Cast iron pipes were once popular for homes and businesses in Florida. Due to its low cost and relative reliability, cast iron pipes were a mainstay of home and commercial plumbing construction in Florida until 1975 when PVC piping preempted it as the industry standard.
As noted by the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Society, cast iron pipes held up well in drier climates as opposed to the moist salt-laden soil found near many Florida homes, which causes corrosion. Many older homes in Florida still have cast iron plumbing today.
Navigating cast iron pipe failure can be a nightmare, resulting in property damage, sewage backups, pest infestations, and more, which is why it’s important to hire an experienced insurance lawyer to determine if you have a case for cast iron pipe damage.
The Florida property insurance lawyers at Tighe P.A. can help you. We’re experienced with cast iron pipe claims in Florida for homeowners as well as businesses. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation!
How to Spot Cast Iron Plumbing Failure
In some cases in Florida, cast iron pipes fail suddenly and without warning, which can leave homeowners with the choice of fighting insurance companies or personally paying to replace damaged pipes and other damaged property such as a concrete slab, flooring, or walls.
However, in most cases cast iron pipes may show progressive signs of pending failure, giving you time to act. If you live in a Florida home built before 1975 and notice any of these warning signs of cast iron pipe failure, take action immediately.
Discolored water can indicate cast iron pipes are corroded and leaching rust into the water supply. Specifically, the water will appear yellow or brown instead of clear due to pipe corrosion. Discolored water due to failing cast iron pipes can be harmful to both your health and your appliances.
While slow drainage is often a sign of a clog, it can also signify a pipe break. While it may be tempting to use a chemical draining agent to solve slow drains, a corrosive chemical may instead cause additional damage to cast iron pipes, and possibly your entire plumbing system. If you experience slow drainage, have your home inspected by a professional plumber.
Foul smells can also indicate a break in your cast iron waste pipes. Specifically, the foul smells result from gas or sewage leaking through small cracks in the piping. This can be both unpleasant and a health hazard within your home.
Damp Walls and Floors
Damp walls and floors can indicate a leak in your cast iron pipes. Depending on the severity of the break in the pipe, puddles may also form on the floor or ground. This can cause structural damage to your home and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Mold can be hazardous to your health and can cause respiratory issues. Mold infestation can result from leaks or dampness caused by failing cast iron pipes. This is because mold thrives in moist environments with poor ventilation.
Foundation issues can be a result of water damage from leaks in cast iron drain pipes. Water from old cracked pipes can erode your home’s foundation, causing it to become compromised due to settling or cracking.
Florida is home to many pests that can be attracted to dampness caused by leaks in cast iron pipes. Roaches and flies are especially drawn to damp environments, which can lead to an unpleasant and unsafe living environment.
Broken cast iron pipes can cause mold to develop, which can also exacerbate health conditions such as allergies. Mold can prolong and intensify the symptoms of underlying health conditions, such as asthma or skin rashes.
How Long Do Cast Iron Pipes Last in Florida?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cast iron pipes can endure for approximately 50 years. Similarly, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors also estimates cast iron pipes having a lifespan of roughly 50 years in Florida. However, Florida’s harsh climate and high humidity levels can shorten the lifespan of cast iron pipes to where problems start after around 20 years.
Does Insurance Cover Cast Iron Pipe Damage?
Whether or not your homeowners’ insurance policy covers cast iron pipe damage depends on the language of your policy. As many insurance companies exclude pipe damage, you may still be able to obtain coverage limited to $10,000 with Citizen Property Insurance Corporation.
Alternatively, your damage may be covered if you elected the Managed Repair Contractor Network with Citizen Property Insurance Corporation.
What To Do When Your Cast Iron Pipes Break
Cast iron pipes can cause significant damage to your Florida home and personal property. If your cast iron pipes break, it is important to take immediate action to minimize the damage. Along with reducing property damages, you can also take steps to strengthen your insurance claim.
Call A Property Damage Insurance Lawyer
Insurance companies want people to remain in the dark regarding their legal rights. A Florida property insurance attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. They can also help you determine if you have a valid cast iron pipe claim or lawsuit and advise you on the best actions to take when dealing with insurance companies.
Document the Property Damage
Documenting the property damage due to broken cast iron pipes is essential to making a successful insurance claim. Take photos of the damage, make a list of damaged items, and keep receipts for any repairs or replacements. This will help you present a clear and accurate picture of the damage to your insurance company.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after cast iron damage occurs. The insurer will provide a claim number and guide you through filing a claim. Many insurance companies deny coverage if a claim is not reported within 72 hours.
Contact Tighe P.A. for a Free Consultation for Your Cast Iron Pipe Claim
If you need help with a cast iron pipe claim for your Florida home or business, look no further than Tighe P.A. Our experienced team of property insurance lawyers are fearless in fighting powerful insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation and case evaluation.