During the initial building of a home in Houston any plumbing that runs under the home must be put in before the concrete is poured, since the plumbing runs in the dirt, not within the actual concrete. Nearly all homes in the greater Houston area are built on concrete slabs because the soil is very unstable and the water table is very high. Slab foundations may reduce some of the structural risk to your home, but it won’t eliminate it.
A slab leak occurs when the water supply line or drainage line beneath your home’s foundation springs a leak. Because this happens under the slab of concrete, it’s difficult for plumbers to find. Once a plumber finds the leak, it can get costly to repair depending on the severity of the leak and its location.
Repairs after the concrete foundation is poured may be costly and difficult. Cutting into the slab with a plunge-cut concrete saw and a jackhammer to remove sections of the concrete to access the pipes may be required. After all that, then, you can make your repairs and pour a new concrete patch. While the process can be messy, it is often the most cost effective method.
Sometimes the water line is so damaged that fixing a leak won’t make a difference or remodeling projects require moving pipes. Deteriorated or relocated pipes will need rerouting instead. We can tunnel under the home and break the slab from underneath. Then, we install a new PVC pipe and route it around the side of the home. The new pipe is reconnected to the main city sewer line. Rerouting can improve the drainage from the home and improve access. Also, you can stay in your home during the repairs and avoid the indoor mess. Your plumber also doesn’t have to pinpoint the exact location of the leak. However, the tunneling process and back filling process requires specific large equipment and a final density lab test.
The first step to finding a slab leak is determining if you have one. Some common signs of a slab leak include:
If you experience any of these, it’s time to call a professional Abacus plumber. We use special equipment to determine the location of the leak. Once we have an idea of where the leak is located, we will provide a detailed recommendation for the repairs and an itemized estimate of the cost.
Abacus Plumbing recommends an annual plumbing inspection to detect leaks, which can turn into potential disasters. Our licensed plumbers will perform a white glove inspection on your home’s plumbing system and fixtures, including a water pressure test. Low pressure may indicate a leak.