Slab Construction. Concrete slab foundations are preferred in non-flood-plain areas. Land is leveled, footing forms are established, and gravel to a depth of about half a foot (dependent on soil permeability) establishes the slab dimensions.
Overlapping layers of ten-mill vapor barrier are laid down followed by a couple more inches of sand or gravel and a layer of rigid insulation (R-10). Delineation of footings and forms are finalized. Rebar is wired in appropriate patterns followed by laying of appropriate HVAC ductwork, plumbing, cable/phone wiring, and electric lines. Since many of these lines will be routed through PVC pipe, plastic pipe should be protected from rebar abrasion prior to pouring the concrete slab.
Preparing for Problems. A mapping of HVAC ductwork, cable/phone lines, plumbing, and electrical service should be established before pouring of concrete to ameliorate future emerging plumbing, heating, cable, or electrical service problems. If PVC is even minimally damaged during the concrete phase of slab construction, repair at a later date may require penetration of the slab. Inadequate ground preparation, failure to control concrete moisture content, and slab curing and cracking may also affect the need for future repair.
Dealing with Plumbing Problems in Slab. Plumbing repairs will require finding the leak source, penetrating the slab to service problem pipes, and repairing the slab access point. Given the layers or gravel, rebar, insulation, pipes, and concrete, repair may be more complex than just making a hole in the floor.
Slab Leak Isolation. Leaking water or sewer lines may not present at leak site, depending on slab aging or water’s ability to travel external to pipes within the slab. Today’s technology makes it possible to utilize endoscopes or recording cameras within existing plumbing to physically view the site of leakage “from the inside” and determine the site of leak or leaks. Precise simultaneous measurements can define the actual site of leak, even if water in the building emerges “downstream” from the actual leak.
Slab Leak Repair. Technology is reaching the point where some repairs may be accomplished internally with epoxies (with application guidance via endoscope or camera), but the slab may need to be broken to access the leak. Flooring will be peeled back and cold chisel and hammer, simple sledge, or a jackhammer may be used to access plumbing. Because the PVC was suspended over the rebar when the slab was poured, the actual damaged plumbing may be just a few inches deep in the slab or up to a foot below.
The plumbing must be exposed, the damaged section of pipe identified and removed, and a repair section installed in the line. Any damage to vapor barrier and insulation during slab opening and plumbing servicing must be repaired to assure the integrity of the slab. The repair should be tested, the hole in the slab filled with concrete, and the patch allowed to cure before returning flooring to its normal position.
Accurate Leak and Line can help with your excavation and any plumbing issues within the interior of your home. Whether we need to isolate, repair and detect slab leaks in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin Texas contact us today to get started!