Locating The Source Of Underslab Leaks

19 April 2023
 Categories: , Blog

Under-slab leaks can wreak havoc on buildings due to their ability to cause significant damage to their structural integrity. However, identifying the root cause of these leaks can be daunting.

Take Advantage Of Infrared Thermography

Infrared thermography uses infrared cameras to detect heat patterns emitted by objects. This method allows professionals to identify temperature anomalies in building materials and structures without causing any damage. By applying this technology in leak detection scenarios, experts can quickly locate areas with unusual temperature variations indicating potential water intrusion.

When moisture accumulates under slabs or within walls due to an undetected leak, it significantly affects the material's thermal properties. In many cases, wet spots will have a different temperature than dry areas because water conducts heat differently than air or solid materials like concrete. These inconsistencies create recognizable patterns on thermal images captured by infrared cameras.

Smoke Testing Can Reveal Difficult To Find Leaks

Smoke testing is another non-invasive method that helps identify potential leakage points in underground pipes and other concealed spaces beneath buildings' slabs. This technique involves injecting non-toxic smoke into plumbing systems or other suspected areas of concern and visually inspecting where the smoke emerges from openings or cracks.

During a smoke test, technicians seal off all plumbing fixtures connected to the system under examination while carefully monitoring any visible smoke escaping from openings. When visible plumes emerge from flooring joints or wall cracks, experts can pinpoint the exact location of an under-slab leak.

Locate Leaks With Video Inspections

Video inspection employs advanced camera systems to visually explore and assess the condition of pipes or other hard-to-reach areas beneath buildings without intrusive excavation. This method uses high-resolution cameras attached to flexible cables that navigate plumbing systems to capture detailed images of the interior. By analyzing this footage for signs of moisture damage, experts can accurately identify leak sources and develop targeted repair strategies without resorting to disruptive excavation procedures.

Conducting Soil Gas Testing

Soil gas testing is a technique used to detect volatile organic compounds released from leaking underground pipes or tanks. By measuring these concentrations in soil samples around a suspected leakage site, professionals can determine if these pollutants are seeping into surrounding soil due to compromised underground infrastructure.

If laboratory results show the presence of sewage or other types of waste, it is strong evidence that an under-slab leak has contaminated the surrounding area. This information allows professionals to create a plan for repairing the leak and remediating the contamination.

For help with your system, contact an under-slab leak detection service in your area.