Repairing Concrete Slab Leaks

What You'll Need
Builder's adhesive
Pipe cutter

If you live in a home which does not have a crawl space, then you may be aware of the threat of concrete slab leaks. These are leaks of water pipes below the surface of the concrete foundation, and means that if you don't repair it, you will end up with severe damage to your foundations. Even if you do repair it, you will still have to fork out a great deal in repair costs, unless you decide to find a solution to this problem on your own. Then it is just a matter of using some simple tricks to fix your problem quickly and easily.

Step 1 - Get to the Source

You will first have to find the source of your leak. Depending upon the kind of leak that it is, you might be able to find it easily, for example a hot water pipe leak can be found by walking around with bare feet. In winter, you might notice a perceptible cold coming from a cold water leak. You should also notice where the water is deepest or more pooled. This will probably be the source of your problem. Once you have found this leak, you can then take up the flooring. It is best to only take up the flooring where the leak is, as replacing the whole floor can be costly.

Step 2 - Remove the Concrete Slab

You will now need to remove the concrete slab. Use a jackhammer to quickly penetrate the slab. This might take a little bit of effort, as the concrete will be around 4 to 5 inches thick. It is best not to make too big a hole, as this could mean that you will be drilling forever. Instead, keep it to a suitable size for your hand. This will allow you to check for the leak. Only when you have found the leak should you make the hole any bigger.

Step 4 - Fix the Leak

Once you have located the leak, turn the water supply off at the mains, and remove the damaged piece of pipe. You can replace this with another piece of pipe, although you may find once you have gotten down there that the leak is between two parts of a connection, in which case you should try tightening up the pipe before you remove it completely. If you use a copper pipe, weld it into the other pieces of pipe, and turn the water supply back on, to check that the leak is gone.

Step 5 - Fill the Hole

Leave the hole open for a few days to ensure that the leak is completely gone. Once you are satisfied that the leak is gone, repair the hole with some concrete. Seal it by using some builder's adhesive, and add some more of this in order to keep the flooring in place. Return the jackhammer to the rental shop.