Here in Orange County, and throughout most of the United States, concrete slabs are the most common type of foundation used in homes and commercial properties. Due to a variety of factors, including seismic activity, slab leaks are a relatively common problem in the area. However, don’t let that make you think these leaks are not an issue; they can cause significant structural and health problems. Find out how serious slab leak problems can become, especially under your Orange County property.
What Is a Slab Leak?
A slab leak is a leak that occurs in the pipes that run underneath the concrete slab foundation of your home. These leaks can happen in any part of the lines running underneath the foundation. When they are in the lines running into the house, they tend to be pretty noticeable, as they change your water pressure and even the quality of your water. When they are in the drainage lines, they can be less obvious but are no less dangerous. In fact, they may be even more so since they become a health hazard.
When these leaks are small, it can take a long time to notice them. As long as a slab leak goes untreated, it is causing damage. And it’s important that you understand how serious this damage can be.
Why Do Slab Leaks Occur?
There is no one reason that slab leaks occur. It can happen due to poor installation, the age of the pipes, the ground shifting due to heavy rainfall or seismic activity, or even because the type of soil underneath the foundation is not ideal. Because there are so many variables that can lead to slab leaks, everyone is at risk of having them occur in their home.
Slab Leaks Can Cause Structural Damage
Your entire home sits on its foundation. When something goes wrong with the foundational slab, it has consequences throughout your home. Cracks in the foundation can cause it to split, creating an uneven and unstable surface for the home. Leaks that put too much moisture into the soil underneath the foundation can cause it to slip around. While it might not slide very far, even the slightest shift in the foundation can destroy the stability of your home. Your foundation can also sink into the ground further on just one side, causing your home to tilt. Any of these problems can make your home unsafe and unlivable.
Slab Leaks Can Cause Health Issues
While problems with your home can be devastating, they are nothing when compared to problems with your health and the health of those you love. Homes can be repaired, there are other places you can live, but your health is your health. And unfortunately, slab leaks can have dire consequences for your well being.
First of all, your safety, in general, is compromised by any structural damage caused by a slab leak. Then there is the issue of mold growing. Since slab leaks create a very moist environment, they also facilitate mold growth. Breathing in the mold can impact your health in a multitude of ways, leading to hospitalization, and even death.
If the slab leak comes from the drain lines, your problems are further compounded, as this means there is sewage leaking into the ground and possibly even into your home. This can cause a wide variety of significant illness, which can prove deadly to those who are immunocompromised. When everything is considered, a slab leak can be devastating.
Other Problems Slab Leaks Can Cause
You might think that we have covered all the problems that there could be, but unfortunately, there are still more. Should the leak get inside the home, it can ruin carpets, floors, and furniture. The smell produced can be incredibly unpleasant to live with. It even has the potential to destroy your yard.
Always Take Slab Leaks Seriously
Because the stakes are so high, any signs of a slab leak should be noted, and a plumber called immediately. If your water bill suddenly spikes, you notice water anywhere it shouldn’t be—even in the yard, your carpet feels damp, or there is a change in water pressure, get help and protect your home and family.