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The Science Behind Home Foundation Leak Detection

flooded home

The Importance of Quick Foundation Leak Detection 

Homes prone to flooding during rainstorms are at greater risk for foundation leaks. These leaks happen when the foundation walls continuously experience pressure build-up from over-saturated soil due to excessive amounts of rain. 

A foundation leak is nothing to mess around with. It can quickly lead to all sorts of expensive damages to the home. That is why it is so important to know and understand the warning signs of a foundation leak. If a homeowner can catch a foundation leak soon after it occurs, they can call a professional sooner and hopefully eradicate it before it becomes a nuisance. 

Detecting Foundation Leaks Under Concrete

damp floor caused by foundation leak

Detecting a foundation leak under concrete can be a tricky process. There are a few ways a plumber might go about detecting a foundation leak. Without the proper equipment, the leak would be virtually impossible to locate. 

There are a few different tools that can be used in the process. They include: 

  • Pressure sensors
  • Ground microphones or acoustic discs
  • Pipe inspection cameras

Each tool has its own specialty for locating foundation leaks, and some work better than others depending on the situation. 

The pipe inspection cameras are arguably the most thorough of all the foundation leak detecting machines. A pipe inspection camera allows the plumber to view the inside of the pipes without direct access. The camera is placed into the piping system and ran through to detect leaks. 

If a leak is detected, there will be a clear visual of where the leak is located so the plumber can access it in the most efficient way possible. The other leak detection tools do not have cameras, so they use things like sound and pressure to locate the leak. 

Other Leak Detection Tools

plumber at work

The tools mentioned above are ideal for detecting foundation leaks under concrete. Still, there are other tools that every professionally trained plumber will have with him when he arrives on the scene. 

Common tools include: 

  • Gas tracer systems: If there is too much noise in the pipes for the sensors to locate the leak effectively, the plumber might pull out a gas tracer system. It uses probes that are specially designed to help locate leaks. 
  • Electromagnetic pipeline locators: This tool works best with non-metallic pipes. It is relatively similar to radio in its function and can find other irregularities in a piping system. 
  • Infrared camera: This camera is precious to plumbers. It reads temperature variations and can be used on walls and ceilings to locate a leak.

Detect and Repair Leaks Sooner

The longer a leak goes without proper repair, the more damage it causes. This can mean more plumbing problems, which ultimately means more money spent on water and on repairs.

time is money

Letting a foundation leak go undetected will cost in the following areas as well: 

  • A higher water bill each month
  • Roof alignment damage
  • A weakened structure overall
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Constant basement flooding 

It's important to keep a home, appliances and furniture safe from foundation leaks. The last thing anyone wants is for the structure of their entire house to be compromised when it can be avoided with a simple fix. 

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