Arizona Restoration Specialists provides four warning signs of a slab leak and how to handle the water and mold damage that can result.
Arizona Restoration Specialists, the area’s leading team of water damage restoration specialists, knows that the disruption and inconvenience resulting from a water damage incident can be stressful. Water damage, if not taken care of immediately, can lead to mold growth, which can cause serious health issues. Watch for these warning signs of a slab leak in order to keep a home or business dry, safe, and structurally sound.
Occasional water leaks in a home or business are a part of life. The most common leaks are easy to access and repair. Since these leaks are usually easily detectable, they are repaired before much, water damage occurs.
What Is a Slab Leak?
Unfortunately, some leaks are hard to spot, difficult to access, and complicated to repair. Most homeowners may not notice when a pipe underneath their home’s slab foundation has a leak. The leak can damage the concrete foundation and cause buckling and shifting, and the home’s walls and floors can develop cracks. Leaks inside the house can result from the disruption.
How Common Are Slab Leaks?
The frequency of slab leaks varies depending on certain factors. Slab leaks might be a concern in those areas of the state that experience earthquakes. A recent news report headline described Arizona as “A State On Shaky Ground.” The article went on to report that, “Within Arizona, at least 20 quakes of magnitude 5.0 or higher have struck since 1850.” Arizona ranks high among states with frequent earthquakes.
The shifting ground from an earthquake exerts tremendous pressure on pipes and may cause them to shear or crack, causing leaks. In older homes, corroding copper pipes and deteriorating sewer pipes can lead to slab leaks. The potential for water damage is great. A broken water pipe can spew eight or more gallons of water per minute into a home.
Warning Signs of a Slab Leak
Homeowners who suspect they have a leak underneath their home’s slab foundation should look for the warning signs listed below. These warning signs will also aid in locating the source of the leak.
Warning Sign #1: Warm Spots on the Floor
An abnormally warm spot on the floor may indicate a leaking hot water line in the home. If the floor is carpeted or covered by thin linoleum, then detecting a warm spot should be easy. Locating a warm spot under a tile floor is more challenging unless water is seeping through the foundation and settling under the tile. The leak may be so severe that it floods the room and pools on top of the tile floor.
Finding a warm spot under wood or laminate flooring may not be so easy either. By the time the visual signs of a water leak appear, the damage may be well underway.
Warning Sign #2: Raised Dome-Shaped Area in the Floor
A major leak that goes unrepaired may damage the flooring in a home. Warping and buckling in the flooring may appear. The formation of a dome or raised area in the floor is a common occurrence in severe water damage under a slab. The presence of the deformity in the flooring may indicate the location of the leak and the presence of water inside the home.
An inspection of flooring, baseboards, and sheetrock throughout the house will provide the homeowner with some idea of the severity and extent of the flooding. The flow of water into the home could be minimal. However, over a period of days, weeks, or months, water could have been seeping out from under the flooring and been wicked by the baseboards and sheetrock. Look for peeling paint, stains and discoloration, water-logged baseboards, and warps and waves in the sheetrock.
Warning Sign #3: Foundation Heaving
A leak under the slab can cause the concrete to swell. Extreme swelling can slightly lift the building. This lifting is referred to as heaving. If a home has undergone sudden, significant heaving due to a leak underneath the slab, severe and possibly irreparable damage to the home could occur. Cracks in the walls, ceilings, and floors can indicate that heaving has occurred. The matter needs immediate expert attention to address structural concerns.
Warning Sign #4: Sky-Rocketing Water Bill
A spike in the water bill for no apparent reason should give the homeowner pause. The sudden, unexplainable rise in the bill could be an early sign of a severe leak. The homeowner would do well to inspect the home for water damage from other sources such as a leaking toilet, shower, or sink.
Next Step? Call Arizona Restoration Specialists
Allowing a slab leak water damage incident to go unresolved can lead to advanced secondary water and mold damage, which is more complicated and expensive to repair. Serious health issues can arise from a mold infestation. Insurance companies have been known not to cover water damage claims where the homeowner has neglected to take immediate action to resolve the matter.
For water, fire, flood, and mold damage restoration, contact Arizona Restoration Specialists. The team has more than 20 years of experience serving The Grand Canyon State with topflight water damage restoration services. Crews are on call around the clock, 365 days a year, and can be on the scene in one hour. Services include water damage restoration and related issues such as mold removal and remediation, sewage cleanup, fire damage restoration, and repair and reconstruction. Contact the office by phone at (602) 497-4673.