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What Causes Slab Leaks, and Why Does It Matter?

what-causes-slab-leaksIf the term “slab leak” doesn’t scare you, it probably should. A term that’s plumber-speak for any leak that occurs in the cold or hot water pipes set beneath your concrete foundation, a slab leak is a major problem for homes. Not only will one cause significant water waste, but it can also damage your property, lead to mold and mildew growth, and add extra strain on your water heater if the leak is occurring in the hot water lines (which the majority of the time, it is.)

Our professional and highly trained plumbing experts are property equipped to locate these issues in order to effectively perform slab leak repair in Lakewood, CO. But, what causes slab leaks in the first place? Shouldn’t a pipe that’s set down in concrete be well protected from the damages that can lead to pipe breaks? Actually, there are a number of different forces that can create a slab leak. Keep reading to learn more.

Pressure

A large amount of pressure placed on the pipes beneath your foundation is a leading cause of slab leaks. This kind of pressure can come from any number of sources, like the shifting of soil causing a home’s foundation to move slightly, or a poor construction job. Leaks that occur due to pressure increases create a high risk of damage to property due to flooding.

Corrosion

We mentioned above how most of the time, slab leaks occur with hot water lines versus cold water lines. The reason this happens is because corrosion is more common inside the pipes that transport hot water. The reaction between the heat of the water and the material surrounding the pipes can cause the pipe to start corroding form the outside. This doesn’t, however, mean that corrosion can’t happen with cold water pipes—it can occur from inside the pipes in this case.

Older homes are more likely to encounter pipe corrosion than more modern homes. This is because they have copper or galvanized steel pipes in their foundations. While copper is corrosion-resistant, it is not corrosion-proof. A process called electrolysis can still cause corrosion in copper.

Abrasion

Have you ever been somewhere that you can see exposed pipes? Have you ever noticed how they sometimes rattle around a bit as water passes through them? This is because those pipes are expanding and contracting with the temperature fluctuations. Pipes today are built to last, but in an older home, pipes that rattle like this beneath a concrete foundation will begin to experience abrasion as they rub against the rock surface, and over time this will lead to leaking.

This is another one of those problems that is more common in the hot water lines, but still not one to ignore when it comes to cold water lines. No matter what, if you suspect a slab leak in your home, it’s time to call in one of our professional plumbers. The quicker you have the problem repaired, the less damage the slab leak is likely to cause.

Contact Aurora Plumbing Company for all your plumbing repair needs. We have someone in your neighborhood today!

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