Foundation Slab Leak Detection: Water Seeping Signs And Repair

Can water seep through concrete? Are you currently dealing with water leaks in a concrete slab floor?

Here is a practical guide on slab water leak detection and repair.

Structural problems can be tied to a wide range of issues.

Moisture is one of those problems known to cause rapid deterioration of a building. This could arise from flooding, or water seeping through an open crack or foundation slab.

Whatever causes are, one thing is constant; the need to have it fixed before the damage worsens.

Water Seeping Through Foundation Slab

In a bid to fix the problem, there’s a need to first determine the cause(s). This allows for a measured approach that stops such water seepage.

In this article, we’ve provided comprehensive information on what causes water seepage through the foundation slab. Also included are effective ways to address it.

Groundwater Under Slab Foundation: Causes

Do you see water coming in through foundation?

When water seepage is noticed around the foundation slab, the first thing to do is probe further. For most homeowners, there’s a limitation to how comprehensive such inspection can be.

In other words, you might not be skilled enough to know exactly what to look out for. Contacting a pro to perform the procedure will be the best thing to do.

  • How Common Are Slab Leaks?

When it comes to the causes, there are several possible reasons. One thing is constant with all water seepage situations; excess moisture presence.

Some possible explanations include weakened water lines, poor pipe installations, pressure, chemical reactions, lifespan expiration, and badly wrapped pipes.

Water seepage through foundation slabs can also be attributed to friction, as well as earth shifting & settling.

When any, or a combination of these factors unfold, you’re likely to have water seeping through your foundation slab. Let’s have a closer look at each of these causes.

  • Weakened Water Lines

Most times, the positioning of pipes under concrete slabs when not carefully done can lead to water seepage. When concrete is being poured on laid-down pipes, slight dents or damages may occur.

While this isn’t likely to cause immediate problems, the impact is seen much later.

Small nicks formed during the pouring of concrete slowly weaken the pipe. Cracks are likely to follow much later, thus resulting in the spill-out of water.

  • Poor Pipe Installations

One of the benefits of having an experienced and reputable plumber perform your pipe installations is that you won’t have to deal with water seepage through the foundation slab.

Dents, coupled with constant abrasion with flowing water are likely to lead to leaks. As water leaks out, it’s likely to seep through your foundation slab.

  • Pressure

Sufficient water pressure in a plumbing system is good as it ensures water flows freely through all outlets.

However, this becomes a problem when external pressure is added to pipes through dents or tree root interference. The resulting leakage caused by pipe burst is likely to make water seep through the foundation slab.

  • Chemical Reactions

Have you ever heard about the term “chemical decomposition?” This is also called electrolysis and mostly occurs with copper piping.

The pipe reacts with minerals in the soil which slowly weakens or decomposes it. For pipes carrying hot water, corrosion starts from the outside and moves inward.

The reverse occurs for cold water-carrying pipes. As pipes are slowly corroded, they begin to leak. This is a possible cause of water seeping through your foundation slab.

  • Lifespan Expiration

Time or longevity is a crucial factor when it comes to leaky foundation slabs.

Here, both your concrete slab and piping are likely to have served out their lifespan. This could cause cracks in foundation slabs as well as leaks in pipes.

  • Badly Wrapped Pipes

Due to continuous expansion and contraction of pipes (especially those carrying hot water), as well as concrete slabs, the pipes will have to be wrapped up in a protective layer to avoid contact with concrete.

Badly wrapped pipes are likely to become easily corroded.

  • Friction

Slow and steady friction occurs as water flows through pipes.

This is a gradual process that can be worsened when your pipes are exposed and rub against concrete slabs. Of course, you’re likely to find water seeping through your foundation slab.

When this happens, it’s time to get things fixed.

  • Earth Shifting & Settling

Water seeping through foundation slabs can be due to natural causes.

In this case, earth shifting and settling are mostly responsible. As the earth beneath your foundation slab shifts, it causes significant pressure on pipes which could lead to leaks.

Slab Water Leak Detection: Warning Signs

Apart from finding water coming through the foundation slab, there are times when the problem might unfold unannounced.

Several symptoms can give an idea of what it’s all about. These range from warped flooring, the presence of mold & mildew, as well as soaked carpets.

Other symptoms include stale, moldy, or damp odor arising from moisture presence, as well as damage such as rising flooring.

  • Leaking Slab Repair

When any of these symptoms show up, you likely have water seeping through your foundation slab.

However, you’re likely to be limited in terms of spotting and addressing the problem, hence the need for a professional.

Professionals have trained eyes that trace the cause(s) of such water leaks. It’s only after the problem has been established that possible solutions are found for it.

Repair Water Pipe Leak in Concrete Slab

When water seepage through the foundation slab is established or ascertained, many possible fixes are selected.

Speaking of fixes, any or some of these actions are taken; installation of interior drain tiles, exterior drainage, as well as exterior waterproofing.

  • Installation of Interior Drain Tiles

This action is taken when there are limitations with the exterior waterproofing of the foundation slab. The interior drain tile system ensures that water is channeled to a collection point from where it’s pumped out.

  • Installation of Exterior Drainage

This approach is often adopted when the water table is high.

Here, water is channeled off your foundation, thus reducing pressure on the foundation wall. This keeps or prevents water from seeping through the foundation slab.

  • Exterior Waterproofing

Exterior waterproofing is a more invasive approach that requires excavating around the foundation to apply waterproofing to exterior walls.

Such waterproofing is mostly in the form of asphalt-modified polyurethane.

There you have it! Water seepage through the foundation slab is a real problem a lot of homeowners have to deal with. We’ve identified the problem as well as possible symptoms.

More important is the solution to water seepage problems. You’ll have to call a reputable contractor to have the problem addressed.

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