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Husted Plumbing Blog

When Does a Leak Become a Slab Leak?

pipe-burstLeaks are part of everyday life for a plumber. All leaks can cause water damage or create spikes in your water bill. They can even lower your water pressure throughout the home. But most of the time, they’re easily fixed by a qualified plumber in Santa Barbara, CA.

What turns a leak from a simple pipe replacement into an entire project is all based on the location of the leak. When a leak displays the right symptoms, it could actually be a slab leak. From that, you can expect a slew of problems that will cause damage to your home the longer it goes on.

So when does your average leak become a slab leak?

When the Leak Is Beneath Your Home

The basic definition of a slab leak is a leak that occurs beneath the foundational slabs of your home. This can be caused by a sewage or main water line that has ruptured due to shifting soil or may simply be leaking due to corrosion.

The water released by a slab leak will rise up through the soil, causing it to expand and press up against the foundation. Slab leaks don’t have to occur directly beneath the home; sometimes they occur just outside the house but near enough that you can notice some of the symptoms in your yard.

When it Causes a Bad Smell

Since slab leaks come from underground, it means that there’s a greater chance it will seep into areas like your carpet. When gone unnoticed, this can contribute to the growth of bacteria and mold. It might not be until you notice the smell of mildew that you realize there’s been a slab leak in some unvisited corner of a room.

While normal leaks can also cause mold smells if they have a chance to create water damage, their placement in the walls can make it less likely to notice than a slab leak.

When it Makes Warm Areas on Your Floor

If it’s the hot water pipe that forms a leak or bursts, that warm water will spread and begin to supply a steady amount of warmth to the soil. This heat will rise and create warm spots on your floor. As funny as it sounds, one way to detect these areas is by observing your pets. Dogs and cats are prone to laying down on these newly formed warm areas.

When it Creates Cracks in Your Walls and Floors

As briefly mentioned above, slab leaks will cause the soil to expand beneath your home. When that happens, the foundational slabs will shift, possibly causing damage to your floors and walls. Tile and concrete floors can form cracks, and even the walls can form cracks down near the baseboards. Normal leaks aren’t capable of creating this kind of damage to your home.

If you suspect your leak is a slab leak, don’t hesitate to call for help. The sooner you handle it, the better. Contact Husted Plumbing, a family owned and operated business since 1935.

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