Underground & Foundation Slab Leaks in Phoenix, AZ
Do You Have an Underground or Under Foundation Slab Leak?
Leaking pipes located under the ground are more likely to occur than you might think. But the cause of an underground slab leak isn’t always readily apparent. The ground under your foundation slab can become quite unstable over time, and settling frequently occurs due to the weight of the overlying structure and the properties of the soil. Saturation can take place, causing the ground to “sag” with increased weight. This is one cause, but there are other reasons that slab leaks occur, too.
Tree roots can move pipes around. Also, expansion and contraction occur with fluctuations in temperature. This can cause failure where two pipes are joined together. One of the most common causes of under-slab water leaks is when iron in the soil comes into contact with copper pipes. Iron from things like construction nails, screws, wire and rebar are frequently the cause of these leaks.
Often, leaks occur at the turn where soft copper is bent to come out of the ground and into the wall. We usually find a “manifold” in these areas where several pipes come together in a series of turns and joints. It is quite common to find that the soft copper was kinked in these areas. Eventually, the sharp turns of a kink become exactly where copper pipe leaks occur.
Your pipes are under a lot of pressure and sometimes will leak under the strain. Copper piping is appropriate for underground water supplies but must be properly installed and maintained. This is why underground slab leaks and broken pipe leaks are serious problems that require immediate attention! For slab leaks in Phoenix, call our experienced plumbers at Rainforest Plumbing & Air today.
How Do You Locate a Slab Leak?
When a slab leak repair becomes necessary, Rainforest Plumbing & Air technicians first use electronic locating equipment to find the point of the leak. This equipment includes pipe locating and listening devices. Sometimes a simple laser thermometer can reveal the exact location if a leak is on the hot side. Leaks of this kind can actually create a hot spot that can be seen with an infrared scan.
Proper location is critical to be sure slab leak repair is done with pin-point accuracy and doesn’t disturb more flooring than necessary. Sometimes the spot where water is showing up is not the actual location of the leak. This is critical since flooring is expensive to replace. You don’t want to be “chasing” the leak with multiple holes. Fortunately, Rainforest Plumbing & Air has the technology and experience to ensure the exact location of your issue is always located. Once the leak is confirmed electronically, we will use a saw cutter and jackhammer to carefully remove the concrete and excavate down to the affected area. The actual pipe repair is the easiest and cheapest part!
Where Do Slab Leaks Occur?
Often, slab leaks occur deep under a footing or support structure. It is not uncommon to have a slab leak in the kitchen under cabinets or walls. That’s why it’s important to have a contractor that will work with you and your insurance company to file a claim that covers you for the more costly damage. Slab leaks can occur anywhere but we see them often where there is a manifold with a lot of connections or where soft copper was kinked during construction installation.
What are the steps to repairing a slab leak?
- Locate the leak (most often with electronic equipment.)
- Saw-cut the floor and jackhammer to remove the concrete above the leak.
- Excavate the underlying soil.
- Repair the actual pipe.
- Backfill and compact the soil to prevent future problems through settling.
- Make a concrete patch and repair any other areas such as drywall, texture, and paint.
What Comes After the Pipe Repair in Slab Leak Service?
At Rainforest Plumbing & Air, we take the slab leak process all the way through backfilling and making a professional concrete patch. Many times we can also repair your flooring if you have extra tile. Every job is different but we have the resources and skill to put everything back correctly, including framing, drywall, texture and paint if necessary. Our technicians perform these repairs often, making the whole process less of a mystery than you might think. In fact, when it comes to slab leak repair in Phoenix, we’ll have you up and running again in no time!
Are Slab Leaks Covered by Insurance?
We’ll guide you through the process of making an insurance claim when you need a slab leak repair. Doing this can be a bit tricky, though it need not be too difficult if you do it right. Insurance typically covers the cost of access and related damage, including flooring and cabinetry. Insurance does not typically cover the actual pipe repair, but fortunately, that’s the easy and inexpensive part. We’ll detail it properly when the claim is filed.
However, it is EXTREMELY important to file your claim correctly when dealing with a slab leak repair. Describe it wrong and coverage will be denied. What’s the secret to getting a slab leak covered by insurance? Hint: providers prefer language like “pipe burst.” This is why you should take action immediately when dealing with a slab leak, to prevent evidence of a so-called “slow leak”. Insurance doesn’t like to see situations where property damage was allowed to occur over a long time. So, avoid that language and you’ll avoid having your claim denied. Luckily, our team at Rainforest are experts in this, and have had years of experience helping homeowners file insurance claims.
How to Find an Underground or Slab Water Leak
If water is seeping or “pooling” near the foundation of your home or anywhere on your property, you could have a broken or cracked pipe underground. The good news: if the leak is coming up through floors or pavement, we can find and fix that too! The first thing to do if you suspect a water leak is to pay attention to the signs and look for any damage.
Here are a few signs that will alert you to a water leak under your slab:
- Unexplained spike in your water bill
- Wet spot in the carpet
- Smell or visibility of mold or mildew
- Decreased water pressure
- Consistently running hot water heater
- Areas of the floor are always hot
- Cracking foundation or walls
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Is There Anything I Can Do Myself to Determine if I Have a Slab Leak?
To perform slab leak detection on your own, you can perform a test by turning off your water, faucets, and water appliances. Then, check the water meter for any activity. Most water meters will have a sensitivity indicator that will turn even when there is the smallest leak. If there is any movement in this indicator, you most likely have a leak somewhere. The next step will be to call a professional and pinpoint the exact location of the leak.
How Much Does an Underground Leak in Phoenix Cost?
The cost of an underground leak is mainly based on the difficulty of locating and accessing the leak. Every situation is different. The actual pipe repair is an easy task for an experienced plumber and doesn’t cost that much. The ideal situation is when the leak is under the floor in the middle of a room where there is a wet spot or hot spot under the carpet. In that case, locating and access is quite obvious and makes for a quicker repair at a lower cost. In the best of circumstances, we can repair a slab leak for less than your deductible, avoiding an insurance claim. In the worst of circumstances, we will work with your insurance company to get the job paid for along with any costs associated with water damage. And remember, if you are handling a claim yourself, just make sure to get the details right so you get the most coverage possible!
Why Use Rainforest to Repair a Slab Leak?
One thing we know for sure about leaks under floors is that they need to be repaired ASAP! Too much water under the foundation is dangerous and at the very least damaging to your home or commercial structure. Luckily, in the last 20-plus years, Rainforest Plumbing & Air has repaired hundreds of slab leaks, so it’s nothing new to us. The proof is in the pudding and the pudding is our solid list of five-star reviews. We can also repair sewer pipe leaks in a similar manner, and with our “up-front guarantee” on pricing, so there are no surprises—ever.
Customers in Phoenix, Mesa, and across the greater East Valley trust Rainforest Plumbing & Air for slab leak repair because:
- We always provide you with an accurate estimate before we begin the job. If there are any changes in price as we get going, we will always alert you to the changes.
- Our pricing is by the job—not by the hour.
- We help you get your slab leak repair covered by insurance, actually speaking with the adjuster for you when necessary.
- We are timely, accurate, and fair, and get the job done right with no surprises.
- We have been serving the greater Phoenix area for over 20 years.
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