Radiant floor heating offers an efficient way to heat your home. However, the system can sometimes develop leaks. These systems use pipes to move heated water around your home, so any damage to one of the pipes can result in what is effectively a slab leak. You don't have to replace the entire system just to fix one leak, but you do have to find the leak quickly to prevent water damage including mold.
How Old Is the System?
Very old radiant floor heating systems can corrode, just like any plumbing system. If the system you have was installed long ago, the leak could be from one of the pipes or connections finally giving up. In that case, you may want to have the system inspected by a couple of repair companies and then replaced quickly after the leak has been patched.
Another problem with older systems is that some of them used tubing that later turned out to be defective. If you find your system has tubing marked as Entran I or Entran II, you'll need to have the tubing replaced.
Have Temperatures Dropped Below Freezing While the Power Was Out?
Radiant floor heating tubes should stay warm enough while the system is on to prevent the tubes or pipes from freezing. However, if the power goes out, the system -- which is usually electric-powered -- will not work. That leaves the pipes or tubes open to freezing, and they can burst if the ice expands enough. When the ice melts, that means the water will leak out. Those tend to be easier to locate because they'll likely be closer to the exterior walls of the house.
Could the Installation Have Been Done Poorly?
Of course, poor installation is always a culprit. If there have been no freezes and the system is new, bad installation or a defective part could be to blame. It is one of the more difficult issues to deal with, however, as you don't know if the bad job was limited to the area of the leak or if the entire system is now suspect.
A repair company will use a scanner to locate the source of the leak. Unless the system as a whole is too old or defective, you should be able to have the leak patched. These floor heating systems have been around for a long time, and repair and installation companies have many tactics for fixing leaks efficiently.