A slab leak is a leak that develops in the copper pipes beneath the concrete foundation of your home as a result of long-term pipe corrosion, a settling slab, or from pipe degradation due to friction with nearby pipes, gravel, or concrete. Poor pipe installation and high water pressure can also be likely causes.

A water leak can work its way up through cracks in the concrete slab, and if it isn’t promptly detected and addressed it can degrade your foundation as well as the structure of your home. Look out for these three signs that your home has a slab leak.

You hear the sound of running water

Sometimes you can detect a slab leak just by listening. When water is leaking below your foundation you may actually hear the sound of running water beneath your floors—even though all water faucets in the house are off. A plumber can identify the location of the leak.

Unusual increases in your water bill

Although your water bill does increase and decrease from month-to-month based on your amount of usage, if you notice a sudden sharp increase in your bill a slab leak could be the culprit. When your water runs around the clock as a result of a leak your bills will be higher than normal.

Puddles of water

A tell-tale sign of a slab leak is when you notice puddles of water coming up from beneath the floor inside your home, typically in areas that are close to plumbing, like the kitchen, a bathroom, or laundry room. Water rising from the slab can come up through cracks in floor tile, and other flooring.

Also, be aware of outdoor signs of a slab leak. If you begin to notice puddles of water collecting along the side of your house and there’s no reasonable explanation, like recent rain or using your water sprinkler or hose, you should inquire further. A water leak could be coming from cracks within the slab.