Debate About the Wall on a Slab

Finding an interior leak is dismaying, but just because your house is on a slab, it doesn’t automatically indicate a foundation issue. While the leak might be related to a cracked slab, whether it’s around a wall, then the chances are good the water is coming from someplace else. The key is to get the origin of the leak fast so that you may make your own repairs or contact the right professional for your job.

Water Supply

The first place to check for a leak is at the water supply system. Turn off all faucets and appliances that use water, like the dishwasher and clothes washer, then pull the cover off the water meter to determine if the dial is moving. It’s a fantastic idea to leave the cover off for an hour or two. If the dial goes, the leak is at the water supply system and it might be a pinhole leak, a loose fitting, a broken line or a damaged valve. In many slab homes, the main waterline enters the house, and personal supply lines run through the walls to every fixture. If the leak is around a utility room wall, then a fast check for water in the utility room tells you if the issue is with the waterline under the floor. If the leak is at another area of the house, a few drywall removal is to be able to pinpoint the specific spot.

Leaking From Above

Water has a sneaky way of trickling down — sometimes quite a distance from the point where it enters the house. If you have ruled out the water supply system, then the next suspect ought to be the roof. Harsh UV rays can create rubber port “boots” fragile after a couple of years, leading to cracks which let rain seep to the house. Other defendant areas include rusted flashing and missing shingles. Water which enters the roof may trace rafters and then wall studs to the floor before seeping out around a wall. If you found the leak after a recent rain, check the loft to see whether you find damp rafters, joists or insulating material, which might indicate the water is coming out from the roof.

Interior Drains

If the leak worsens after use of a specific fixture like a sink or dishwasher, it might be a issue with that fixture’s drain. Check under sinks first, but if a drainpipe is leaking from a link in a wall, then you have to remove some drywall to find it. Leaks in bathtub and shower drains are more difficult to reach and repair, but it’s standard practice to “block out” an open part around the drain when pouring the slab. If you have to get rid of a bathtub or shower, then the trap which lies under still is accessible.

Ground Water

Heavy rains and pooling water across the exterior of the slab may cause leakage between the masonry and the structural framing of the house. Some building codes require at least 6 inches of exposed masonry foundation above the soil. The yard should slope down and away from the foundation to encourage rain to operate away from the home.

Slab Issues

No homeowner wants to find a leak originating from a drain cemented at the foundation slab. If the slab shifted from earthquake action or soil movement, there is a chance it cracked a major drain. If the leaking water has a foul smell, it might be coming from a sewage drain. Fixing this type of leak requires a plumbing contractor who specializes in slab leak detection and repair. Detection might involve using a camera or infrared technology. The contractor may make repairs by tunneling below the slab, but breaking out a portion of the slab may be necessary.

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