Did you know you have pipes that actually run under the concrete slab foundation of your home? Most people remain relatively unaware of these pipes. While other pipes and plumbing fixtures in your home will need the occasional leak repair or another plumbing fix, the sub-slab pipes on your property tend to operate for decades without any issues. However, a problem can arise in these buried pipes now and then. What are the common causes of these below-ground plumbing issues, and what can you do about them? Keep reading to find out.
One of the top causes of slab leaks is the expansive soil shifting under your home. When building a home and installing pipes, builders do try to account for the natural shifting of soil that occurs over time. However, there are instances in which the soil may shift an extensive amount in a short period of time. This can happen during periods of heavy rainfall, or in the wake of a natural disaster, like an earthquake (even a very small one).
While shifting dirt might not seem like a very powerful force, it can exert a significant amount of pressure on the plumbing beneath your slab. Pipes can be bent or weakened by this pressure until a leak forms beneath your home.
While most builders will account for as many factors as possible and ensure sub-slab plumbing is up to par, others may cut corners. Perhaps they didn’t consider the shifting of soil, or maybe they just did a poor job on the installation. Perhaps the builder used substandard materials for your underground piping, assuming nobody would ever notice. While these instances are certainly the exception among builders, not the rule, they do occur. When a builder doesn’t perform their due diligence during this phase of the construction process, it can lead to slab leaks down the road.
What to Do About Them
When a leak forms underneath solid concrete, what can you do about it? There are a few options available to you. The first is rerouting the broken line; in some instances, it’s more cost-effective to disconnect the damaged pipe and lay new piping in a more accessible area to replace that portion of your plumbing. Another option is slab repair in Sacramento. This involves breaking up the concrete slab, repairing the pipe, then restoring your slab. Speak to a plumber to find the most efficient, cost-effective solution for you.