Underneath most homes is a slab of concrete serving as a foundation. Underneath or embedded in this plumbing is the slab, pipes where water comes in and goes out of the house. Because of their location, when a leak occurs in a slab, it often goes undetected.
An unnoticed leak can cause low water pressure and high water bills. It can create a musty, hard to get rid of odor in the home. If the leak is not discovered in time, it can lead to problems with structural integrity as cracks spread from the foundation to a home’s floors and walls.
But is a slab leak covered by homeowner insurance? The experienced professionals at Plumbing by Jake can help you figure out the planning and red tape involved with a slab leak and reinforce the integrity of the plumbing once your home is built. Call us for solutions.
Homeowners Insurance and Slab Leaks
Foundation issues are covered by homeowner insurance. This typically includes slab leaks and cracks if the damage is caused by a pipe leaking or bursting. Usually, homeowner’s insurance covers costs for removing or replacing the slab, but most insurance will not pay to fix the busted or leaking pipes.
In other words, a home’s insurance will cover the structure and foundation of the house if the damage originated from a covered peril. In property insurance terms, a peril is considered any event that does damage or causes a loss to the property. Certain perils are covered under an insurance policy. Other perils are not covered, and these are known as insurance exclusions.
Unfortunately, normal wear and tear to an aging slab is usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. For example, if an oak tree root stretches underneath the home’s slab foundation and gradually applies pressure to the plumbing until it eventually cracks a pipe—homeowner insurance does not typically cover the cost for this type of repairs to either the plumbing or the slab.
Slab Leak Perils Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance
It is essential to check your insurance policy to review the distinct types of perils or damage that it covers. Your insurer should pay the costs to remove and replace the slab or repair any damage created by the covered peril or event.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies have personal-property coverage, which will also help repair or replace any furniture or belongings damaged by water or other events caused by a slab leak. Homeowner insurance usually covers slab leaks and cracks caused by:
- Burst pipes
- Collapse because of rain, snow, ice, or sleet
- Fallen trees
- Frozen plumbing if heat was maintained in the house
- Hot water heating suddenly cracking or leaking
Slab Leak Exclusions Not Covered by Homeowner Insurance
In most cases of slab leaks and cracks, the culprit is a gradual issue or occurs because of natural cases. Unfortunately, these types of perils are not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Homeowner insurance typically does not cover slab leaks or cracks caused by the following perils or events:
- Earth naturally settles, expanding, shrinking, bulging, or cracking of the foundation
- Faulty construction, design, or engineering
- General wear and tear, or the marring or deterioration of the slab
- Rodents, insects, and vermin
- Tree root pressure
Broken Pipes and Homeowner Insurance
Even though a pipe bursting and causing water damage to a slab foundation is covered by most homeowner insurance policies, the cost of fixing the broken pipes is on you. What is worse is if you discover a broken pipe under or embedded in a slab, but the slab itself is not damaged yet, it is likely that you will be stuck with the costs to remove the slab so the broken pipes can be repaired or replaced.
Having an expert plumber or a foundation contractor inspect a home’s slab yearly can help avoid these types of situations. Professionals like this can identify any potential issues before they turn into expensive problems.
Another way to prevent expensive fixes is to look out for the warning signs of a slab leak. A few of these warning signs include:
- Damp spots or puddles on the floor or carpet
- Higher water bills without higher water usage
- Low water pressure
- Mold or mildew odors
- Unexplained sound of running water
- Unexplained warm areas of the floor
- Visual cracks in the slab
The Cost of Repairing a Slab Leak
According to data compiled by Home Advisor, in 2022, the average cost to repair a slab leak was $2,300. That means repairs can run from $630 to $4,400 or more. There are many factors involved in determining how much it will cost to repair a slab leak.
A few of these factors include:
- The labor costs
- A leak’s location and accessibility – Does it require tunneling or drilling holes?
- The repair method
- The extent of repairs to the slab – Should it be repaired or replaced?
It is important to understand the deductible on your homeowner’s insurance policy if a claim is filed. How much will the damaged slab cost to fix? If it is close to the policy’s deductible, think twice about filing a claim. Higher insurance rates tend to come after claims associated with water damage and foundation problems.
Let Plumbing by Jake Handle Your Plumbing Needs
In the best-case scenario, you will never have to experience a slab leak, but it is still better to be safe than sorry. The average homeowner may have difficulties finding a slab leak. That is why it is important to pay attention to the warning signs. It is also important to understand when and under what circumstances your homeowner’s insurance can and will help with slab leaks.
As far as the insurance goes, your provider can review your policy with you and answer any questions regarding the perils they cover and the ones the policy excludes. If you suspect you could potentially have or already have a slab leak, you should reach out to the experts at Plumbing by Jake to determine if there is a leak and how we can fix it.
We are available 24/7 to handle the big and small plumbing problems of Northern Arizona. We are backed by a five-star guarantee and offer 100% satisfaction. Call us so we can keep things flowing.