The last thing a homeowner wants to see is a plumbing leak because of the numerous dangers they pose to valuables and property. Leakages can also increase water bills exponentially and increase water wastage, a national concern in the country as household leaks account for 1 trillion gallons of water wastage annually.
You might be familiar with several toilets, faucets, and showerheads plumbing leaks, but you may not be conversant with slab leaks.
Slab leakages are not easy to identify and detect; thus, they may worsen and cause other plumbing issues, structural integrity problems, and extensive damage to your Mansfield, TX, home.
Slab leakages occur below the concrete of the foundation of your house and might take an expert from a plumbing service company to detect and fix it. Here are the reasons behind slab leaks and possible prevention methods.
Causes of Slab Leaks in Homes
Burst Copper Water Lines
One of the most prevalent reasons behind slab leaks is cracked copper pipes. Plumbing service technicians install the water pipes beneath the concrete to supply water in your bathroom and kitchen. With time the lines tend to wear down and develop cracks that end up bursting, leading to slab leaks. Most of these copper pipes deteriorate due to
- High levels of salts or minerals in hard water: Hard water has a high concentration of dissolved salts, including magnesium, calcium, and other metals that can adversely affect copper water lines after a while. They are prone to create pin holes that might end up in the crack, leading to slab leakages that only plumbing service experts in repairs and replacement can fix.
- Old age: Copper pipes are prone to become weaker and have pinholes in the inner lining after serving your water needs for the longest time.
- High water turbulence: As hard water runs at high speed in the copper water lines, they fasten the wearing down of the pipes, leading to pinholes and cracks that allow water to sip out.
- Other causes of copper pipes deterioration that leads to slab leaks in homes include inaccurate grounding of electrical hardware about copper pipes.
Prevention of Deterioration of Copper Pipes
Plumbing service providers can prevent prompt wear down and pinholes in copper water pipes by installing water softeners to remove the hard water minerals responsible for creating pinholes and corrosion in the inner linings of the plumbing pipes. If the water lines are old and have pinholes, a plumber can do a professional and skillful re-piping of the entire plumbing system.
To reduce water turbulence in water lines to prevent cracks and pinholes, a plumbing service expert can check your water velocity and lower it if it is high. They can also ensure the pipes are not too small to decrease the friction water causes on the water lines.
High Water Pressure
Slab leaks can also occur due to high water pressure, making the water lines under the foundation or slab crack. It is an occurrence that can lead to water damage if mitigation measures by a plumbing service provider in Mansfield, TX, are not put in place as soon as the problem occurs.
If you are the keen type, you might notice the following signs of a slab leak and call for professional help. Running water under the floor is a rare occurrence, and you should not overlook it the minute you hear the sound. Your floor or carpet becomes wet and might lead to mold growth if there are traces of mold spores.
Skyrocketing water bills are a clear sign that there might be a leak somewhere in your plumbing pipes. It will be easy to notice the surge in utility bills if you do not use too much water daily or monthly.
The startling high water bills can force you to call plumbing service experts to identify the leaking pipes using leak detectors. They can use a water pressure gauge to measure water pressure in terms of pounds per square inch (PSI) in the pipes.
How To Avoid Extremely High Water Pressure
The best way to prevent high water pressure in homes is to ensure the standard water pressure is no more than 60 PSI. Reducing water pressure helps conserve your pipes for a long time and protects your plumbing appliances and fixtures from damages caused by high water pressure.
A plumbing service professional in Mansfield, TX, can also install a pressure-regulating valve at the point of entry to ensure the water flowing to your faucets is at a standardized level to protect your plumbing pipes.
Homeowners can also have slab leakages stemming from earthquakes. It is not a common problem because it might happen or not occur in a lifetime, implying you might never have slab plumbing issues due to an earthquake while you are still alive.
Despite that, when an earthquake hits, the vibrations can affect homes, destroying everything, including the plumbing pipes. In case of a severe earthquake, water lines underneath your foundation can also burst, crack or even get out of place, allowing water to leak under the slab.
For a mild earthquake or tremor, the joints of the pipes can loosen due to vibrations and create pinholes over time, thus a slab leak and other plumbing problems that will require repairs from plumbing service professionals. You can notice the slab leakage if the water pressure in your faucets is low while high at the point of entry.
It is impossible to prevent an earthquake, but you can stay informed about where it might hit next.
High Acidity in Water
Another reason behind slab leaks is highly acidic water in homes. People with private wells can be vulnerable to this type of problem.
Water with high acidic levels are dangerous to plumbing pipes because they affect water lines and cause structural damage. Its pH value is higher than the typical rate between 1 and 4.
A plumbing service expert can confirm your water is highly acidic when there are green and blue discolorations in the plumbing fixtures, such as kitchen and bathroom sinks, showers, or toilets.
Preventing High Acidity in Water
Luckily the problem is preventable. Plumbers can use water softeners to remove any components that make water acidic such as hard water minerals, including calcium or magnesium.
Hard water, which has more living organisms such as bacteria, requires water treatment techniques to remove them. Plumbing service providers can use the Acid Neutralizing Capacity to know the ability of water reducing acidity, preventing pH levels from rising beyond the standard range.
Shifting of Expansive Soils
Property owners in Mansfield, TX, can also have slab leaks resulting from the pressure of shifting soils, causing the foundation to move. Expansive soils are known for swelling or expanding when wet and shrinking when dry, a phenomenon that causes foundation issues or damages.
As the foundation moves, it puts enormous pressure on the pipes underneath, making them create pin holes and start to leak. Plumbing service providers can fix the failed or broken pipes but might find it hard to find a solution to the swelling and shrinking soils.
How to Prevent the Effects of Shifting Soils
Since it is impossible to move a building to another, plumbers can look for ways to stop the swells and shrinks of the soils. They might propose keeping moisture at bay from the expansive soils to prevent swelling of the expansive soil and make the foundation shift and lead to slab leaks.
The plumbing service contractors can also recommend using chemicals to stabilize the expansive clay. They can use stabilizers such as lime, cement, or fly ash to prevent the shifting arising from swelling and shrinkage.
Another prevention measure for people living in places with expansive soils, is to use degradable void forms at the time of construction to stop the foundation from heaving pressure on the plumbing pipes.
In addition, slab leaks can stem from abrasion of water pipes on concrete slabs. Sometimes water lines can expand and contract with exposure to different aspects such as water temperatures.
They rub against the gravel or rock surfaces beneath the foundation on slab, wearing down fast, breaking or cracking, starting a leakage in the slab that requires urgent repairs by a skilled or licensed plumbing service technician.
If the water pressure passing through the pipes is high, the plumbing pipes are prone to burst out water that might take a short while to notice on your floor.
How to Minimize Abrasion of Pipes
If you want to know how to prevent abrasion of water pipes, you should start by understanding aspects that facilitate abrasion, including the fluid passing through the water lines. Frequent rubbing on the slab can weaken the pipes and cause slab leaks.
The plumbing service experts use their knowledge of abrasion resistance, that is, ability for water pipes to resist faster deterioration when rubbed against rough substances such as concrete slabs. They can help you select plumbing pipes with correct size, shape, density, velocity, and hardness that aid in expediting the abrasion.
Apart from the above causes of slab leaks, property owners in Mansfield, TX, can also have leaking slabs because of the damaged or deformed Orangeburg water pipes.
People in older homes with the Orangeburg pipes can notice cracks in your walls and ceiling, a sign of slab leaks that requires immediate repairs before the problems worsen. They deteriorate faster with exposure to household chemicals, including family cleaner oils, bleach, drain cleaners, or polymers.
Prevention Measures Against Damaged Orangeburg Pipes
For the Orangeburg pipes to last longer in homes, folks can avoid using harsh detergents and chemicals. Avoiding the use of harsh chemicals and bleach can prevent slab leakages. Plumbing service professionals can also refrain from using chemical drain cleaners to maintain the Orangeburg water lines.
Corrosion of Pipes
Folks can have slab leaks due to corrosion of water lines within the concrete foundation or slab. Hot water pipes are the primary cause of corroded pipes in homes. Hot water in the water lines has oxygen and other components that promote corrosion of pipes, leading to cracks and pinholes and eventually slab leakages that require repairs by a plumbing service technician.
Cold water can also make pipes rust from the inside as they become old and wear down. Besides the hot and cold water leading to corrosion, other factors such as water properties in hard water and stray electric currents also make water pipes rust. Salts, dissolved chemicals, gasses, and other solid particles in water also contribute to pipe corrosion.
Preventing Corrosion of Pipes
The most effective way to prevent rusting of water lines in homes is to have a plumber replace all the plumbing pipes prone to rusting with corrosion-resistant ones. Plumbing service providers in Mansfield, TX, can recommend PVC or concrete water lines that are the most efficient for households.
Controlling or monitoring pH values, alkalinity, buffer intensity, and hard water minerals in water can also lower the rate of water pipe corrosion.
Poorly Installed Pipes
Pipes not fixed properly under the slab or foundation can cause leakages. It is a factor that can lead to numerous plumbing issues, making you spend on repairs and replacements more frequently.
To prevent having mediocre work from plumbers, you should hire the best from reputable plumbing service companies in the city.
Need a Plumber in Mansfield? Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth
It is indisputable that slab leaks can occur for several reasons, such as abrasion, shifting soils, and deteriorating copper pipes. The leaks are an issue that requires emergency repairs to prevent problems, including water damage, indoor floods, or structural damages due to mold growth or rotting of wooden parts of your house.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth is a plumbing company in Mansfield, TX, offering specialized leak repair services. We are one of the best businesses in Texas with certified and qualified plumbers ready to address all your plumbing issues, such as installation, replacement, and maintenance of water appliances and faucets. So, give us a call if you want slab leak repairs and other plumbing-related services.