Living in a home with a municipal water system, i.e., a water line connected with the city’s freshwater supply, has many advantages. Still, it also comes with some complications from time to time.
One of the biggest frustrations that cause a costly expense for homeowners is having a water leak under your driveway.
Not only can a pipe leak lead to water damage and potential plumbing issues with your home’s foundation, but it can also result in higher water bills and wasted water.
If you find yourself in this troublesome situation or suspect you might need water line repair, it’s essential to take action.
This article will let you in on what to do if you have a water leak under your driveway, discuss the costs associated with this type of plumbing repair, and provide valuable information to support you in navigating this situation with as little frustration as possible.
Costs To Repair Water Leak Under Driveway
Before diving into the actions to take if you think you have a leak under your driveway, we’ll first clue you in on the costs of repairing these plumbing problems.
The average cost of repairing a water leak can vary widely depending on factors such as the severity of the leak, the specific location of the leak, the type of repair required, and labor costs in your area.
On average, homeowners typically pay around $950 for main water line repair, but there’s a wide range from $350 – $1,575 based on the factors mentioned above.
Labor costs alone are typically around $70 to $150 an hour, according to HomeAdvisor, but that’s included in that range.
And when it comes to water leaks under your driveway, that’s even more expensive due to the additional labor of addressing an underground leak. You may expect to pay closer to $3,000 on average or up to $5,000 if you have corroded copper pipes.
You may want to DIY (do it yourself) if you think you understand the issue, but most municipalities require a professional plumber to do this type of repair.
It’s especially important to get this type of work done by a professional if you want to sell a house fast in Milwaukee, as you don’t want to have cracked foundation repairs before selling the house.
Although this may sound expensive, getting your house ready for selling through plumbing repairs is one of the best ways to increase your home’s value.
What To Do if You Think You Have a Leak Under Your Driveway
Now that you understand the costs associated with underground pipes, it’s time to discuss what to do if you think you have this type of leak under your driveway.
How Do You Know If There’s a Leak?
If you notice a sudden increase in your water bill (without having extra people over for a long period of time), see pebbles or standing water near your driveway, or hear the sound of running water when there aren’t any faucets on, then you likely have a leak.
Low water pressure is also a likely sign of a plumbing issue.
To confirm, start by checking your water meter and comparing the readings when all water-consuming appliances are turned off. If the meter continues to run, it indicates a leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
Identifying Where the Leak Is Coming From
The first thing you’ll want to do is to identify where the leak is coming from. If you’ve noticed puddles of water in particular areas, trace the water back to its source.
If there’s random water on your driveway, for example, you can predict that there’s an underground plumbing pipe issue.
Of course, you can always hire a plumber to come and check for you if you’re having trouble identifying where the leak is coming from yourself.
Identifying Any Damage Caused by the Leak
Once you’ve confirmed where the leaking pipe is coming from, it’s important to assess any damage it might have caused thus far.
Look for signs of water damage, such as dampness or discoloration in your driveway, walls, or nearby structures. You can also inspect your home’s foundation for cracks or shifts since water leaks often compromise home stability.
Finally, checking for mildew or a musty smell is also key, as these are tell-tale indicators of prolonged moisture exposure.
Repairing the Leak and Your Driveway
Finally, if you or the plumber you’ve hired identify various plumbing problems or a significant leak, it’s time to schedule professional assistance to help sort out your underground plumbing pipes and potentially re-route your water line.
Contacting a reputable, experienced plumber is crucial to ensure effective, safe, and long-lasting repair that won’t cause further damage.
It’s also helpful to contact plumbers specifically experienced in leak detection and slab leak repair. They’ll likely use specialized tools and techniques to locate the source of the leak accurately.
Depending on the level of damage, the plumber may also need to excavate the affected area, replace or patch up the broken pipe, and ensure that the repair is up to code.
Once the leak is repaired and ready, the final step is ensuring you address any other damage in your driveway or house by consulting with a concrete slab repair contractor.
A slab leak repair cost can be high, but it’s an important part of fixing a driveway leak in its entirety.
Should You Landscape Your Driveway After a Leak?
After repairing a water leak under your driveway, you might consider landscaping to restore the appearance of your property back to normal.
However, it’s vital to evaluate the condition of your driveway and the potential of any remaining damage before you jump into landscaping.
You should only start a landscaping project once all necessary repairs are completed, as excessive moisture from the leak may have affected the soil beneath your driveway, and landscaping on top of that can lead to further issues.
If you’re considering a landscaping project and have only recently fixed a driveway leak, contact a professional to help you assess the condition of your driveway and discuss the best landscaping options and timing that won’t compromise your driveway’s foundation and stability.
Costs Associated With Repairing a Leak Under Your Driveway
We’ve discussed general average prices regarding repairing leaks under driveways, but now that you have more information about what a leak under a driveway might entail and the gravity of this issue, it might be helpful to discuss the costs in a bit more depth.
As previously mentioned, the costs associated with repairing a water leak under your driveway can vary greatly depending on several factors, including labor costs in your area, materials needs, the location and severity of the pipe, and the extent of the damage.
All of these factors might increase the overall expenses you might accrue, but on average, this can range anywhere from $500 to $5,000.
It’s closer to the more expensive side for driveway leaks, given that the leak requires general plumbing knowledge and knowledge about your slab foundation and sewer line.
Again, these are all estimates, and it might be wise to get two, three, or more estimates from the plumbing companies near you.
The primary cost associated with a water leak repair is labor. Plumbers normally charge at an hourly rate, and the complexity of the job affects how long it might take to get done, thus impacting the overall expenses.
More specifically, the time required for excavation, leak detection, pipe replacement or repair, and any other necessary re-routing will all contribute to the overall time and, thus, the overall labor costs.
Another factor to consider when evaluating the price is the cost of the materials for the repair, which might include:
- New pipe
- PVC vs. Copper pipes
In some individual cases, there may be additional costs tacked on due to unexpected labor in the repair process.
For example, if the pipe leak caused damage to other areas of the plumbing system or to the home’s foundation, those repairs will add to the overall costs, as the plumber cannot just focus on the initial leak.
Or, if tree roots caused the leaks, you may want to pay to get your tree removed to prevent future damage.
Some people – whether credit or cash home buyers in Wisconsin – may have homeowners insurance policies that can cover some or all of the associated driveway leak costs. Of course, the insurance coverage will vary depending on the specific poly and circumstances of the leak.
We’ve discussed many costs associated with water line leaks under your driveway, but it’s important to note the potential savings of getting your pipes fixed.
Addressing a water leak promptly and professionally can significantly reduce your water bill since these sorts of leaks can waste a substantial amount of water over time.
That said, by fixing the leak, you’ll save on your monthly water expenses and positively contribute to water conservation efforts.
Plus, if a leak doesn’t get addressed, it can cause further damage to the area surrounding it and even your home’s foundation, leading to more costly repairs needed down the line.
If you are dealing with a worrisome water leak under your driveway, it’s imperative to take action and find a qualified plumbing company to help you check your water pipes.
These plumbers can help you identify the source of the leak and address any damage it’s caused to the pipe and the surrounding area.
Keep in mind the potential costs – including labor, materials, slab leak repair cost, and additional repairs – but also keep in mind the likely savings over time.
And if you’re reading this article to make sure your home is ready for sale – good for you for striving to sell the best house possible! We buy houses in New Berlin and other areas, so feel free to reach out.