As anyone who’s had to deal with slab leaks will tell you, they really are every homeowner’s nightmare. Slab leaks are a significant concern since they occur beneath the concrete foundation of a house and can lead to extensive damage before people even get to grips with the situation.
Before you start browsing for reliable plumbing companies in El Cajon that can help you deal with the issue, you should get to know the reasons why slab leaks appear to begin with. If you suspect a slab leak, it’s crucial to contact professionals who can diagnose and fix the issue as soon as possible, especially if you live in an older home or have a history of plumbing problems.
What would cause a slab leak?
First of all, while slab leaks happen for a variety of reasons, it’s important to note that slab leakage is a serious issue no matter the cause. With this in mind, let’s now take a look at the 10 most common causes of leaky concrete slabs.
1. Poorly installed pipes
One of the primary causes of slab leaks is the improper installation of pipes. If the pipes under your slab were not installed correctly, they might be more susceptible to breaking, bending, or deteriorating over time. This can result from inadequate support, incorrect joint fitting, or using substandard materials.
Pipes made of copper are prone to corrosion, especially if they are in an area with a high pH balance or if they are exposed to certain soil types. Corrosion weakens the pipes, leading to leaks. This is particularly common in older homes where the piping system has been in place for many years.
As water flows through pipes, they naturally expand and contract. If these pipes are in contact with concrete, gravel, or other hard materials, the constant movement can cause abrasion. Over time, this abrasion can wear down the pipe and create leaks.
4. Pressure problems
Excessive water pressure or shifting soil can put a strain on underground pipes, causing them to crack or burst. Earthquakes, nearby construction, or even natural soil erosion can lead to ground movement that impacts the integrity of the pipes beneath your home’s foundation.
5. Chemical damage
Certain chemicals used in landscaping or construction can seep into the ground and cause damage to the pipes. This includes fertilizers, pesticides, and other harsh chemicals that might corrode or weaken your pipe material.
6. Old plumbing
The age of your plumbing system plays a significant role in the likelihood of slab leaks. Older pipes are more prone to wear and tear, corrosion, and other issues that lead to leaks. If your home is several decades old and still has its original plumbing, the risk of a slab leak will only keep increasing.
7. Tree root intrusion
Tree roots searching for water can intrude and damage pipes. This is more common in areas with large trees near the house. The roots can wrap around or break into the pipes, causing leaks.
8. Poor water quality
Hard water, which is high in minerals like calcium and magnesium, can lead to the buildup of scale inside the pipes. This buildup will not only restrict the water flow but also increase the pressure inside the pipes over time leading to burst and ultimately leaky pipes.
9. Temperature fluctuations
Extreme temperature changes can cause pipes to expand and contract. In areas with significant temperature shifts, this can result in the weakening of pipe joints or cracks in piping which can eventually lead to leaks.
10. Inferior pipe materials
The quality of pipe materials plays a crucial role in their longevity and resistance to leaks. Cheaper or lower-quality materials may not withstand the test of time and conditions under a slab, leading to more frequent and earlier failures.
Where can I find one of the leading plumbing companies in El Cajon, CA?
Whether you need help finding the source of your leak, want to learn how to detect slab leakage, or would like to find out what are the crucial steps to deal with the problem, San Diego Emergency Plumbing has the know-how, professional equipment, and years of experience in solving these matters quickly before they escalate.
If you’re located close to Gillespie Field, the southern part of the city, or anywhere in between, we’re primed and ready to arrive on your doorstep quickly and get our hands dirty to alleviate your plumbing woes with skill and efficiency. Every second is crucial, call us now!