Robert W. "Bob" Jensen, P.E.
bjensen@jensenengineers.com

Michael S. Jensen, P.E.
mjensen@jensenengineers.com

972-994-9872
972-994-0747
972-692-5713 fax

PLUMBING PROBLEMS

See also: Drainage Problems, Trees - Lethal Weapons and Foundation Movement

Excess moisture introduced into soils beneath your foundation can have devastating impacts in the form of upheaval or settlement.  Because the amount of movement is related to amount of moisture gain, plumbing leakage can pose major problems to your foundation.   

Damage to your plumbing system can occur in many ways, ranging from simple deterioration of older cast iron systems to poor installation of newer PVC type systems.  Homes reaching 35-40 years of age or greater have increased probability of pipe deterioration.  The process of lifting a foundation can disturb such a system which is near failure, prompting the homeowner to think the repair contractor is to blame.  In actuality, the system would have failed in the nearer term and repairs only accelerated the process.  As a result, the contractor typically will not guarantee an intact plumbing system after foundation repairs are completed.
 


Deteriorated Cast Iron Pipes


Repaired Sewer System


If you see suspicious signs of structural movement you may be a victim of plumbing leakage.  These signs include, but are not limited to drywall cracking, sheared drywall tape, door misfits, and sloping floors.  Typically, floors will heave upward near point of leakage, but heaving can also occur away from a moisture source if under-slab mobilization occurs.  We also have found settlement in a slab with plumbing leaks, contrary to most soil behavior theory. 

A plumber specializing in leak detection can test for leakage, both in pressurized water supply lines and the sewer system.  After leakage is repaired, foundation heaving may reverse to some degree, but not always.  Sometimes it will be necessary to underpin and lift lower areas to match higher elevations.  
 

Because effects of plumbing leakage can be very complex, Jensen Engineers can help you with this problem.   Please call for an appointment