Causes and signs of under slab leaks
Causes and signs of under slab leaks

Modern-day buildings are built on concrete slabs; wherein, plumbing is done either beneath or within the slab. These pipes are subject to wear and tear with time or due to various external factors. 

In this article, we will read what the signs and cause of under slab plumbing leakage are. Some measures to fix the under slab plumbing leakage have also been discussed in the latter part of the article.

Signs of under slab plumbing 

  1. Running water sound- Sometimes, it happens that we hear an unexplained sound of water under the floor. It is probably, under slab leakage. Get it examined as soon as possible to avoid any severe damage.

  2. Increase in water bill- If there is an under-slab plumbing leakage, then due to continuously flowing water, the consumption of water ultimately increases. This will obviously lead to an increase in the water bill. Shooting the number of the water bill is an indicator of under slab leakage.

  3. Wet Flooring- Due to leakage in the under slab plumbing, the flooring and carpets might stay wet, damp, or warped due to dampness. Wet flooring might be an indicator of under slab leakage. 

  4. Increase in mold- Mold tends to develop in damp areas. Leaking water is absorbed by the walls keeping them wet every time. This catalyzes the growth of mold. So, if you see increased growth of mold, get the under slab plumbing checked for leakage.

  5. Uneven flooring- When the water leaks below the concrete floor, there might occur damage to the structure. This, in turn, would lead to rises and dips in the floor. This, in turn, would call for instant repair of the plumbing system.

  6. Unwanted pooling of water- Water pooling occurs at places where pipes leak. 

  7. Bad odor in the rooms- Due to continuing collecting water under the slab (foundation) and increasing mold, decay occurs, leading to bad odor. Residents in the building would not find any reason for the bad smell. This might be due to leaking pipes. 

Causes of Under Slab plumbing

  • Old pipes- Old pipes are subject to wear and tear. These might develop cracks or pinhole leaks. 


  • Corrosion of pipes- Metal pipes usually corrode before the time due to acidic water. 


  • High pressure of water- If the pressure of water is higher than what it can withstand, the pipes get damaged due to excessive force applied against its walls. 


  • Pipes rub against the slab- If the pipes rub against the concrete, then there is a probability that it would tear off at places being rubbed. Consequently, cracks would appear at those points, leading to leakage.


  • Shifting of soil- As the building settles on the concrete slab, the soil beneath is under pressure. This, in turn, would lead to shifting of soil, thereby, thinning the walls of the pipes, which I turn, would develop crevices, and hence leakage would occur.

Repairing under slab plumbing leakage

The under-slab plumbing leakage can be repaired by tunneling and trenching. Tunneling is done purposefully to level the surface of the floor. The process of leveling is done in such a manner that the residents in the building live undisturbed without worrying about any excavation or relocation of furniture. 

Post tunneling, trenching is done, which is essential for re-routing. The trenches are fixed up to the depth necessary for repairing the drainage system. Trenches are supported with sand to decrease the probability of damage that might take place. 


On the whole, under-slab leakage can be highly dangerous to the building. It is advised to look for signs of under slab leakage and be aware of factors resulting in such leakage. This would drive out the risk of construction being compromised due to leakage. During the construction of building- ensure that the pipes don't rub against the slab. Get the pipes changed within time, which might have gotten damaged with the passage of time or due to external factors.


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