Slab Leak Detection
Underground water leaks can cause a lot of damage before ever breaching your walls or floor. Signs of a slab leak are often really similar to other leaks, such as pinholes.
This is why you should contact a leak detection specialist before considering any costly repairs or DIY jobs.
Using special equipment, detection experts can identify both the type and location of a leak at an average rate of $150 to $400.
If you suspect you have a slab leak, there are some warning signs to look out for. These include:
- Unusually high water bills: One of the first signs of a slab leak will be your water bill. If there is an unexplained spike in your bill but no difference in your actual water usage, call in an expert as soon as possible to evaluate your plumbing system.
- Sudden low water pressure: A loss of pressure in one or all faucets in the home indicates a leak. This should also be addressed sooner rather than later.
- Warped flooring or wet spots on the floor: A leak doesn’t have to be massive to penetrate floorboards or cement. If there is unexplained dampness or warping in areas of the house, you’re likely experiencing a slab leak.
- Flooding or puddles in the lawn: One consistent sign of underground water leaks is the sudden appearance of standing water (puddles) in your lawn or around your house. If this is the case, a slab leak is probably pooling into your yard from underneath the foundation.
- Mold/Mildew: Wherever moisture is, so is the possibility of mold and mildew. If a room or area of your house has taken up a mildew-like smell or developed mold underneath carpets or behind furniture, it’s likely a result of a leak.
How Much Does Slab Leak Repair Cost?
Slab leaks can be a costly affair.
According to HomeAdvisor, the national average of a slab leak repair job is about $2,280.
Meanwhile, the average cost of a simple pipe repair is about $630. On the high end, however, repairs may be up to $10,000 or more if total repiping and damage remediation, such as mold or asbestos abatement, are required.
Depending on the condition of the pipes and the extent of the damage, a slab leak job may take 1 to 3 days or more to complete.
To repair a slab leak, a plumber must break through the foundation, assess the damage, repair the leak, and repair the foundation. Costs may also include new pipe installations, clean-up, and any previously unseen water damage discovered during repairs.
Fortunately, as a major house repair, slab leaks may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
As a tear-out provision, demolition and repair of the foundation should be covered. Simple pipe replacement work may also be insured.
However, additional costs such as labor, non-water-related damages, and repairs to infrastructure (re-flooring, painting, patching, etc.) may not be.
Be sure to contact your insurance company about rates and whether sudden or long-term water damage is insured.