After years of providing support to our clients, we have come to recognize a couple common questions that we are asked often. We have taken a list of these questions and have written out some responses so that you can find the help that you are looking for. Plumbing and repairs can be complicated, so we are here for anything that you may need. If you find that you have additional questions or may require clarification, call us today to see how we can help.
What is a slab leak?
A slab leak is a type of leak that has formed in your lines that run below your property’s concrete foundation. These leaks are either found on the pressure side or the drainage side. It is fairly easy to tell when you have a slab leak, however they are notorious for causing significant damage. This is especially true when they are located on the drainage side as they can go undetected until an emergency hits.
How do I prevent slab leaks?
The best way to stop slab leaks from occurring, or at least catching them in the early stages, is with routine maintenance. A professional who uses trenchless methods will be able to access your pipelines without digging on your property. This way they can be cleaned efficiently and routinely inspected so that you know exactly what is going on.
What causes slab leaks?
Slab leaks are a caused by similar factors as regular pipeline leaks. These include the following:
- Poor installation – one of the most frustrating causes of a slab leak is poor installation or prior damage. If you are in the beginning stages of building, be sure to hire a professional with modern tools and substantial experience to install your pipelines.
- Corrosion – over time, your pipes will be weakened by natural causes. Underground soil will cause corrosion and make your pipes more susceptible to cracks.
- Foundational shifts – oftentimes, a slab leak is due to foundational or ground shifts. The pressure created by these shifts can be too much for pipelines and will cause leaks.
How do I know if I have a leak?
There are some common symptoms that occur when you have a leak on your property. These include:
- Unusually high water bills
- Hearing running water when not using pipes
- Mold or mildew growing on your floors
- Your water meter indicates you have a leak
- Stagnant water around your property
- Cracks in walls, floor, or ceiling
How do I check my water meter for a leak?
If you suspect you have a leak, a great test is to check your water meter. First, go out to your meter and record the water level. Then, do not allow any water to be used for some time or at least a few hours. The next time you check the level it should be the same, if not, you probably have a leak and should contact a professional for a thorough inspection.
Can I solve a slab leak myself?
Depending on your experience and the location of the leak, you may be able to find a temporary solution. However, we strongly recommend hiring a professional to repair your lines. There is too much risk and damage involved with DIY solutions and many times it results in serious repair costs in the future. Professionals have the experience and equipment that will give you a long-lasting, durable repair.
What is trenchless technology?
Trenchless repair methods have been used in the plumbing industry for the past two decades. They have become widely popular and more sought after for not requiring property owners to dig or excavate your yard. In fact, most repairs can be handled through one or two access points that already exist in your plumbing network. This method of repairs is becoming standard in the plumbing industry for its many benefits, including:
- Less cost
- Less service personnel
- Accurate diagnosis and repair
- Minimally invasive
- Fast repairs and replacements
- Lasting solutions
Why are my water bills so high?
If your water bills are unusually high and your water usage has not changed, there may be a leak in your lines that is wasting water. If there is a crack in your line that is causing water to seep out into the ground, you will want to repair it quickly. Ignoring such a problem will waste water, be more costly, increase the risk of tree root invasions, and potentially cause harm to your property’s interior.
Will leaks get worse over time?
Leaks get worse fast and taking care of them as soon as possible is always the best option. Sometimes, especially if a leak is slow and not damaging anything, you may be tempted to postpone any immediate repair. However, the smallest leak has the potential to cause serious damage to your property and will attract surrounding vegetation, such as tree roots, that can grow into your pipeline, expanding the leak and causing clogs.
What is a camera inspection?
Our camera inspection services guarantee an accurate diagnosis and set us up for success with your repair. These small, waterproof cameras are inserted into your lines from an existing access point. The equipment is navigated throughout your system by one of our trained technicians so that they can pinpoint the exact location and type of repair you need.
What is pipe re-lining?
Pipe re-lining is a great option if you have a weakened area of your pipeline that does not need to be replaced. This trenchless service involves inserting an inflatable tube, saturated in resin, into your lines. Once the tube is in place, it will be inflated so that it completely coats the damaged area. After we remove the inflatable tube, the resin will harden and you will be left with a durable lining and restored water flow.
What is pipe bursting?
Pipe bursting is another trenchless method for seriously areas of your pipeline that need replacement. Rather than traditional methods that required excavation on your property, pipe bursting allows us to repair your pipes from the inside. This works by inserting a bursting head into your pipe’s interior that breaks apart the damaged area and pulls in a brand new pipe behind it.
Why are my drains so slow?
Slow drains are one of the most common plumbing problems and are usually fairly surface level. There are two locations that most commonly experience clogged drains: Kitchen – your kitchen drain is probably slow because of a clog caused by food or grease. Unlike many think, grease, fat, and oil cannot be washed down the drain as it solidifies and causes stubborn clogs. Bathroom – hair is notorious for causing slow drains. The hair you lose when showering is substantial, and it forms a type of net that clogs your drain and catches soap and other debris.
How do I repair a slow drain?
If you have figured out what is causing your drains to be so slow, you may be able to restore the flow yourself. Fishing out the clog using a hanger with a bent end is a common way to get hair and other gunk out of your drain.
If you are not able to locate or solve the problem yourself, a professional will be able to perform a thorough inspection and clear the blockage using a drain auger or hydro jetting.
What is hydro jetting?
Hydro jetting is a modern way to clean your pipes efficiently. This service involves using a pressurized hose to blast away blockages and buildup.
Here is a basic overview of the process:
- We insert a hose attached to a pressurized water tank into an existing access point in your pipelines.
- This hose is turned on and controlled by a trained technician to blast water in all directions, getting to the most hard-to-reach spots.
- Debris, build-up, tree roots and any other blockages are removed and your pipe’s water flow is restored!
How can I prevent my pipes from freezing?
If you are worried about your pipes freezing in the colder months, you’re not alone. There are a few good ways to prepare your pipes for the colder season: Make sure that your pipes are well insulated – especially exposed areas. If you don’t have time to insulate them completely with foam, wrapping them in a towel is a temporary solution. Clean the water heater – cleaning your water heater will decrease the amount of build-up in your heater, increasing it’s functionality in the cold months. Call a professional – a professional inspection is always the best way to prepare for the cold season. Our technology and experience allows us to pinpoint anything concerning and solve it quickly.
How often should I schedule professional maintenance?
Maintaining your pipelining system is the best way for it to function properly and last long. We generally recommend getting your pipes serviced every year, but depending on your systems age and amount of use it gets, you may need maintenance more frequently.
What are camera inspections?
Camera inspections are the best way to eliminate guesswork and give you an accurate diagnosis of the state of your pipes. These inspections use advanced camera technology that we insert into your pipelines from an existing access point. Our technician then navigates these cameras throughout your system as live footage is recorded back. This footage allows us to pinpoint any areas of concern and give you an accurate diagnosis of any repairs you need.
I’m buying a new house. Should I get the plumbing inspected?
As an informed buyer, it’s always a good idea to inspect the plumbing before you purchase a new property. Because plumbing is underground for the most part, it is easy for things to go unnoticed until an emergency strikes. Slab Leak is able to perform quick and efficient inspections to any property so that you know exactly what you are getting into before you sign any papers.
What is a tree root invasion?
A tree root invasion is when tree roots begin to grow inside of your pipelines and cause serious damage. This occurs when an already weakened or damaged area leaks moisture into the surrounding ground. This moisture attracts surrounding vegetation such as tree roots that begin to grow inside of your lines, expanding the crack and causing clogs.
Our team at Slab Leak is able to solve your tree root invasion using a variety of our trenchless services. Hydro jetting is commonly used to blast away the root and restore water flow while pipe bursting or lining is used to repair the damaged or weakened line.
How can I tell I need a professional cleaning?
There are a few tell-tale signs that it is time to schedule a professional cleaning. Fortunately, Slab Leak’s hydro jetting service can clear away all types of clogs and debris build-up that may be preventing your plumbing from functioning properly. If there is a more serious problem such as a crack or leak, a cleaning will allow our technicians to get an accurate look at the root of the problem and proceed with another solution.
Here are a few common symptoms that your drain may need a cleaning:
- Slow drainage – slow drains usually mean there is a clog. In some cases, you can restore the flow by fishing out surface-level debris such as hair but if this doesn’t solve the problem, it’s a good idea to call in a professional.
- Routine backups and clogs – routine clogs often mean there is a serious clog deep in your lines or that there is something more serious going on such as a tree root invasion.
- Gurgling noise – gurgling noises usually mean that water is having trouble passing through your pipes. This could be because of build-up or an intrusion.
- Foul odor – a bad smell is a classic sign that you need a professional cleaning. Waste build-up or gas odors are also dangerous to your health and can cause internal damage to your property.
What do I do if my pipes start leaking?
If your pipes are leaking, it is always a good idea to call a professional. In the meantime, there are some proactive steps you can take to stop the leak from getting worse: Locate the leak – if there is leaking coming from the inside of your property, try to follow it to the source. Turn off your water – find your main shutoff valve and turn off your water. This will prevent more damage and flooding on your property. Temporary repair – if you can locate the source of the leak yourself and the area is exposed, you can temporality solve it using epoxy putty or waterproof tape until a professional arrives.
If you did not find the answer that you were looking for, then make sure to contact your helpful plumbing experts at Slab Leak. We have years of experience and knowledge to help with any plumbing concerns that you may have.