Homeowners are responsible for the upkeep of their homes, but there are some things out of their control.
The average homebuyer assumes the materials made in the construction of their home were reliable and safe, but for many homeowners who purchased their Florida homes before 1975 this was not the case. The cast iron plumbing in their homes is failing or has already failed over time, causing water damage, leaking sewage, clogged drains, infestation of pests, and countless health risks.
These cast iron pipes that were installed in the homes when they were originally built have deteriorated and caused property damage.
And unfortunately, in many cases, insurance companies are denying claims related to the problem because they are saying it’s “wear and tear” or “water damage” and therefore excluded from the policy. Even homeowners who were able to place claims received far less than they deserved.
This means homeowners are on the hook for paying for plumbing repairs and replacing damaged items out of pocket. If you believe your home could be suffering from failing cast iron pipes or you’ve already experienced a flood or other damage due to problems with pipes, you might be eligible to take legal action.
Why Cast Iron Pipes are a Problem
Modern homes are built with PVC piping. If your home was built in the last 30 or 40 years, there’s a high likelihood it has PVC pipes and you won’t need to worry about deterioration.
However, if you live in an older home in Florida built before 1975, there’s a good chance cast iron piping was used.
These cast iron pipes were supposed to have a lifespan of 50 to 75 years, which means they’d still be working today. However, many Florida homeowners have realized this estimated lifespan is inaccurate and their pipes are already failing. Much of this is due to Florida’s humid environment – it speeds corrosion and has led to damage and destruction in homes across the state.
Some homeowners began experiencing plumbing problems after just 25 years – half of the low-end estimate for the length of time these pipes were supposed to function!
It’s estimated that nearly 2.4 million homes in the state have cast iron pipes and all of these people will be dealing with problems and need to replace their plumbing, if they haven’t already done so. And in far too many cases, insurance companies are denying claims related to these problems.
How Can You Tell If Your Pipes are Failing?
The earlier you identify a problem with your cast iron pipes the better. It might help you avoid serious damage to your home.
Signs your pipes are failing include:
- Slow drainage
- Water backups in your drain or toilet
- Discolored floor tiles and tile grout
- Broken, cracked, or raised floor tiles
- Water-stains on carpet/rug
- Pest infestation
- Foul smells in your home
If you believe failing cast iron pipes are a problem in your home, we can help. You could be eligible for a home inspection to determine if there is a problem. If your home was built before 1975 and you are experiencing any of the above symptoms of failing pipes, you should take action immediately before any further damage occurs.
If it is determined your pipes are failing, you could be entitled to compensation for property damage and plumbing repairs, even if the insurance company has already underpaid or denied your claim.
Every situation is different and you’ll need to have your home evaluated before moving forward with a legal claim. To learn more, contact an experienced attorney.