Ask a Memphis Plumbing Expert: Slab Leaks

Q: What is a slab leak?

A: Slab leaks occur in the water lines buried beneath your home’s concrete floor and foundation. In many Memphis homes, the majority of the plumbing system is located here “below the slab.” The pipes are critical because they transport water in and out of your home and can be a complicated repair because they are typically buried beneath several feet of solid concrete. If these pipes crack, break or become otherwise damaged, water will begin to leak out and potentially cause serious property damage if left unchecked. Common warning signs of slab leaks include hot spots, discolored or warped flooring, wet spots on floors and seepage from the home’s foundation.

Q: Why do I have a leak?

A: We find that the one of the most common causes of pipe leaks is a reaction that occurs between your drinking water and the copper pipes that route it. In some cases, pipe leaks can also be attributed to poor installation practices, inadequate piping material, and/or accidental contact with concrete, rebar or rocks.

Q: How do you find the leak?

A: At Stewart Plumbing, our trucks are fully stocked with the latest in leak detection technology. Our technicians are trained and experienced in a wide range of leak detection methods, including infrared detection, smoke testing, acoustic emission detection and video detection. We are big believers in the value of cutting edge technology in our industry so we will most likely find your leak down using electronic methods.

Q: How do you fix the leak?

A: When the situation allows, our ideal leak repair method is pipe relining. This process involves using the original pipe as a sort of scaffold to rebuild the damaged pipe walls. The interior of the pipes is sprayed with epoxy or cured in place resin or, in some cases, an epoxy/resin soaked liner is pulled in to the pipes and allowed to inflate and harden, forming a new leak-free, pipe interior.

Q: What is epoxy restoration?

A: Epoxy restoration is one of the best, most cost effective leak repair solutions available. The process is less expensive and invasive in all circumstances except for very short re-routes. The material itself comes with a 10 year warranty and boasts better than a 95% success rate, making it our go-to choice for a single line repair.

Q: How long does the repair take?

A: In most cases, it takes Stewart Plumbing technicians about two days, start to finish, to complete a leak repair project. On the first day of the job, our technicians will carry out the actual leak detection process. Once it is found, the leak site is prepped for repair on the second day. If conditions prevent a quick repair, we can install a temporary bi-pass line so that you are not inconvenienced by the water being shut off. Our expert techicians will always work with you to meet your needs as best we can. Our goal is to tailor your solution to meet to your home’s unique set of challenges and needs.

Now that you have a better grasp of the ‘ins and outs’ of slab leak detection, it’s time to contact Stewart Plumbing to learn how we can help. Our operators are standing by 24/7—call today!

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