If your house has a slab foundation, the plumbing pipes might be buried under the slab. While this is a common practice, it can cause problems when a pipe develops a leak. Since the pipe is out of sight, a small leak can go on for a long time before you notice something is wrong. All that water seeping in the soil under the slab could lead to foundation damage. Here's why a leaky pipe leads to foundation problems and the repairs your home might need.
How A Slab Leak Can Damage Your Foundation
One of the main causes of foundation damage is water that gets under the foundation. Water can cause the soil to swell or wash away and shift. When the soil under your house shifts, the foundation might shift along with it and cause cracks in the foundation or walls of your home.
What A Foundation Repair Contractor Might Do
The first thing to figure out is if the water leak caused the foundation to shift or if the shifting foundation damaged the water pipe and caused the leak. It's important to know what caused the foundation damage so the right repairs can be done. When it comes to foundation repairs after a slab leak, the contractor has to make at least two kinds of repairs. One repairs the plumbing, and the other repairs the foundation.
How Plumbing Repairs Might Be Done
When a pipe bursts under the foundation, the problem could be due to old age and corrosion of the pipes. If that's the case, the contractor might need to repipe your home. If all the pipes are corroded, another one may burst before long.
If the damage is confined to just one area and the rest of the pipe is fine, the contractor might just make repairs to the pipe. This could entail busting up the concrete to reach the damaged pipe so it can be repaired, but the contractor might pull a repair liner through the pipe instead.
How Foundation Repairs Might Be Done
If the foundation slab of your home has cracks and is sunken in one area, the contractor might pump in expanding foam or cement slurry to lift the sunken part of the slab. Once the slab is level, cracks can be filled in and sealed so water vapor from the soil doesn't waft through.
There are other forms of foundation repairs the contractor might consider, such as raising the sunken area on piers. The contractor has to choose the right method based on the type of damage to your foundation and whether there is an ongoing threat or if the shifting was due to a single incidence of water damage.
Contact a company like Du-West Foundation Repair to learn more.