If your Florida home was built prior to 1975, your plumbing system likely consists of cast iron sewer pipes.
8 Signs Of Cast Iron Sewer Pipe Leaks
Sewer Gas Odor
If you can smell sewer gas in or around your home or building, this is a tell-tale symptom that there is a crack somewhere in your sewer system.
A cracked or leaky sewer pipe behind a wall can cause the humidity levels to rise, as a result a mold problem will begin.
Rats live in sewers and can make their way from your city/main line tie-in to the pipes running behind your walls.
Septic Waste In Yard
An obvious sign that you may have a leaky sewer pipe would be septic waste water pooling in your yard.
More extreme symptoms of sewer pipe corrosion include foundation issues such as cracks in your foundation slab, foundation settlement, and in some cases sinkholes.
An insect infestation may also be a symptom of a broken sewer line. Insects such as cockroaches, palmetto bugs, and sewer flies have a much easier time getting through sanitary sewer cracks into your home than rats.
A slow drain may be a symptom that a blockage is forming which will eventually lead to a sewage backup and water damage to your home.
Note: Beware of using chemical drain cleaners to solve a slow drain or blockage. As the chemical sit in the pipe they will eat away at the cast iron and/or PVC causing corrosion.
Lush Lawn Patches
Since sewage acts as a fertilizer for vegetation, leakage from your main line into the surrounding soil will give the surrounding grass extra nutrients that will result in a lush and extra green appearance.
Water Damage Caused By Cast Iron Pipes
Cast iron is incredibly strong and can be long-lasting, but cast iron sewer pipes are a different case altogether. It’s impossible to care for pipes that are buried underground and have waste and water running through them.
The combination of water and pipes almost always results in rust and rust buildup. After decades of use, it’s natural for the materials that run through these pipes to stick to and build up along the inside walls of the pipes. With this buildup then comes slow drains, clogs, and stoppages. And everyone’s experienced a slow drain from time to time so if any chemical drain cleaners are used, those contribute greatly to the corroding of your pipes.
Pipe deterioration can lead to water damage, water back-ups in the house, clogged or slow drains, leaking sewage, pest infestation, and possible health risks to building occupants
Florida homes are susceptible to cast iron pipe corrosion and leaks because of the salt and moisture rich environment. Residents are finding that their insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage or leaking sewage. 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, and pathogens
Just because you have not seen water damage as a result of leaking from cast iron pipes does not mean that they are not leaking. Cast iron pipes are under your concrete slab and behind your walls. Leaks can start as a pinhole before they gradually become bigger. Pinhole leaks may go one for some time before they are noticed when the leak becomes larger creating noticeable water damage. This is especially true for leaks under your concrete slab foundation.
Again, just because you do not see water damage does not mean your cast iron pipes are not failing.
Are Broken Pipes Under Slab Covered?
The earlier any under slab leak detection takes place through a plumbing inspection, the better the chances that such damage can be covered by your insurance policy.
A standard homeowners policy will usually reimburse the amount for tearing out and pouring the new slab in order that the pipes can be repaired, however, most of the carriers are not going to cover the cost to fix the broken pipes. And the slab leak needs to be resultant of a peril that is covered by your policy in order to provide any coverage for the damages that have happened to the structure or contents.
Can slab leaks be prevented?
You may not be able to prevent slab leaks caused by Mother Nature’s wrath, but there are still a few preventive steps you can take as a homeowner to help avoid slab leaks — and really expensive repair bills.
- Maintain proper water pressure for your house’s pipelines. We all love high water pressure, but if your place’s pipes are too narrow to handle the pressure you’ve set your water at, it can really compromise the pipeline’s integrity over time.
- Contact a local plumber to test the pH of your home’s water. If it’s too acidic, it’s likely to slowly corrode your pipelines.
- Be extremely careful of the chemicals you pour down your drain. Certain de-clogging liquids, for instance, often contain very harsh chemicals that compromise not only the environment, but your home’s water pipeline system, too.
Florida Pipe Lawsuits
Insurance companies are fighting not to pay these claims, and some are even writing this recovery out of their policy. We’ve handled many cast-iron pipe claims and can help you too.
Williams Law, P.A. , we’ll fight for homeowners against insurance companies. We also show homeowners how they can secure funding to replace their cast iron pipes.
How Dangerous are Sewage Back Ups?
Sewage backups are among one of the worst plumbing problems because of the risk that they present to homeowners and residents. Sewage can spread illness, disease and even death. The National Resources Defense Council reports that nearly 2 million cases of illnesses are caused by sewage contamination each year. Sewage is full of contaminants, viruses and bacteria that pose a serious threat to people and their pets. In addition, sewage may contain other toxic substances like pesticides, residuals from pharmaceutical drugs, fungi and protozoan.
Here are a few of the most common bacteria that are found in sewage and what they can do the human body:
- E. Coli – Causes abdominal cramping, diarrhea and occasionally death.
- Acanthomoeba – Causes eye, nose, throat and ear infections.
- Salmonella – Causes abdominal cramping and diarrhea
- Heliobacter Pylpri – Leads to increased chance of ulcers
- Hepatitis – Causes liver infection and liver failure
- Leptospirosis – Creates muscle aches and vomiting
What should you do if your insurance company refuses to hold up their end of the bargain?
Florida Cast Iron Pipe Lawsuit
How much is my case worth?
Call us for a free, no-obligation case review. We’ll evaluate the merits of your claim and determine what legal grounds you may have to fight for a better payout. It costs you nothing to feel out the strength of your case and you’ll leave with a better understanding of potential options for resolving your claim.
Don’t leave money on the table.
Do I really need an attorney?
We get it. Litigation can seem intimidating having an experienced insurance attorney on your side may be the best way to get a fair result for your claim. We understand insurance disputes. We won’t hesitate to take your insurance company to court for denying or low-balling your valid claim.
We’ll go head-to-head with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
How much will it cost?
We’ll handle your case on contingency, which means you never owe us any out-of-pocket fees or expenses. We only get paid if we recovery money for you. Think you’re getting jerked around by your insurance company? You may still have options for successfully resolving your claim.
We don’t get paid unless you win.