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Leaking Foundations: How To Detect Leaks In Residential Slab Foundations

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Slab foundations are a common type of foundation used in residential construction, but they can be prone to leaks. Detecting leaks early can help prevent further damage to your home and save you money on costly repairs. Here are some ways to detect leaks in residential slab foundations.

Visual Inspection 

A visual inspection is one of the most straightforward ways to detect a leak in a slab foundation. It involves a careful examination of the foundation and surrounding areas for signs of water damage or discoloration. Look for damp spots or mold growth on walls or ceilings, which can indicate water infiltration. Cracks in the foundation or walls may also indicate a leak, as water seeping through the foundation can cause the concrete to crack.

Visual inspections should be conducted regularly to catch leaks early before they cause significant damage. It's important to inspect all areas of the foundation, including hard-to-reach areas such as crawl spaces because leaks can occur anywhere in the foundation.

For the most thorough inspection, this should be done by a knowledgeable plumber or foundation specialist.

Water Meter Test

A water meter test is another way to detect leaks in a slab foundation. To perform this test, you will need to turn off all water sources in your home and then check the water meter. If the meter continues to run, even though no water is being used, it may be a sign of a leak.

To conduct the test, locate your home's water meter and record the current reading. Turn off all water sources, including faucets, showers, and appliances that use water. Wait a little while, and then check the meter again. If the meter reading has increased, it may be a sign of a leak.

Pressure Testing

Pressure testing involves using specialized equipment to test the pressure in your plumbing system. A pressure gauge is attached to a faucet, and the system is pressurized to a predetermined level. If the pressure drops over time, it may be a sign of a leak in the plumbing system.

Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging uses infrared technology to detect changes in temperature, which can be a sign of a leak. A thermal imaging camera is used to scan the foundation and walls for areas of moisture, which will appear cooler than surrounding areas. This method can be particularly effective for detecting leaks in hard-to-reach areas.

Smoke Testing

Smoke testing involves pumping smoke into the plumbing system to detect leaks. The smoke is non-toxic and harmless, and it will escape through any leaks in the system, making it easy to identify its location. This method is particularly effective for detecting leaks in sewer lines.

Contact a local residential slab leak detection service to learn more.