Early Detection of a Slab Leak Can Prevent Costly Repairs
Apr 07, 2014 08:33AM
● By Anonymous
Nearly all homes in Dallas-Fort Worth are built on concrete slabs because the soil is very unstable. Slab foundations may reduce some of the structural risk to your home, but it can’t completely eliminate it. However, these issues can be mitigated with the help of your certified plumber.
Soil Shift May Cause Plumbing Leaks
The soil in The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has high clay content. It expands in the summer and shrinks in the winter. Introduction of large amounts of water causes it to expand, subjecting foundations to pressures from underneath. This highly expansive soil can also experience long drought periods. When water is withdrawn, these clay soils will contract causing cracks in the ground. If the soil moves too much, pipes can leak. A leak can cause the soil to shift even more. Even small leaks can cause significant results. A pinhead size leak can waste enough to fill 12,000 bathtubs to overflowing.
In some extreme cases, the slab and flooring can push upward, which may flood the ground floor of the home, causing damage flooring, furniture and appliances. A leak can also erode the soil and cause the slab to cave in. When the slab foundation fails, the weight of the concrete may further damage the plumbing lines beneath the slab.
One reason water pipes are installed under slabs is cost. It is significantly cheaper to install pipes under the slab, than to run them above ground in an attic or between floors. Less material is used and drilling, strapping, or protection is not necessary. Overhead pipes can be also noisy when the water is being used. Little can be done to eliminate the sound without soundproofing the walls and ceilings. Another reason is maintaining the water temperature. Pipes installed in attics are exposed to extreme temperatures, especially heat. A cold water pipe that runs through an attic to an isolated fixture may take several minutes to deliver reasonably cold water. Insulation has very little effect on standing water in a pipe broiling in the 140-degree heat of an attic.
Slab leak detection and foundation repair are essential to keep your foundation stable. It’s much easier (and less expensive) to locate a leak than to do major restoration work to the house after a leak is found.
Call Berkeys, your plumbing repair company, if:
· You hear the sound of water running when no taps are open
· You have foundation cracks
· You have discolored flooring, such as darkened hardwood
· You smell bad odors coming from floors or walls
· Grass of foundation plants grow unevenly
· There is a visible shift in the soil around your home
· You have warm spots on the slab floors
· Your water bill increases for no obvious reason
Detecting a leak early is important to assure your home’s plumbing system is functioning efficiently and safely. Berkeys Air Conditioning and Plumbing recommends annual plumbing tune-ups as the best way to repair little problems before they become big problems. A lot of money can be saved on water bills and you may avoid spending thousands of dollars on foundation repair and home restoration.
Berkeys is an award winning home service company, providing quality plumbing, air conditioning, and heating services to homeowners in the Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex for over 35 years.
All of our technicians, are background-checked, drug tested and have passed rigorous state examinations and are licensed by the State of Texas; they understand the complexity of state codes all the way down to local requirements.