From small leaks to a flooded home, water leaks are one of the hardest and most frustrating things you may face as a home or business owner. A water leak can occur in the sewer or drain line, or in your underground water lines – and leaks can happen to anyone and to any type of structure.
You don’t want to trust just any water leak detection company in Coastal Virginia to inspect your home. You want someone with years of experience in being able to find the source of the leak and fix it for good.
How Can A Water Leak Be Detected?
You may not always know which type of water leak you have – or you may notice some unusual problems but not realize you have a serious concern. Here are some common signs that you have a water leak in your house:
- Hotspot on the floor
- The sound of water running when fixtures are not being used
- Water coming from somewhere on the floor
- Water coming from a low point on the wall
- Hot water coming from a cold tap
- A water heater that doesn’t turn off
- High water bills
Slab Leakage and Slab Leakage Detection
A slab leakage is when water invades your home through vulnerabilities in your concrete slab foundation. Here are a few common reasons why concrete slabs may leak:
Failed Water Lines
Slab leaks occur when a water line has failed under a slab foundation. They can be caused by incompatible soil which contains something that causes a negative chemical reaction when it comes in contact with copper pipes (this is called electrolysis). It can happen anytime, even years, after installation. Unfortunately, this is the most common cause of a leak in the slab and requires a total replacement of all the copper water lines.
Another cause is exposed piping that comes in contact with unprotected lines, rebar, electrical conduits or heating duct work. The friction causes the piping to become worn and leaky. Yet another cause of a slab leak is a kinked line or one that has been accidentally damaged by a concrete worker or another contractor. The nick or indentation eventually wears through and causes a leak.
There are many methods of water leak detection, from electronic to employing sewer cameras or jack-hammering the area and doing a visual check, etc. With electronic leak detecting, pipes must be disconnected and pressurized with nitrogen that makes a high-pitched sound that is heard through high powered headphones. The point of the highest decibel sound is typically the source of the leak. This is a very effective way to detect leaks
Polybutylene or “Big Blue” Piping
Plumbing systems for many homes constructed between the 1970s and the late 1990s were set up with polybutylene water pipes. Characteristic for their bright blue color (though they also come in gray or black), polybutylene pipes are especially common in the Hampton Roads area.
Luckily, polybutylene pipes don’t leak any toxic chemicals into your water supply, but they are vulnerable to leakage. This is because the chlorine or chloramines in the water break down these pipes over time, making them liable for leakage. It typically takes 10-15 years for these pipes to deteriorate and eventually leak. The solution for these faulty pipes is typically a full pipe replacement.
Unfortunately, Virginia law does not require home sellers to disclose the presence of polybutylene pipes, and it’s likely that your home is supported by “big blue” pipes and putting your slab at risk. However, this investment will improve the safety of your plumbing system and improve the marketability of your home should you decide to sell.
Other Common Types of Leaks:
Faucets leak for many reasons, but commonly occur when parts of your faucet are defective, your pipes are corroding, or there are mineral deposits in the internal areas of your faucet.
When you have a leaking faucet, the common warning signs will show themselves through:
- Noisy handles
- Leaking pipes beneath your sink
- Dripping from the faucet when you’re not using it
Leaking Behind Drywall
Leaks behind drywall will typically happen if the pipes within your walls burst open or subtly leak, or if you have drywall and foundation cracking. Signs that you have leakage behind your drywall are typically easy to spot with the naked eye (or nose):
- Smelly odors that you can’t identify elsewhere
- Growth of mold on walls or crown molding
- Water damage or stains on walls
- Bubbling or peeling paint
- Warped ceilings, floors, and walls
Toilet leaks are one of the most stressful that a homeowner can encounter. You’ll usually know when you have a problem, but some early problem signs can alert you to reach out for professional help. Signs like:
- Your toilet continues making noise after you’re done using it
- There are water stains or puddles of water around the base
- You smell a faint or strong odor of sewage
Is There a Device That Detects Water Leaks?
Yes. While there are many different models of leak detection systems ranging from battery-powered, smart water leak detectors (found in common stores like Amazon) to professionally installed detection systems, they all identify leaks by monitoring the water pressure through your pipes. If a leak detector spots a leak in your system, it uses an automatic shutoff function to stop the leak. Freeze detectors can also warn you if your water pipes are freezing. These devices aren’t the solution for your leaking pipes, though. Leak detectors are meant to prevent flooding and frozen pipes, and to give you time to call in help from professionals like A-1.
Water Leak Detection Services
When it comes to plumbing and leakage repairs, you won’t want to DIY. Having a professional assess the leaks in or around your home can ensure that the root cause of the leak is addressed. From there, our service technicians are trained to give you long-lasting solutions, so you can rest easy. If you suspect you may have a leak in your home or business, immediately call A-1 Sewer & Drain.
Our technicians have the knowledge and experience required to find the leak and get the work done professionally – before it’s too late. Our courteous, professional and thorough specialists can service clients needing leak detection. We will discuss your options and perform any necessary slab leak repairs quickly to avoid any further damage.
Areas Of Expertise
Our commercial and residential plumbing company is expert at drain cleaning, plumbing repairs, emergency plumbing repair, faucet and fixture installation, leaky faucet repairs, line locating, pipe cleaning,pipe repair, water leak detection, and more.
We serve homeowners and businesses in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Tabb, Grafton, Smithfield, James City County, and throughout Hampton Roads.
Find the source of your leak with the help of our highly trained experts in plumbing and drainage. Water leak detection is something that our professional plumbers have years of experience in and are happy to provide their expertise 24/7. Call for your inspection and quote today!