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Cast Iron Pipes

By December 5, 2017Uncategorized

The Cast Iron Pipe Problem

If you live in a home that was built before 1975, chances are your plumbing system consists of cast iron pipes. Cast iron pipes can corrode over time compromising their structural integrity.

It is estimated that about 76 million homes in America have cast iron pipes that must be replaced or risk severe plumbing problems. Common problems like a potentially catastrophic sewer backup into the home, roach/pest infestation, slow or clogged drains, and other types of damage due to pipe corrosion. 

Cast Iron Pipes In Florida

In Florida alone, nearly two and a half million homes suffer from this problem and need urgent attention. Although cast iron pipes have been used in many different water systems throughout the United States in the last hundred-plus years, they do deteriorate over time. In addition they have a lifespan of only between 40 and 50 years. They can even begin to develop problems at 25 years old, depending on their certain circumstances.

Because of the salt and moisture rich environment, Florida homes are especially susceptible to this type of pipe corrosion.  Many residents are finding that their insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage due to corroded plumbing. Even if the effects of water damage can be quite significant and cost upwards of $10,000-$30,000 to repair or more.

A sewer backup into the home can be particularly detrimental to your property as well as to your health because you could potentially be exposed to harsh chemical additives, bacteria, pathogens and other harmful substances. 

Water Damage Caused By Cast Iron Pipes

Water damage is the second most common type of insurance claim. Between 20-30% of all property damage is caused by water.

cast iron pipes

Cast Iron Pipes Can Cause Severe Water Damage

Ignoring a faulty plumbing pipe system is just an accident waiting to happen, and it could only be a matter of time before you are faced with having to deal with an expensive emergency due to compromised cast iron pipes.

There is an ongoing lawsuit in Florida fighting to get insurance companies to replace cast iron pipes with new pipes, and you may have a claim for damages if you have experienced monetary loss or health issues caused by water damage from corroded pipes. 

Know Your Insurance Coverage

If you had no previous knowledge that your pipes could deteriorate because they are made of cast iron, then you could have a claim. Insurance companies are notorious for giving lower reimbursements for this type of damage. Sometimes the insurance company can deny a claim completely, even though the policy technically covers it.

So you have to know your insurance coverage, and how to process the claim correctly.

TIP: Always hire a public adjuster for a cast iron pipe claim

Because of how many claims are denied, there is a class action law suit that has been filed. So many people have experienced this problem that insurance companies are scrambling to stem the tide of claims and minimize their losses by denying claims and re-writing policies to exclude coverage for this very problem.

To top it off many policy rates are increasing, and providing minimal stop-gap coverage for the issue that does little more than put a bandaid on it. 

Be Careful

They are instead framing policyholder claims as fraudulent and using that to justify the denial of claims. You can be left holding the bill even though you should be covered.

Policyholders have oftentimes been awarded insurance payouts 3 times higher than those without representation.

Contact us as Total Care Restoration for an estimate, and help protect your rights as a consumer. 

Get A Second Opinion

If your insurance company has sent a plumber or hired an engineer to go to your home and evaluate your property, it is in your best interest to get a second opinion. If you have experienced minor leaks, or have seen rusty pipes, dimpling, discoloration or flaking on your pipes, then there is a good chance that they are corroding.

The inevitable remedy will be to replace them so that you can be sure they will not be causing water damage in your home. If you think that your pipes are corroded, the best thing is to hire a professional. You need to get an expert assessment of the situation. 

How Can You Tell If You Have A Cast Iron Pipe

If you have any of the following you may have a cast iron pipe that is causing a problem:

  • Bad smell that you can’t tell where it is coming from
  • Leaks
  • Roaches
  • Frequent Backups 

How Much Does It Cost To Replace?

Replacing a cast iron pipe without water damage will be much cheaper. However, most people realize they have a problem when it is to late.

Replacing all of the plumbing in a 1,500 square foot could cost between $8,000 and $10,000. This doesn’t include water damage which could add another $10,000 – $30,000. 

Plumbing Repairs

Our friends at Hernandez Plumbing can do an inspection to find out if you have a cast iron pipe that is corroding.

With this type of work it is extremely important that you use a license plumber with experience. This is not a simple job an it requires very technical knowledge.

In most cases, cast iron sewer pipes should last 75 years in a residential application. In commercial applications, the lifespan of cast iron drain pipes is 30-50 years

Final Word

Contact us, at Total Care Restoration for an unbiased opinion. If you didn’t know that there is was a problem with your pipes, then you could have a claim. Nearly 40% of Florida homes have a cast iron pipe issue. So it pays to find out now, rather than later, if your home has an issue.

Was Your Home Built Before 1975?

If you have insurance, your policy might cover the replacement of  your old plumbing.

Contact us for a free consultation. We have helped many clients with their water damage cause by cast iron pipes in Miami and all over South Florida.

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