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As a Coral Springs, FL, homeowner, one of the things you don’t want to hear your plumbing professional mention is a “slab leak.”
First off, what is a slab? Your home’s slab is the concrete foundation upon which it is built, and more often than not, sewer lines and water lines run below the slab. If a leak occurs under the slab from your water or the sewer, it is known as a slab leak. As you can imagine, the process of repairing a slab leak is a bit more complex than replacing a frozen pipe, and therefore, it can become quite expensive and labor-intensive to set things back to right once a slab leak has occurred.
Detecting Slab Leaks
When it comes to slab leaks, there’s hardly a bright side to report. There is no possible way to detect a slab leak visually. Professionals have high-tech equipment to do the job for them. By the time most are discovered, a lot of damage has already been inflicted, sometimes seriously so. Still, the earlier the better when it comes to finding slab leaks and commencing repair work. Look for these signs that a slab leak may be present:
- Wet carpets and floors
- Moist baseboards
- Low water pressure
- Unexplained growth of mold
- Sounds of running water beneath floor
- Increase in water bills
- Foundation shifting
Your bluefrog Plumbing + Drain slab leak team can find slab leaks quickly using advanced high-tech imaging systems and cameras.
Fixing Slab Leaks
Once a slab leak has been identified, the fix is a bit complicated because it involves tearing the slab out at least to the point that the leak can be accessed and repaired. There are essentially three routes that can be taken to fix a slab leak, and luckily with today’s modern equipment, minimal damage is done to your property. Your Coral Springs, FL, plumber may recommend:
- Pipe re-routing. This involves laying new pipe out above the ground to repair the leak below. Typically, re-routing is only recommended when there is a short pipe length needed to make the repair and replace the old broken or damaged pipe.
- Re-piping. If multiple leaks are causing issues, your plumber may recommend re-piping instead. To repipe the floor, the slab leak team cuts into the floor and the slab below. New piping is installed, and the damage repaired.
- Trenchless pipe relining. This type of solution avoids the need to dig a trench and expose buried pipe, so it is less invasive than old-school relining methods. Entry holes are created at both ends of the pipe in question and new liner is pressed into the broken pipe. This seals the leak and covers any breaks.
Will Your Insurance Cover the Repair for a Slab Leak?
Maybe. It likely depends on what causes the slab leak to begin with. If a covered peril on your homeowner’s policy causes a leak in the plumbing system beneath the slab, then it is possible that insurance may cover the tear-out and replacement costs. A covered peril is typically wind, fire, falling objects and explosions. Wind caused by a storm that results in slab damage or a slab leak may help with repair costs. By contrast, if the slab leak occurs because tree roots damage your plumbing, then the damage is likely not covered under a homeowner’s policy.
Keep in mind that there are a couple of routes that some homeowners use when filing a slab leak claim. First, they rely on homeowner’s insurance that covers the actual dwelling itself; this insurance likely will cover the cost of removing your home’s slab and replacing it, but not the actual repairs to the plumbing. The second is coverage for personal property. If the slab causes damage to personal property in the home, such as furniture, then a claim may be successfully filed relying on that type of coverage. No matter which type of coverage you have, most of the time a deductible applies. You’ll have to meet the deductible first before your insurance can cover anything. These limits are spelled out in your policy.
Can Slab Leaks Be Prevented?
You can reduce the likelihood of developing a slab leak (and the need to shell out the cash for costly slab leak repairs) by preventing slab leaks in the first place. The first of these is avoiding excessive water pressure that causes weakening in the pipe system and potentially leads to pipes bursting. Discuss your water pressure with your plumber to determine if it is endangering your pipes to the point that leaks are available.
Secondly, steer clear of chemical drain cleaners. These caustic cleaners can be detrimental on pipes when used in attempts to free clogs in sinks and other areas of the home—and they can be dangerous if you breathe in their fumes or get them on your skin. The harshness of drain cleaning chemicals can lead to pipe failure over time.
And last of all, if you have hard water, consider correcting it by installing a water softener. Hard water can damage pipes over time, including the pipes under your slab, leading to costly slab leaks and damage to your home.
Trust the Pros
Despite prevention measures, slab leaks can still occur. For instance, a slab leak can be caused by the natural settlement of the soil around your home or by a natural disaster. Luckily, your bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Fort Lauderdale, FL is the slab leak specialist, and is standing by to fix the problem quickly and efficiently. Reach out as soon as you suspect you have a slab leak problem to reduce the amount of downtime you experience with your Coral Springs, FL, plumbing and the cost of the repair itself.