Does Home Insurance Cover Slab Leaks?

Here in the Ark-La-Tex, we often find ourselves in the middle of great BBQ.

One may hear the term “slab leak” and think it’s a rack of ribs dripping in sauce that may have spilled onto one’s shirt.

Unfortunately, no.

However, if you do have a slab leak and need to get it repaired, you have every right to find your nearest

BBQ joint and treat yourself.

You deserve it.

Slab leaks covered by a home insurance policy is anything but delicious.

What is a Slab Leak?

A slab is the term used to describe a concrete foundation that is used in home construction.

A slab leak is a type of plumbing leak located under the concrete foundation of a house. Plumbing leaks can go undetected in houses with water lines embedded within concrete slab.

Water and sewer lines are typically located under the slab. If water lines break or become damaged, a slab leak could occur underneath a home’s foundation.

These leaks can result in large water bills, musty odors, reduced water pressure, and structural damage to floors and walls.

Slab leaks typically occur as a result of a house settling or shifting due to the movement of the surrounding soil.

In our neck of the woods, soil contains a high concentration of clay, which will expand and contract in response to extreme weather patterns common to the region.

Winters in our region are often quite cold, while summers tend to be quite hot. Combining periods of high and low moisture can lead to the expansion and contraction of clay.

Expansion and contraction of the foundation can lead to tilting and shifting.

Movement of the foundation may lead to breaking or splitting of the PVC pipes that are routed through it.

Therefore, a slab leak can occur in the foundation of a house and can cause significant damage.

How Do You Know If You Have a Slab Leak?

Imagine this scenario.

You walk barefoot on your kitchen tile or wood floors one January night and you feel a warm sensation. This seems weird with the lower temperatures outside.  You may have a leak in your foundation.

These leaks can prove difficult to detect because they hide beneath the ground. Signs of a slab leak include increased water bills, wet spots on carpets or floors, damp baseboards, and usually, an unexplained puddle of water in the home.

Additionally, you may hear running or dripping water when no taps are on.

You may also notice warped flooring.

To check for a water leak, shut off all taps and water-using appliances and inspect the water meter.

If the dial is continuing to spin, there may be a water leak under your slab or in another location of the home.

If you observe any of the following signs, it is recommended to have a leaking pipe fixed promptly. Slab leaks, if not addressed, can lead to the need for foundation repair of a structure, resulting in soil erosion under the slab and compromised concrete.

If you suspect a slab leak, it ’s important to have a professional inspect your home as soon as possible.

They will tell you if it’s a slab leak and how best to proceed.

What is the Cost of Slab Leak Repair?

Slab leaks can prove a costly repair, so it’s important to take measures to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Regular checkups help to identify potential issues early.

Adopting preventative routine maintenance strategies can help reduce the chances of leaks occurring. If you detect scale on dishes or appliances, or the taste of your water is not normal, a water softener could provide an effective solution.

It is advisable to avoid using chemical drain cleaners that may potentially corrode pipes.

Maintaining proper water pressure can help minimize damage to pipes. Potential indications of excessive water pressure include leaks coming from faucets during laundry or when taking a shower.

If you hear banging or clamping noises when the water is running, it could indicate high water pressure.

The cost to repair a slab leak will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the leak, the amount of damage caused by the leak, and any additional repairs that may need to be made.

Generally speaking, most homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 for a slab leak repair. This price range includes both labor and materials costs.

Does Home Insurance Cover Slab Leaks?

Homeowners insurance  covers the basic structure of your house, including the slab and foundation, if it is impacted by a peril listed in the policy. In such an instance, the cost to remove and repair the slab may be included in the coverage.

Homeowners insurance may cover the costs associated with a slab leak, subject to the cause of the leak.

Home insurance coverage for repairs resulting from slab leak damage typically depends on three factors.

Covered Event

If your home sustains damage due to an event that is included in the coverage of your insurance policy, and this event results in a slab leak, you may be eligible for reimbursement of the repair costs related to the slab leak, along with any other damages caused by the same event.

Personal Property Damage

If the slab leak is severe enough to damage your personal property, you may be able to get coverage for the cost of repair or replacement under the personal property coverage clause in your policy.

However, the cost of repairing the slab leak would not get full coverage.

Structural Damage

Your insurance may cover damage to the structure of your home resulting from a leak.

While the insurance coverage does not include the plumbing repairs, it may provide compensation for restoring the necessary structural integrity of the house.

So, when does your homeowners insurance coverage (or better yet, your homeowners insurance claim) NOT cover slab leaks?

Slab cracks and leaks are commonly caused by gradual issues or the natural shifting of the ground, which are not typically covered by homeowners insurance.

Typical causes of slab cracks and leaks that are not covered include:

  • Foundation cracks from movement due to natural settling, shrinking, bulging, expansion, and cracking
  • Damage caused by wear and tear, scratches and deterioration.
  • Earthquakes
  • Flooding
  • Faults in design/construction
  • Rodents/Insects/Vermin
  • Sinkholes
  • Tree root pressure

In summary, most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover the cost to repair a slab leak, provided that the leak did not stem from negligence or maintenance issues. Most policies will also provide coverage for any water damage caused by the leak, such as water damage to carpets and flooring.

However, it’s important to check with your insurer to make sure you understand the specifics of your homeowners insurance policy. It’s also important to remember that homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover the cost to replace plumbing or piping, only the repair of existing systems.

It’s important to take precautions to prevent slab leaks from occurring in the first place. Regularly checking pipes for signs of wear and tear and having a professional inspect them can help detect potential problems before they become more serious and cause damage to belongings.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of any warning signs that may indicate a slab leak, such as abnormally high water bills or unexplained puddles of water in the home. If you suspect a slab leak, it’s important to contact a professional plumber immediately to assess the situation and provide an estimate for repair costs to your insurance adjuster from your insurance company.

Slab leaks can cause serious issues, so it’s important to take preventative measures to protect your home and family. Regularly checking pipes for signs of corrosion or wear and tear can help detect potential problems before they become more serious.

If you do experience a slab leak, contacting your insurance provider and a professional plumber as soon as possible is the best course of action.

We can help. Whether preventative or helping to guide you through an existing situation.

Here at Watley Insurance Group, we like our customers to know in advance, but we do our best to help in the middle of an insurance nightmare.

Of course, we want to provide you with a one-stop shop for your insurance needs, so don’t hesitate to give us a call/email to let us know what help you need.

As an independent insurance agency, we have solutions for you.

While we serve the Ark-La-Tex, we specialize in helping those in Shreveport, Bossier City, Benton, Barksdale Air Force Base, Haughton, Keithville, and Blanchard.

We also know of some good BBQ joints in the area if you ever need a recommendation.

Contact  us. We’d love to help you, neighbor!

Wayne F. Watley, Jr.

Agency Principal, proud husband & father, and jazz enthusiast.