A slab leak occurs when a water supply pipe line bursts in a concrete slab. In some homes this would be in older homes since the building code has changed. As of 2012 or earlier homes are not permitted to be built with supply lines in poured-in-place concrete slabs. The building code changed due to many issues with water leaks in slabs and other inherent issues.
Detecting where the water line burst can be found by using a leak detection company. We can suggest a proficient company. The cost as of 2014 is between $250 and $350 for most companies to determine approximately where the leak is, they might do this by using something like a videoleak system but there are other things that they could do. A company will come out and mark on the concrete where the leak / leaks are using sonic leak detection equipment (essentially a headset and amplifier to listen for leaks). It is not always apparent where it is coming from since water will seek the path of least resistance. The cost to repair the issue will be separate. Some companies only detect leaks and others detect leaks as well as repair the issue.
The first step, of course, is to shut the water off. Then the water can be extracted and the items within the home can be dried. Many homes will have hardwood, carpeting, linoleum, or tile on top of the concrete slab. These areas can be dried and we have specialized equipment and processes to save thousands of dollars on the overall process over other companies. Give us a call and we can take care of the whole process of remediation and dryout.
After the areas have been dried and the home has been saved from further damage from water or mold, the root of the issue can be addressed. A plumbing company can then be called to fix the pipe. As of 2014 most plumbers charge between $90 and $150 per hour per technician, plus materials. One solution is to open the concrete, fix the leaky pipe, then put new concrete in the hole that was made. Another solution is to remove the water supply in the slab by bypassing it through the walls and ceilings; this is a more intensive and costly solution but will eliminate issues with future slab leaks if done correctly.
If there are areas of materials in the home that could not be saved (hardwood floors, drywall, baseboard, etc) then they would be replaced after the dryout process occurs as well. But we have other specialized equipment that can save these items and again save thousands of dollars over other companies as well as get the home back to normal more quickly.
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