Homeowner Insurance | Is a Slab Leak Under a Concrete Slab Covered?

Structures Not Covered For a Slab Leak

Some structures are not covered for slab leaks unless the homeowner specifically added the protection to their policy for a slab leak. In colder climate areas, where the freeze line is deeper than 12 inches. Most homes have basements, where the plumbing is exposed, and leaks are easily repaired. These homes would not need slab leak insurance. In the southern areas of the U.S., the freeze line is 12 inches or above, and there is not really a need for a basement. This saves a lot of construction cost, since the plumbing in those warmer climate areas is placed directly under a concrete slab foundation. The water lines are usually copper pipe, and looped under the slab, and up into the walls, where joining connections are made. This lowers the possibility of leaks under the concrete with the connections in the wall.

Causes of a Concrete Slab Leak

When a water faucet in a structure is turned on, the water is rapidly flowing through the pipes. When you turn the water off, it comes to an abrupt halt, causing the pipe to move slightly. Sometimes a noise is heard in the walls

Slab Leak

when the pipes move. This noise is called pipe knocking. The pipes looped under the concrete slab can also move a slight amount, each time water is turned on and off. If the pipe is lying across a sharp object like a rock or re-bar, a hole can eventually be rubbed into the pipe causing what is known as a slab leak.
Another cause of slab leaks, is when lightning hits a transformer, and then surges through the electric utility incoming wires to the structure, and then to the plumbing pipe ground. Some electricians, instead of grounding the electrical system to a ground rod, use the copper plumbing to ground the electric wiring system to. When the lightning hits, and is coming through the electric utility wires, it seeks a ground Which in these cases would be the copper plumbing under the concrete slab. When the lightning hits the grounded plumbing, if there is a metal object close to the copper plumbing pipes, like a re-bar, the lightning will arc across to the re-bar and sometimes burn a hole in the plumbing pipe causing a slab leak. Due to this problem of grounding the electric system to the plumbing. When we find a homeowners house electricity is grounded to the plumbing, we suggest they have an electrician drive a ground rod, and ground the electric to that instead of the plumbing pipes.

What is Covered When a Slab Leak Occurs
Most insurance companies cover the cost to tear out and replace concrete, floor covering, walls, cabinets, and whatever is necessary to make the actual repair on the leaking pipe. The repair of the pipe is not usually covered by insurance. It is nice to find that your property is partially or completely covered by your homeowner’s insurance for slab leaks. If you have a concrete slab construction, it is a good idea to check with your insurance company to see if it is covered before you have a problem. You may find out that slab leak insurance is something that you may want to add to your coverage.

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