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Slab Leaks: What Causes Them, and How to Detect Them

They’re invisible. They’re silent. And they can cause significant water damage to your home.

We’re talking about slab leaks—otherwise known as when a pipe leaks beneath your home’s foundation.

If you don't repair slab leaks, they can cause your foundation to crack. Read on to learn what causes slab leaks, and how you can spot them before it gets too late.

Common Causes of Slab Leaks

Copper pipes: Copper pipes are often found in an older home's plumbing system. Copper is soft, and that means it bends easily. This can cause the pipe to weaken and leaks to form.

Pipes that were installed incorrectly: If the pipes were dented or damaged during installation, that can lead to water leaks (this is especially common with copper pipes.)

Water quality: Water that’s too acidic (hard water) or too alkaline (soft water) can be equally damaging to pipes. Hard water can leave mineral deposits on your pipes and cause them to corrode. Soft water, on the other hand, can be an issue because it will pull in minerals as it travels through your pipes. This can create pinhole leaks in the pipe walls. The best quality water should be between a 6.5 and an 8.5 on the pH scale.

READ MORE: How to Tell If You Have Hard Water

Water pressure: Pressure from the water moving through the pipes can cause them to scrape against the slab under your home. Hot water pipes are especially at risk of friction. That’s because they expand as they warm up. This can damage the outside of the pipes, and cause them to leak.

READ MORE: Water Pressure Problems are Worth Fixing

How to Detect and Repair Slab Leaks

Slab leaks can be sneaky, but it’s easier to detect them if you know the warning signs. Here are some of the most common signs of slab leaks:

  • High water bills
  • Damp floors
  • Mold and mildew
  • Buckling floors
  • A lack of hot water
  • Low water pressure
  • Warm spots on the floor
  • The sound of running water
  • A water heater that’s always running

If you’re noticing any of these signs, call the experts at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. We can quickly figure out whether you have a slab leak and recommend the best way to fix it.

Request an appointment online, or give us a call at 888-BEN-1776.