If you’re the owner of a home or other property that was built before 1975, there’s a good chance it uses cast iron piping. Prior to 1975, the vast majority of Florida properties contained cast iron pipes. Despite these pipes purporting to have expected life expectancy of 80 to 100 years, many homeowners across the U.S. are now seeing cast iron pipe failure. Failure rates are occurring decades earlier than anticipated as a result of premature corrosion. The introduction of PVC rendered cast iron obsolete, but the material remains prominent in many Miami homes and buildings.
Cast iron pipe systems throughout Florida are actively corroding, and waterfront areas like Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are even more susceptible due to the salt and moisture- rich environment. This corrosion causes weakened and leaky pipes, which can raise consumer water bills and slowly leak sewage into your personal supply. If left alone, these damages can lead to total failure, resulting in major sewage leaks and devastating water damage to your house structures, lawns, and other personal property. 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. Due to the rise in cast iron pipe failure across Florida, it’s important for homeowners who have these pipes in their home to be aware of how they might identify signs that their cast iron pipes are deteriorating. Identifying these early signs of damage may help you avoid some of the catastrophic water damage and resulting expenses.
Signs of cast iron pipe failure include:
If you have any doubt whatsoever regarding your cast iron pipes, you should contact a professional to fully evaluate your plumbing system for leaks, corrosion or other issues that could cause a plumbing failure. Property owners must understand that it is not a matter of “if”, but “when” your cast iron pipes will fail due to corrosion and rust.
Before contacting your insurance company, contact an experienced insurance claims lawyer who can assess your homeowner’s insurance policy and defend your rights to coverage if your insurer attempts to deny or underpay your claim wrongfully.