There are over 98,256 households in Irvine, CA, and plumbing issues can affect even the most cautious homeowners. Leaks under the slab are challenging to locate and often require an expert plumber with specific equipment to complete the job. While leaks can be severe, they also pose financial threats regarding wasted water and higher utility bills.
Fortunately, homeowners who take preventative measures can prevent slab leaks from occurring regularly. Consider avoiding common causes like overusing appliances or driving heavy machinery on the home’s foundation.
Homeowners should also proactively replace aging plumbing systems with the help of expert plumbers in Irvine, CA. However, even cautious homeowners may have to deal with slab leaks. In these cases, it is essential to understand why these leaks occur before finding plumbers to fix them properly.
What Causes Slab Leaks?
Slab leaks are difficult to detect and fix because they happen below the surface of your home’s foundation, between the plumbing system and the outer walls.
The most common cause for slab leaks is corrosion or rusting in metal plumbing that slowly damages mortar joints beneath the home’s foundation over time.
Cracks in the Foundation
These damages can also be caused by seeping water like groundwater pushing through cracks in concrete foundations. Indoor plumbing tie-ins to sewer lines outside may also allow nasty sewer gases into your home, causing hazardous health problems.
Old, corroded piping systems often cause slab leaks. Pipes made from galvanized metals (zinc) corrode quickly when exposed to sewage, acid rain, or acidic soils. Galvanized metals can also be weakened by fluctuating water pressure. Water pressure issues are common when homes are connected to community water systems.
Older homes with galvanized piping are at the highest risk for developing slab leaks. For this reason, it is essential to inspect plumbing during any move-in or home inspection process. It’s imperative if you live in an area like Irvine, CA, where your soil frequently floods or has high alkalinity (low acidity).
How to Prevent Leaks
Homeowners who build new homes should take preventative measures against slab leaks.
Install PEX Plumbing
Preventive measures include installing plastic PEX (polyethylene) plumbing which doesn’t rust if exposed to sewer gas as traditional metal pipes do.
Around 12% of properties in Irvine, CA, face flood risk. If you live in an Irvine flood zone, you can lay gravel as a drainage barrier under the slab to prevent seepage through the foundation.
Learn About Metal Used for Plumbing
Homeowners need to find out if their homes’ plumbing was made from copper or lead. While these plumbing materials used to be popular, they’re not as strong as PEX and may contribute to leaks under slabs.
Perform Necessary Repairs
If you believe that your home’s foundation has been compromised by a leak or even settling, it is time to have it inspected proactively. Complete necessary repairs before further issues arise.
How Do Plumbers in Irvine, CA, Deal With Slab Repairs?
While it may be possible for homeowners to fix minor leaks in slabs, they will need the help of plumbing experts for more extensive issues. These are some of the things that experts take into consideration when inspecting slab leaks.
Make sure to ask your plumber all these questions during their inspection process:
How Recently Did the Leak Occur?
This question is vital because plumbing systems can fail or become damaged in under a year, depending on how much water they lose each day.
Does It Look Like Only One Section of Plumbing is Leaking?
If multiple pipeline systems are running through your slab foundation, then the damage could potentially spread throughout your entire home’s foundation over time.
Is There Any Evidence That Other Homes in the Neighborhood Have Suffered From Slab Leaks?
If slab leaks are a common issue in your neighborhood, it may be wise to consult professional plumbers in Irvine, CA, about having the lines inspected.
Are There Any Obvious Signs of Damage From Seeping Water or Dirt Around the Slab’s Perimeter?
For example, if nearby shrubs are wilting or dying, this could mean that water is seeping into your home’s foundation and causing potential problems.
Is Your Home a Good Candidate for a “Tie-In” Repair Project Where New Piping Is Buried Underground Outside?
This option will likely require excavation work near your home’s exterior but can prevent further damage over time. A professional plumber can inspect these areas to determine which repair options best suit your home’s individual needs.
Homeowners who suspect leaky slab issues should contact a professional plumber as soon as possible before significant damage occurs to their home’s foundation. To prevent even more costly repairs, it is crucial for homeowners and renters alike to proactively inspect any potential damage caused by water leaks under slabs.
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