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How Long Does It Take To Repair a Slab Leak?

slab leak repair

A leaky pipe can turn to be a headache, but there’s often an inexpensive, quick fix for this household plumbing problem. In particular, a slab leak can be a nightmare for a homeowner– and slab leak repair in San Diego is best left to the experts.

While one can search YouTube or Google for immediate solutions to the most common home issues related to plumbing, looking for a guide on how to fix a slab leak will only make one realize how prominent the problem is to deal with. When one has a slab leak at home, one must fix it right away. Else, one can expect it to wreak plunder on their bank account and home.

What Is A Slab Leak?

According to the Survey of Construction conducted on the Characteristics of New Housing, 63.3 percent of recently constructed single-family residences in 2019 have slab foundations. If one lives in the southwest state or another place, there’s a higher chance their home possesses a slab foundation, as about 95.7 percent of modern homes in the region are developed on them.

Since the early 1900s, slab foundations have been increasing in popularity because of their cost-effectiveness, durability, and practicality. While there’s an excellent deal of engineering included during the construction of a slab foundation, simply put, it is created by pouring concrete onto the ground. The principal water pipes are fitted underneath this foundation, and the residence is built on top of such a system.

How Does Slab Leak Occur?

A slab leak happens due to the leaking of a water pipe under a concrete slab foundation. Since the water channels are beneath the house, one may not even recognize that one has a major plumbing concern developing.

A few of the most prevalent causes of a slab leak are:

1. Underneath Soil Contraction or Expansion:

An expansive shift of soil is a typical culprit in houses experiencing slab leaks. This shrinking and swelling of the soil happens when the conditions of the ground change from dry to wet. Homes with foundations of the slab are especially prone to this, especially the soil composition of places that hold broadly cracking clay, sandy soil, and other types of ground prone to lateral or vertical shifting.

The movement of the soil can potentially damage water pipes that are located under the foundation. The water from the leaking channels can then create the ground to shift further, triggering a series of reactions that may go unrecognized for some time.

2. Improper Plumbing Materials or Construction:

Another probable cause of slab leaks is the inappropriate installation of pipes. If one’s home pipes were bent, kinked, or dented during construction, these broken areas become weak. They are inclined to burst when subjected to the abrasive property and varying water pressure of the surrounding ground.

Likewise, the selection of plumbing materials can be a causative factor to slab leaks. Galvanised and cast-iron pipes are prevalent in older homes, and while these substances are durable, they are also prone to clogging and rust as they age. More modern homes now use plastic pipes such as CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipe), PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), or PVC (polyvinyl chloride pipe) that are easy to work with and corrosion-resistant.

3. Other Outside Pressures Like Abrasion:

During the process of their use, water pipes are constrained to friction while rubbing against nearby concrete, soil, pipes, and other materials. For hot water pipes, one can add the expansion to the list of issues that may create these structures to leak over time.

Other factors that may produce slab leaks include growing earthquakes, soil erosion, an underground stream, or tree roots.

4. Chemistry

The chemistry of water also adds to the corrosion of pipes. Some water can be too alkaline or too acidic, and these shortcomings can corrode pipes. Some types of concrete and soil may also have high levels of alkaline, which may also conceivably damage plumbing lines.

Slab leaks are silent killers of foundation. One must be able to acknowledge signs that there’s a brewing problem beneath the foundation of their home.

Common Warning Signs Of A Slab Leak

When dealing with a slab leak, one may first notice that they are paying higher water bills. There’s also a great chance that one will experience an unexpected drop in pressure of water. Other homeowners have confessed to hearing a rush of water under their house, even when all fixtures are tightly shut.

Below are a few of the physical signs that one has a slab leak:

  • There are water spots on their floor.
  • Gaps emerge between their walls and flooring.
  • It’s hard to open windows or doors.
  • If one notices water stains, bubbling, or soft spots on their flooring.
  • There is a prominent increase in mildew and mold in some regions of their home.
  • One has a burned-out water heater or water pump.
  • The foundation is cracked or broken.

In the worst-case scenario, slab leaks can begin to the eruption of their floor due to extreme pressure from the leak underneath. Few even end up with a geyser-like fountain flooding their homes.

With a slab leak, one has a consistent source of leaking water that damages the fast-track foundation.

How Do Professionals Fix A Slab Leak?

If one suspects dealing with a slab leak, the first thing one requires to do is call a slab leak repair professional. These professionals can diagnose the problem immediately and pinpoint the location of the leak utilizing modern equipment such as electronic line-tracing and listening tools equipment.

If needed, sub-slab leak repair services also utilize water line video inspection to determine the exact location of the leak. Once the slab leak detection is done by professionals in San Diego, and the location of the slab leak is isolated, the individual has numerous options to repair the slab leak. However, these can range from non-invasive repairs to invasive, significant fixes.

1. Trenchless Slab Leak Repair:

Trenchless plumbing or slab leak repair to fix the leak necessitates minor demolition. The contractor assigned by an individual will only be required to generate access holes to do the slab leak repair in San Diego. It is one of the most non-destructive techniques available, and it isn’t as expensive as the traditional techniques used to approach sub-slab leaks.

The slab repair professionals will employ epoxy pipe liners to seal the cracked pipe. They will execute a camera inspection to understand the extent of the damage. If trenchless slab leak repair is viable, they will first clean the pipe. After that, they will fix the epoxy pipe liner and inflate the pipe, and lastly, let it restore. The complete process can be accomplished in a few hours.

If there are severely damaged water lines, they can also perform pipe splitting, which includes inserting new pipes that are insignificantly larger than the current ones.

2. Rerouting or Repiping:

When multiple pipes are connected, plumbers often opt for repiping. This approach entails installing new pipes to generate a leak-free system.

Rerouting pipes also require demolition if the pipes are under the floors and inside their walls, and there is a necessity of replacing them. This is the best solution if one only has to replace a small number of pipes.

Pipe rerouting repairs may take numerous days, depending on the efficiency of their contractor and the amount of work necessitated. Since the process may involve breaking through the slab, one might require leaving their home and staying somewhere else while the work is accomplished.

3. Tunneling Under the Slab:

Most homeowners who wish to salvage their expensive flooring choose tunneling as the method of repair. The repair crew will retain the mess out of their home so that one can stay during the repair process.

Under their home, while ensuring the structural integrity of the house is not affected, the slab leak detection and repair crew in San Diego will dig working tunnels. They will perform the essential repairs and then return the soil that was extracted.

How Long Does The Process Of Slab Leak Repair Actually Take?

Naturally, professionals or plumbers first have to execute the process of slab leak detection in San Diego and pinpoint the precise spot of the slab leak to repair efficiently. They do this by operating advanced equipment that incorporates video pipe cameras, pressure sensors, and other devices. Then they can pass on to fixing the leak.

In general, a slab leak repair can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days to complete.

However, the mentioned duration can vary since it depends on two factors:

  • The scale of the damage
  • The repair system plumbers opt for

These two factors are nearly associated, which means that the plumber one prefers will choose the repair method after performing the slab leak detection in San Diego and determining the amount of the damage.

Typically, there are three methods to fix a leak in the slab:

  • Opening the foundation: This method is relatively popular, and it involves splitting the foundation opening, boring through the entire slab, and then finally replacing the burst pipe with a brand-new one.
  • Foam Treatment: The second method for repairing slab leaks is pouring a particular type of foam into the damaged pipe in order to seal the leak. Water can no longer escape from the leaky pipe and reach the surface in this manner.
  • Repiping: Professional plumbers may choose to replace the whole plumbing system with a new one in some cases. This is typically done in ancient houses where slab leaks occur regularly.

What Happens If An Individual Doesn’t Fix A Slab Leak?

If one fails to notice a slab leak at an early stage, one can expect to witness considerable damage in different forms.

Here are the most typical outcomes of an unaddressed slab leak:

  • Damaged Foundation: It can cause the foundation to shift or even crack if the leak is further severe.
  • Flooring Deterioration: It can lead to waterlogged carpets, cracked saturated floors, and tiles.
  • Yard Flooding: It can happen in your yard, landscaping, or outdoor pools and damaging grass in the process.
  • Mold: It causes respiratory illness and other health problems.


Slab leaks occur when the plumbing lines inside the concrete slab fail for any reason. They may go undetected for ages, decreasing dripping away, eroding the soil, and weakening the foundation and slab. Slab leaks may be caused by weakened water lines, chemical reactions of metal plumbing lines, or faulty installation of metals in the earth. In the few metro areas, the biggest problem is expansive soil that swells when wet and contracts on getting dehydrated. Shifting soil cracks and weak plumbing lines create leaks beneath the concrete slab.

A large amount of money can be spent on repairs, yet many homeowners’ insurance plans provide little or no coverage. Identifying the warning signs that one may have a slab leak, their options for repairing it, and measures to prevent slab leaks is necessary information for homeowners. If one thinks that the individual might have a slab leak, then they must contact the professionals as soon as possible.

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