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Slab Leak Detection – Essential Guide

Slab Leak Detection

With modern building construction methods, an increasingly common type of leak detection is slab leak detection within both domestic and commercial properties in the UK. In this guide we will explain what a slab leak is and the comprehensive slab leak detection process.

Most commonly this refers to concrete slab leak detection service, and we will focus on that, but there are other materials or compounds than can come into consideration too, especially with floor coatings or coverings, such as tiles, laminate flooring etc. However, similar principles apply.

Slab Leak Detection Service
Slab Leak Detection Service

In a previous article, we discussed the importance of early water leak detection and this is key to slab leaks too, especially before they do too much water damage to your home or business, this can be to the buildings and contents too.

The Importance of Detecting Slab Leaks Early

The trained and trusted leak detection specialists we employ in our team know what damage can be caused by slab leaks in both the short and long term. Therefore it can be important for you to understand some of the key warning signs of a slab leak in your home.

This includes direct things such as:

  1. Visible damp patches on the floor
  2. This can be the concrete or floor coverings
  3. Movement or cracks in concrete floor
  4. Other structural changes to areas nearby
  5. A damp or ‘musty’ smell from the water leak

We explain some of these further in our guide explaining signs of leaking water. We also have some other useful guides related to things that can be correlated to slab leaks in buildings.

Concrete Slab Leak Detection
Concrete Slab Leak Detection

Clearly, a slab leak, like other forms of water leak can come in many different varieties but commonly, they are copper pipes or plastic pipes embedded within concrete (or under the slab). Sometimes this is an underfloor heating leak too. Although having pipes embedded within a concrete slab can offer some stability and protection, it can also cause issues with corrosion, or even movement over time.

The issue then becomes that, unlike other underground water leaks, slab leaks can be challenging to locate and access because of that concrete barrier, which we will look into further now, including slab water leak repairs once the leak has been successfully located.

Slab Leak Detection Techniques

When people consider about slab leak detection methods, one of the common things people think about is thermal imaging leak detection devices. These can be of use, but need to be supported by other devices and we’ll explain some of these now.

Slab Leak Detection Techniques
Slab Leak Detection Techniques and Tools

We use advanced, professional leak detection devices to help locate slab water leaks in domestic properties, and for commercial leak detection to find leaks in businesses too. These include:

As we have mentioned in other guides, these devices not only work well in conjunction with each other but also they are greatly optimised (effectiveness-wise) when utilised in the hands of our trained and experienced experts.

After Finding the Leak – Slab Leak Repairs

Once the slab leak has been successfully located and accessed, then there is the slab water leak repairs that need to be undertaken and this comes in two parts:

  1. The actual slab leak pipe repair to stop the water leaking out and causing any further damage
  2. The water damage repairs to the property, including the concrete slab base itself

Thankfully as well as being experts in water leak detection, our staff are trained in water damage restoration and repairs, which includes drying properties after water leaks, using things such as commercial desiccant dehumidifiers.

One final thing that is definitely worth highlighting here is that one very serious consideration when it comes to slab water leaks, especially those linked to copper pipe corrosion is that, where there is one, there is a greater chance of being others which are on the way to becoming a leak themselves!

Related to that, we provide insurance grade trace and access reports which you can give to your home insurance company when you use our leak detection services, if you have trace and access leak detection cover on your policy, there is a good chance the cost will be covered.

Do remember that, if you have Trace and Access on your home insurance cover, the cost of finding and fixing the water leak could be paid for by your insurer. It’s worth checking.

Here are some other similar articles you might find interesting too:

We also have many other guides in our water leak blog which has some fantastic free hints and tips, explained by experts in layman’s terms, with useful diagrams, photos and charts.

WaterLeak.co.uk logo
WaterLeak.co.uk logo

Slab Water Leak Detection FAQs:

Will a slab leak show on a water meter?

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In some instances, yes, a slab leak will be shown on a water meter. If your meter is still spinning or counting up (for digital versions) when you are not using water for any other purpose, then that could be a concrete slab water leak indication in your property. This can be precisely pinpointed further with other specific leak detection devices and tools.

How serious is a slab leak?

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Slab leaks vary in type and scale but they can be very serious, specifically in causing water damage to your property and, in some instances, lead to structural issues. This is compounded by the fact that slab water leaks (because they are ‘hidden’ under concrete) can be going for a long time undetected and leak a huge volume of water in that time.

How do you fix a leak under the slab?

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The first thing to consider when working out how to do carry out a slab leak repair is determining if you actually have a leak (and not another damp issue) and then, the tricky part, locating the actual leak. Clearly if you are going to be digging into a concrete slab, you want to be confident you have collected evidence to ensure you’re in the right location!