What is a Slab Leak?
Whether you’re a new or long-time homeowner, you may be surprised to learn that leaks, even minor ones, can go unnoticed until you’ve got $3,000 or more in water damages.
In the case of slab leaks, this is literal.
Water leaks of this kind occur beneath your home’s foundation. As a result, slab leaks are difficult to detect and even harder to prevent.
What are some of the main causes of a slab leak?
- Chloramines that eat at the interior of piping systems. Chloramines are a group of chemical compounds that contain chlorine and ammonia used to disinfect bacterial contaminants in drinking water and are very hard on copper pipes.
- Pipes may also corrode prematurely when in contact with other metals found in the plumbing system or in the soil, also known as electrolysis.
- Pipes may simply succumb to abrasion—when water flow causes pipes to expand and wear down against other surfaces.
Little can be done about this. However, what you can do is educate yourself before the worst happens.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to detect a leak or damaged pipe, what to expect from slab leak repair costs, and how ePIPE can help restore your pipes and home.
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.
What Factors into the Cost of a Slab Leak Repair?
As a responsible home or business owner, you can’t be too prepared. In the case of plumbing repairs, knowing and understanding what the problem is can save you both time and money.
Underlying conditions such as which water line is damaged and where it’s located will influence costs. The scale of the work required is something else to weigh in against your budget.
We’ve broken down a list of factors that will affect the total cost of slab leak repair services. They include:
- Under-slab repair: After locating a leak, a plumber must demolish a portion of the foundation to access the pipe. Depending on the location of the leak and the severity of the damage, this can cost anywhere between $500 to $4,000.
- Slab leak reroute: Rerouting is commonly done when a customer refuses to demolish a portion of the foundation and their flooring. A reroute job costs around $300 for shorter pipes or $1,500 or more for larger jobs.
- Waterline/water main repair: Water main repairs may cost anywhere between $500 to $3,000. Prices may fluctuate depending on the extent of the damage.
- Broken pipe: On the lower end, repairing a simple burst pipe may cost $400 to $850 on average.
- Total slab repair/new concrete slab: In the case of severe damage, foundation repair or replacement may be required. This is a large-scale job. Additional factors such as the thickness of the slab, cost of materials, and square footage will also influence the price range. Total slab repair or replacement can cost anywhere between $3,600 to $7,200.
Furthermore, several other factors will also influence a plumber’s price tag, such as:
- If there are any required excavations: Demolition and excavation are separate tasks. Excavation is required to remove soil to access and repair the underground piping.
- If there is any water damage: This includes but may not be limited to water damage done to the foundation, flooring, basement, and other infrastructures in the home.
- If you need a new slab foundation poured: If there has been extensive damage, or if you require total repiping, a new concrete slab may be needed. This will add days to the job and several more for the concrete mixture to completely set.
Slab Leak Repair with ePIPE
In 2019, slab foundations accounted for 63.2% of recently built single-family homes.
Despite their wide usage, concrete slab foundations and underground piping are susceptible to abrasion, corrosion, and other situations well out of any homeowner’s control.
At ePIPE, we offer services for both residential and commercial plumbing. With our special and unique epoxy method, you don’t have to worry about a heavy-duty plumbing job eating up your budget.
Not only does epoxy coating add decades to your water pipes, but it also keeps your drinking water free of lead and other contaminants.
Our patented services come with years of experience, a trusted network of clients, and convenient and clean installation. You’ll have your water turned back in a matter of hours! You don’t have to leave your home, and the process is minimally invasive.
Save thousands of dollars in water and pipe damage, and contact us today to get the best offer for you!