Slab leaks, also known as under-slab leakages, are more common than most people realize. The majority of the population likes to believe that their homes are their castles, and that they are safe and sound when in their homes. There are many things that can go wrong even at home, however, and having your house slowly sink into the ground is one of them. Houses sit safely at ground level because, even though they rest on top of relatively soft soil and dirt, a concrete slab foundation is laid as the very first step in the construction process, spreading the weight of the house and preventing it from sinking into the dirt. Adding water to the mix of dirt and soil below a house can, however, cause the land and the house on it to sink.
What Actually Happens When A Leak Occurs
There are a few factors that can cause under-slab leakages, and the severity of a particular leakage depends on the cause as well as the resulting type of foundation movement.
One common cause of under-slab leakages is soil shrinkage. Soil naturally contains water and that water helps to give the soil volume. When that water is removed however, the soil will collapse in upon itself, as some of its volume has been removed. Such moisture removal can happen under slabs in specific spots due to the presence of peculiar sources of heat that remove the moisture from those specific spots of soil.
The above mentioned heat sources include furnaces operating to keep the interior of a house warm and pipes transporting steam. These heat sources dry out pockets of soil, removing parts of the support for the foundation slabs. This is not a particularly important factor when it comes to causing leaks outright, but it is a contributing factor.
Ultimately, under-slab leakages are caused by existing leaks. Put more accurately, severe leakages are the result of minor leakages. Minor water leaks can be caused by any number of events, including any that mechanically affect the underground pipes. Even small leaks will cause water to enter the soil, wetting and compacting it, so that the soil beneath a house begins to move downwards.
Whereas previously, the soil provided an even and solid surface on which the foundations of the house could rest. Once leakages start occurring, that surface is slowly worn away, and soon the foundations are resting on shaky ground. As the soil sinks, so does the house. The problem, however, is that the house does not sink in an even manner, with just some parts of the house where the soil beneath the foundations has been compacted, some parts of the house will sink while other parts remain at ground level. This imbalance can cause serious mechanical damage to your house.
When you see indications that there might be slab leaks in your house, you should not waste any time in calling for a plumbing service. With the proper expertise and know-how, even underground water leakages can be repaired relatively quickly and painlessly.
If the symptoms of slab leaks are appearing in your house, such as damp spots on the carpeting or on the floor itself which simply cannot be explained by water falling from above, then you most likely have subterranean leaks to deal with. The plumbing experts at Mister Plumber are well-versed in dealing with such problems.
Mister Plumber specializing in Toronto, ON sewer repair, drain cleaning, and emergency plumbing, Mr. Plumber uses the latest technology to effectively troubleshoot and quickly repair any plumbing problem and offers a fast response and free estimates. Call us 416 939 1530 or fill the form for Online Free Estimate.