Following is a list of the five most common causes of slab leaks
The water and sewer pipes beneath the foundation of a house are susceptible to corrosion and cracking as they age. It can be extremely difficult to fix the issue once the pipes below the slab foundation are damaged. We have listed the most common causes of slab leaks that will help you protect your house foundation.
Vibration Caused By Earthquakes
- Violent earthquakes can cause extreme vibrations in the ground. These vibrations can have destructive effects on the pipe in the concrete slab foundation below your home. Vibrations can rattle the pipes beneath the ground and they may start to deteriorate. The joints between the pipes may also become loose.
Moreover, cracks and holes are formed in the pipes due to the movement of the ground. The sounds that resemble running water can indicate a slab leak. If there is a leak in the hot water pipe, you might notice a hot spot in your house. The growth of mold and mildew is another indicator of a slab leak.
Highly Acidic Water
- The hard water can be highly acidic depending on your suburbs. The pH level of hard water ranges between 1-4 on average. If you live in an area with acid water, pipes below your foundation will likely start to corrode, degrade, and crack over time.
The presence of green or blue stains in the kitchen and bathroom sink, shower, or toilet indicates the presence of acidic water. Investments in a water softener can help homeowners combat this issue.
- Although a water softener can extend the life of your pipes, in some instances the pipes in the foundation can still end up damaged. This happens in areas where water is highly alkaline. The alkaline water can slowly cause the pipes to disintegrate and crack.
Deterioration Of Copper Pipes
Older homes containing copper and Orangeburg sewer pipes are more susceptible to slab leaks. Corrosion in copper pipes can occur due to several reasons including:
- High levels of dissolved salt in the water
- Water with pH levels below 7
- Acidic water
- High quantities of liquefied oxygen
- Incorrectly grounded electrical hardware to copper pipes
- Alkaline water with pH levels above 8.5
When the copper pipes below the foundation crack due to any of the above reasons, holes are formed resulting in severe slab leaks.
Abrasion Of Pipes
- The water in the pipes circulates to appliances and sinks in the household. This movement of water causes the pipes to scrape against the concrete slab. Additionally, pipes can also brush against gravel, dirt, and other pipes below the foundation.
This rubbing of pipes against the concrete increases the total amount of friction. Thus causing damage to the exterior of the pipes. Over time, the exterior side of the pipes becomes too thin due to continuous abrasion causing the development of slab leaks.
High Water Pressure
- The pipe below the slab foundation can also crack or collapse due to high water pressure. Dripping faucets and rattling noises when the water is in use are all indicators of high water pressure. A water pressure gauge can be purchased to determine the water pressure in your household.
Water Pressure Gauge
- The water pressure gauge is a device that measures the pressure of water in the water lines in pounds per square inch or PSI. Depending on the city suburbs the average water pressure varies from 40 to 80 pounds per square inch.
If the water pressure in your pipes is higher than this, your concrete slab is liable to leaks. Installation of a water pressure-reducing valve can help protect the pipes on your property by keeping the water pressure in check.
If you have a leaking pipe in the concrete foundation, call us today at 877-727-2259. Our experts from Crack-X will assess the damage and provide necessary repairs. Crack-X is a structural repair company located in Maine and New Hampshire.