So you need under slab leak repair – what happens next? It can definitely be unnerving to be told that you have a leak underneath your concrete slab. The repair process can be invasive and many homeowners aren’t sure what to expect. Here’s some guidance to help you along the way.
When choosing a repair company, insist that you are dealing with licensed plumbers who will perform the slab leak repair using high grade materials. You don’t want to settle for second rate quality with such a critical repair – remember, an under slab leak affects your home’s entire foundation!
Before the job begins the plumbers should have all utilities located and marked prior to excavation, as well as the appropriate permits. Upon arrival, make sure they carefully remove any plants or obstacles from the work area. By nature slab plumbing repair will create a mess, but that doesn’t mean the crew shouldn’t respect your home and landscape.
There are basically two ways to fix an under slab leak – penetrating the slab or tunneling.
Slab penetration – This method uses a jack hammer to dig a hole directly to the leak. This usually means lots of noise and the possibility of having to replace damaged floor coverings – carpet, tile, linoleum, laminate, wood, etc… if you’re considering fixing a leak using this method don’t forget to take replacement costs into consideration.
Tunneling – This method requires tunneling a path from underneath the slab and is much less invasive. With tunneling, there is no need for interior demolition. In instances where multiple leaks exist, tunneling is usually the most cost-effective repair solution. When tunneling is involved, the crew you are using should properly excavate the work area and work in compliance with OSHA standards.
Once your plumber exposes the leak, the bad section of the pipe is removed and replaced with a new piece. In some cases, a more complex under slab leak repair is needed. This process is referred to as a re-route and is preferred when the plumbing system shows significant deterioration or multiple leaks. In these cases a complete or partial re-route of the sewage system is the best long-term solution.
Once complete, a final test should be conducted to confirm that the problem has been repaired. If the job was a success, then any holes, tunnels or access points should then be refilled and tamped. You should also insist that the crew clean the work area by washing down any driveways, walkways, and patios. Again, just because it’s a dirty job doesn’t mean the plumbing crew can leave your home a mess.
Concrete slab repair projects usually take about a week (including inspection) depending on complexity.
If you’re looking for help with your under slab project give Olshan a call – estimates are free!
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