When your water bills suddenly increase, the first thing you should do is ask yourself if there's a reasonable explanation. For instance, did you just fill the pool or add new lawn sprinklers last month? If you can't figure out a logical reason why your water bill has skyrocketed, then it's time to consider the possibility of a slab leak.
What is a slab leak?
A slab leak is a leak that occurs beneath the foundation slab of your home. The leak can occur either in pipes entering or leaving your home, but if your water bills are going up, the kind of slab leak you're looking at would be one in your water main.
What are the signs of a slab leak?
One of the reasons why slab leaks often go undetected for a while is that their signs are not always immediately apparent. In addition to increased energy bills, the leak may cause puddling water in the basement -- but this might be overlooked if you sometimes get water in your basement after a storm, too. Mold growth on the drywall or floor is another sign of a slab leak that's often blamed on other causes.
How can you find out if you have a slab leak?
Your best bet is to call a plumber. Make the call sooner rather than later since leaks tend to grow larger over time -- plus the leak will just cause more water damage as it continues. Your plumber will use a special camera to detect leaks. They'll send it down into the pipe and capture video footage, which will allow them to see any cracks or holes in your main water pipe.
What can your plumber do about a slab leak?
If your plumber does find that you have a slab leak, he or she will then make recommendations for fixing it based on the size and location of the leak. If you're lucky, they will be able to shut off your water at the street and then use an epoxy mixture to seal the leak from the inside of the pipe. For larger leaks, however, you may need to have part of your foundation removed or drilled away. This will allow your plumber to access the pipe directly. They can then cut out the damaged portion and replace it with new pipe.
Don't ignore a skyrocketing water bill. If it's caused by a slab leak, time is of the essence. For more information, talk to a professional like First Class Plumbing of Florida Inc.