formation of sinkholes or depressions around the foundation of your home. A leak under slab can also create abnormal settling or shifting of the foundation due to a slab leak affecting the moisture content of the soil around the home.
  9. Puddles of Water Around the Foundation: Puddles of water or moisture around the foundation of your home can be indicative of a leak under your slab. It is important to differentiate the pooling of water from leaking irrigation pipes or over-watering around your homes foundation (this can cause its own issues, but they are far easier to contain and fix than a slab leak). If water begins pooling around your home without warning, it is important to act fast before the problem can significantly effect the foundations of your home.
  10. Low Water Pressure: A leak under slab can cause a sudden drop in water pressure or other water pressure problems.
  11. Low water pressure from slab leak
    Low water pressure from a slab leak
  12. Sound of Running Water: The sound of running water, even when all faucets are turned off, could be a sign of a leak under your slab. It is important to check this by turning off your main water supply to see if the sound persists. If it does, there is a high likelihood that there is a leak under your slab.

If you have noticed any of these warning signs, there is a high probability that you have a leak under your slab.

If you are sure you have a slab leak, give us a call today to get a free quote for a permanent slab leak solution. If the leak is much slower or harder-to-detect, we may be able to recommend a local detection company to help you verify the presence of a leak under your slab.

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Stopping a Leak Under Slab

If you have discovered a leak in the plumbing underneath your slab, it is important to act quickly to minimize the damage to your home.

Shutting off your home's main water supply valve, is the only way to temporarily stop a slab water leak.

Going without fresh water can be inconvenient. However, if the leak is significant in volume, it is essential you turn your water off, and leave it off until the leak is repaired. Any significant water flow under your slab, may erode your home's foundation and cause serious and costly damage.

Here at Repipe Specialists, we do our best to prioritize customers who have active leaks, and may be without fresh water supply. Give us a call to  schedule a free quote (be sure to mention you have an active leak). Our full home repipes only take 1 or 2 days, and we'll get your fresh water running again ASAP.

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Fixing Leaks Under or in Concrete Slabs

If you have experienced a leak under or in your concrete slab, the most cost-effective solution is  a complete repipe rather than repairing the pipes in your slab.

Corroded pipe leaking under a slab
Corroded pipe leaking under a slab

To replace any leaking pipes in a slab, the concrete foundation needs to be cut and jackhammered to access the damaged pipes. Often multiple holes and significant areas need to be cut open. Not only is this intrusive, but it can be incredibly expensive. We have seen situations where homeowners receive a quote for in-slab pipe repairs well in excess of  our complete repipe costs.

Additionally, we would describe any in place repair as "temporary". This is because whatever caused the leak in the first place has a high likelihood of happening again.

All of our repipes bypass the concrete slab entirely, rerouting pipes through walls, ceilings and attics. Through our One Stop Repipe™ process, we can complete a full repipe in just 1-2 days, and will turn your water back on at the end of each day. We also handle everything from permits to wall patching.

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

Our repipes provide you with the peace of mind that you won't have to deal with the hassle of future leaks under your slab ever again.

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Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Leaks Under Slabs?

Your homeowners insurance may cover leaks under your slab, but not necessarily for all causes.

Some potential exclusions for insurance coverage of under slab leaks:

  • The leak is determined to be from normal wear and tear
  • Earthquake exclusions
  • Faulty installation or poor maintenance
  • General foundation settling/ cracking (causing pipes to break)

It is important to know what your homeowners insurance policy will cover in case of a leak under slab. We have an article covering some of the main causes of leaks in slabs.

Our next section covers how to permanently prevent water leaks under slabs.

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Preventing Future Leaks Under Your Slab

You can easily avoid the problems that arise from leaks under a slab by choosing a complete home repipe.

After the repipe, you won't have any fresh water plumbing running through your slab - making it a permanent solution for avoiding future slab leaks. We reroute all your plumbing through the ceilings, attics, and walls; bypassing the slab entirely.

Completed within 1-2 days, our full home repipes come with a lifetime warranty to ensure your peace of mind. We also offer financing options to help with the burden of unexpected repiping expenses.

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Get a Quote for Repiping Your Home

Here at Repipe Specialists, we've fully replaced the plumbing in over 75,000 homes since 1991 using both copper piping and PEX tubing. We continually get positive customer feedback from customers about their overall 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 one of our local repipe consultants will explain all your repipe options and provide you with a written, fixed-price quote.

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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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