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Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover a Slab Leak?

close-up of the foundation under a house

How important is slab leak repair?

While ‘the stars at night, are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas’, most of the state sits on sandy loam or black dirt. And with those types of soil, you can almost guarantee that the foundation of your home is going to shift.  And when the foundation shifts, it will eventually lead to a slab leak. Slab leak repairs are important because, well, the slab is the foundation of your home. 

Is a slab leak an emergency?

Hopefully, you will notice any issues, which we’re going to list for you in a minute, and you will get any slab leak repairs you need to have taken care of before they become an emergency. When a slab leak starts, it isn’t dangerous – not like a leaking gas pipe. But over time, it can begin to cause various problems. 

What causes a slab leak?

A slab leak begins when the plumbing pipes that are built into the foundation slab develop a water leak. This causes the foundation to crack and shift. Some indicators that you may need slab leak repairs can include:

  • Increase in water bill
  • Standing water around the exterior of your home
  • Damp and/or warm spots in the flooring
  • Mildew and mold have started forming and spreading
  • Low water pressure throughout the house and outside spigots
  • Sounds of water running when all the faucets and spigots are off

What happens if a slab leak isn’t repaired?

In addition to the things we just listed, in the first few days, the water will just build up around the leak. But because it has nowhere to go, it begins to spread out and upward, and that’s when you’ll start noticing warm spots on the floor, even damp feeling areas on the floors.  

Once the flooring becomes waterlogged, your home will start smelling like mildew, a musty, stale smell that no air freshener can mask. As the water keeps leaking from the pipes, it softens the foundation, and your home will shift as cracks develop. Doors and windows won’t open or close easily, maybe not at all.

Without proper slab leak repairs, the foundation becomes weak and your home’s structure is compromised. 

Can a slab leak be fixed?

Yes, but this isn’t a weekend DIY project. You need to call the professionals who specialize in slab leak repairs to take care of this kind of job. An expert will come to inspect your home’s foundation, walls, and ceiling to diagnose the problem. 

Using specialized equipment, they can pinpoint the precise location of the slab leak. That equipment includes electronic sound tools, line-tracing equipment, or water line video inspection.

Once they have pinpointed the location needing slab leak repairs, they will discuss the following options with you and advise the best for your scenario: 

  • Trenchless Slab Leak Repairs

There is very little demolition doing this type of slab leak repairs.  The contractor will create access holes along the foundation in a non-destructive method then shoot epoxy pipe liners into the broken pipe and create a seal. This method creates a pipe inside the broken pipe. 

Next, they will perform a camera inspection with a camera on a flexible cable that is inserted into the pipe to make sure the epoxy line is in place. They then inflate the epoxy line and it sits for a few hours to let it cure. 

  • Pipe Re-Piping or Re-Routing

In some cases, slab leak repairs are needed for multiple plumbing pipes. In this case, the contractor will recommend either re-pipe the entire house or install new pipes by re-routing them around the existing pipes. 

The re-routing pipe method requires the demolition of the floors and walls that have pipes running through them. This process can take a few days, making your home inhabitable until the slab leak repairs are completed. 

  • Tunneling Under the Foundation Slab

If you’ve just installed new flooring, the contractor will recommend the tunneling method of slab leak repairs. This puts all the work outside of your home with little disruption to your home life. 

The contractor crew will dig tunnels under your home’s foundation, keeping the structure’s integrity in place, and making the slab leak repairs that are needed. They will then return the soil they dug out, packing it back as needed. 

How much does it cost to fix a leak under a concrete slab?

There isn’t any flat rate on slab leak repairs because each house is different. After the contractor inspects your home and determines the problem, locates the leak, they will discuss the above methods with you and provide pricing accordingly. 

Minor slab leak repairs can be around $1,000 and the more damage, the more the repairs will cost, up to $5,000, even $10,000. Yes, concrete slab foundations are still considered the best because they provide stability. But they aren’t beyond being damaged and breaking. 

Will your homeowner’s insurance cover slab leak repairs? 

Typically a slab leak repair won’t be covered by homeowner’s insurance. However, your policy may provide coverage for any structural repairs caused by the slab leak, like replacing your flooring. 

In Closing 

It would be silly to ask if slab leak repairs are worthwhile, but some homeowners will ask their contractor that question. This is your home, a major investment, and any repairs you have done, including slab leak repairs, are to protect that investment. Yes, they are worthwhile.  

How Do You Stop Water Leaks Immediately?

woman calling a plumber while taking care of a leaking pipe

What do I do when I notice a leak?

As another cold winter with freezing temperatures came to an end here in the area, many homeowners discovered they had busted water pipes that were leaking. Of course, immediate leak repairs were made, and all was well again. But winter isn’t the only time a homeowner may discover a water leak. So what should you do when you find yourself in need of leak repair? In Allen, TX, you can always come to us, but there are a few other steps you can take while you’re waiting for help to arrive.

Where do water leaks commonly happen in a house?

There are multiple places in your home that may need leak repairs, but the five most common places are:

  1. The Faucets: The faucets are THE most common place for water leaks and are usually one of the easiest leak repairs. When you hear that annoying drip, drip, drip sound, you can hear dollars going down the drain too. Not only is this increasing the water bill and wasting a natural resource, but that excess water is damaging the bathtub, shower, and sinks by causing rust and premature decay, along with mildew and mold.
  2. The Shower: The bathroom is a high-traffic area in every home with the toilet, sink, and shower being used every day, often multiple times a day. For a shower with a flexible shower head and hose, the hose is susceptible to corrosion which will cause it to start leaking. This leak repair is as easy as replacing the flexible shower head and hose.
  3. The Toilet Flapper: It is estimated that more than 30% of all homes in this country have a leaking toilet. Toilet leaks are easily identified, no need to call for the professional leak repair service of a plumber! Simply listen for hissing water sounds or add some food color inside the tank. If the water in the toilet bowl changes colors, then you need to replace the flapper inside the tank.
  4. The Water Heater: A leaking water heater can become bad news fast if a leak repair isn’t done ASAP. Check the water connection on top of the tank, making sure they are tight, then do the same with the water connection at the wall. If the water heater tank itself is leaking from the sides or underneath, call for emergency plumbing service for a leak repair, and be prepared to hear “You need a new water heater”.
  5. Water Supply Line: Not all leaks will occur inside the house. If you’re noticing puddles of water in the lawn or sections that are greener than the rest of the lawn, you either have a water line leak or a sewer line leak. Either way, you need a professional leak repair service, and be prepared to find out it isn’t just a leaking water line you’re having to deal with.

What is the best thing to use to stop a leak?

Turning the water off at the main should be the first thing you do to stop a water leak. Then either look for where the leak may be located or call a plumber. If you’re a handy person with basic tools, you can do your own small leak repairs using a plumber’s putty.

This is an ideal material for leak repairs of pinholes or around a fitting joint. You can get this at any hardware store or home improvement store. Keep checking this spot so that if it starts leaking again, you may need a professional plumber.

How can you tell where a water leak is coming from?

The water bill indicates you may have a water leak, but finding where that leak can be a challenge. Well, common sense tells us to look in the most obvious places first. Open all the cabinets where water lines are running, usually under the sinks, and look for dripping or standing water, mildew, mold or if you notice any foul odors, this is where your leak repair is needed.

If you don’t find anything inside the cabinets, behind the washing machine, or near the water heater, then walk around and check the outdoor spigots. If there isn’t any leak there, you’ll need to call a plumber. They have equipment and tools and they can get to the source of the problem with leak detection services. Remember that leak repairs may be simple, or if they are located out of the way they may require more work such as digging up a section of the lawn.

In Closing

In many cases, what a plumber does for leak repairs is use the plumber’s putty, but they also can replace the pipe if necessary. If you have PVC pipes, you can do your own leak repair by cutting out the damaged pipe and replacing it with a new piece of PVC and PVC glue, which is what the plumber will do too. But if the leak is hidden inside the walls or under the floor, it is best to leave these leak repairs to the professionals!

Whether you attempt to do your own leak repairs or have it done professionally, timing is essential! Getting it done as quickly as possible will save you money on the water bill and hopefully escape needing any expensive structural repairs because of water damage. And always remember – when you need leak repair in Allen, TX or the surrounding area, we can be there for you. Give us a call at 469-253-5530 if you need a consultation.

Do I Need a Plumber to Fix a Toilet?

plumber providing toilet repair

What Should I Do When I Need Toilet Repair?

It is often referred to in slang as “the throne”, but if it were actually a “throne”, you wouldn’t need repairs or replacement right? Unfortunately, because the “throne” in most homes is the toilet repairs and replacements are a necessity when problems arise. It should be common sense, but some people may not be sure who to call for toilet repairs. We can assure you that it isn’t Ghost Busters!  So, does a plumber fix any problems with toilets? Yes, that should be your first phone call if you’re not confident enough to do your own toilet repair.  If you’re on a septic tank system, you need to call a plumber that handles septic tank repairs as well as toilet repairs. Not all plumbers are septic tank certified, but all plumbers can do toilet repairs. And we have a suggestion if you need toilet repair in Allen, TX – you can always reach out to us by calling 469-253-5530.

What are the most common problems needing toilet repair?

If you’re like most homeowners, you have several high-tech gadgets in your home. Fortunately, the toilet is still a straightforward fixture that has a few basic parts. So, when there is a problem, you can usually do your own toilet repair, but sometimes it is better to call a professional plumber! Some of the most basic and common problems that require toilet repairs are: 

  • Overflowing Toilet Bowl: This is usually because the toilet is clogged, which is usually a fairly quick and simple toilet repair. Insert a toilet plunger (there are different types of plunger) into the bowl full of water and press the plunger end against the opening of the bowl, forming a seal. Then, with a rhythmic push-and-pull motion, creating pressure in the toilet drain will usually clear the clog. Be careful not to be too enthusiastic or you’ll be cleaning up the floor! 
  • Wiggling Handle and No Flush: Remove the tank lid and check that the chain is connected to the handle and to the flapper. If your toilet doesn’t have a chain, it should have a metal or plastic rod attached to the rubber flapper with the chain connecting them. Simply reattach the chain to either end or if isn’t disconnected, then take up a few links, making the chain shorter. 
  • Running Water: Often a quick toilet repair for this is nothing more than jiggling the handle. If it is still running, then replace the rubber flapper. You can find that at any hardware or home improvement store. 
  • Pooled Water On The Floor: The wax ring seal that is installed under the toilet base probably needs to be replaced. You may not be able to do this toilet repair alone, so having a friend is recommended, or call a plumber for toilet repair. Turn off the water behind the toilet and empty the toilet bowl and tank of any water, then lift the toilet up and scrap up the old wax ring and clean up any residue left behind. Finally, position the new wax ring in place to complete this toilet repair. Make sure you fasten the bolts back in place – there should be four – so the toilet doesn’t rock. 

What is the average cost to repair a toilet?

If you hire a plumber for toilet repairs, you’ll probably be charged by the hour plus parts. Depending on what needs to be repaired or replaced will affect the final cost. Simply tightening the chain won’t have any parts to charge for, but if they have to empty the toilet and replace the wax ring, you’ll be charged more. 

How do I fix my toilet when it’s not flushing?

If the water isn’t draining down with the waste, you may have a clog. As we suggested earlier, try breaking the clog apart with a toilet plunger. If that doesn’t work, you can rent or purchase an auger, also known as a plumber’s snake and work that into the toilet drain. If these things don’t work, call a plumber for professional toilet repair.

Why does my toilet not flush but the water goes down?

In addition to checking for clogs and following the steps we provided earlier, you may find the problem is one of the following: 

  • The Overflow Tube: Located in the center of the toilet tank is an overflow pipe with a tube. This drains excess water into the toilet bowl to keep the tank from overfilling. Over time, the overflow tube ages (it is sitting in water 24/7/365), and will get brittle and develop cracks. This allows water to constantly drain into the toilet bowl. So, you flush and the water just keeps filling. Check the tube and replace it if necessary. 
  • The Fill Valve Assembly: A toilet that doesn’t flush completely can also be from a faulty fill valve. Inspect the fill valve float and make sure it is properly adjusted or isn’t stuck. 

Flushing It All Down: Is it better to fix a toilet or buy a new one?

For a toilet that is less than 10 years old, toilet repairs would be the better choice. However, a toilet that is 10 years or older, replacing it would be the better option. The toilets today are low flow, meaning they take less water – typically three gallons versus five gallons of water.

Meanwhile, if you need toilet replacement or toilet repair in Allen, TX, our team can be there to help. Give us a call at 469-253-5530 today to schedule your services.

Which Water Heater has the Fastest Recovery Rate?

hand turning on a hot water heater

What is a High Recovery Water Heater?

You would be hard-pressed to find a home in the area that doesn’t have a water heater. And out of all the homes with water heaters, you will find several that wish they had a high recovery water heater. But what is a high-recovery water heater, and why do you want to consider this option when you’re seeking water heater replacement in Allen, TX? 

When a water heater is in use, it needs a recovery period to refill the tank, and that is what ‘recovery’ means. With the standard water heater, the recovery of hot water is one hour to get 4 gallons. With a high-recovery water heater, the recovery is still one hour, but up to 55 gallons. 

If your home seems to always be waiting on the water to heat up again, consider how many occupants live in your house. The more people, the more showers, the more dishes, and the more laundry is needed. A high-recovery water heater could be the answer to get you ‘out of hot water’ with the family! 

Are high recovery water heaters more expensive? 

Yes, but not astronomically more. But the upfront cost isn’t the only advantage of a high recovery water heater.  A high-recovery water heater will be more energy efficient, making the operation less expensive. How are they more energy efficient? Thinking about it, you’re not running water as long as waiting for it to heat up, which means you’re using less electricity or gas too. This will also take ease the hot water pressure too. 

Are high-recovery water heaters worth the higher upfront cost?

If you have a large number of people in your house using hot water and there never seems to be enough, then yes, the investment for a high recovery water heater is worthwhile. For a household of 6 or less, probably not the best value. 

Based on standard water heaters, use this guide to determine what size you need:

  • A household of three: 30-gallon water heater tank

  • A household of four: 40-gallon water heater tank
  • A household of five: 50-gallon water heater tank

What is the 70% rule for water heaters?

Using a 50-gallon water heater as an example with the thermostat set at 120 degrees. The 70% output rule means that this water heater should provide approximately 35 gallons of hot water before going into recovery mode. 

When shopping for a new water heater, it is important to remember the amount of hot water it will deliver within a timeframe is key. Not only do you want a water heater that performs efficiently, but you want to make sure it has the delivery capacity that fits your household’s needs. 

The performance capability is measured by the first-hour delivery. This is the amount of hot water you should have in one hour with a fully heated water heater. The hour starts counting down from the time someone starts a shower, a load of dishes or clothes, and how quickly it takes the next person to have the hot water they need. 

Which is better, a tankless water heater or a high recovery water heater? 

With a high recovery water heater, it will heat the water used by any of the water outlets quickly. To know which is the best option for your household, work with a professional that is experienced and knowledgeable in all types of water heaters. 

It is said that a tankless water heater will never run out of hot water. However, it can get overwhelmed with the on-demand from several water outlets at the same time. This means that while one person is showering, the dishwasher or washing machine running at the same time could cut the amount of hot water down in the shower. 

What is drain water heater recovery? 

This is a great conservation of water!  A DWHR (Drain Water Heat Recovery System) recovers heat from water that goes down the drain. A DWHR works simultaneously with showering as it is taking the heat that isn’t being used in the hot water and reuses it. 

What are the disadvantages of drain water heat recovery?

Because there is a storage system with a DWHR, the system must be connected to a drain that has the most continuous hot water use. In other words, a bathtub drain would not be compatible. 

In Closing 

If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, replacing your current water heater with a high recovery may be an attraction to prospective buyers, but it won’t give you a high ROI. If the water needs to be replaced to pass the buying inspection, stay with typical water as opposed to investing in a high-recovery water heater. The best way to get a high ROI is to live in the house and get the benefits of a high-recovery water heater. Consider this option if you’re interested in water heater replacement in Allen, TX. Our team can be there to help – call us at 469-253-5530 to schedule a consultation.