Many older homes in Las Vegas, Nevada, were built with water lines running through the concrete slab foundation. Throughout time these pipes age and leaks become inevitable. The problem is how do you find them? And once you locate the slab leak, how do you repair a pipe under a concrete slab?
How Do You Know There Is a Slab Leak?
High water bills can indicate leak exists somewhere on the property. The leak could be coming from a break in the main water line, a leak within the foundation of the building or its irrigation system or even leaky fixtures inside the home or business. The best way to know for sure is to hire a licensed plumber to perform a leak detection service.
*TIP: If you reside in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Water District offers a program for leak adjustments.
- If water is literally coming out of the flooring (wet carpet, warped hardwood, etc.), this is a definite indication of a slab leak. Once the pipe in the foundation leaks, it eventually comes up through the floor. To determine which line is affected, a leak detection is needed.
- Sometimes you can detect a slab leak by feeling for temperature changes in the flooring. Just use your hands, or sometimes people with sensitive feet can effectively feel for those changes. An infrared heat gun can be a useful tool as well. When you notice a few tiles feel warmer or cooler in a certain area when you walk on them, there is likely a slab leak. You cannot see the water coming through the floor yet, but you can feel the difference in temperature from water under that area. Again, leak detection is recommended to be sure which line is leaking.
How Do You Repair a Slab Leak?
There are two common options for slab leak repair.
- Going through the flooring to get to the line and make a “spot repair.” As experienced plumbers, we seldom recommend this method. Firstly, some area homes have post-tension concrete slabs that should not be tampered with. Secondly, It is much more invasive to rip out flooring, and jackhammer or saw through concrete flooring to repair only a portion of the water line. Above all else, unnecessarily tearing up flooring can be a disruptive and expensive disaster.
- Re-routing the water lines is most often the best solution for slab leak repairs. When a water line re-route is performed, the leaking water line under the home is abandoned and a new water line is run through the drywall and/or ceiling. This repair does require cutting holes in the drywall, but it is far less expensive to repair drywall than to hammer up and replace flooring.
*Tip: If you have a slab leak causing damages to your property, your home owner’s insurance will likely cover some of the repairs.
If you believe you may have a slab leak, please contact a licensed plumber to assist you with leak detection and have them provide thorough estimates for repairs.