In our post on cast iron plumbing
in Florida, we looked at the basics of this growing problem for area homeowners. We explained the origins of the situation, how cast iron corrodes, and why it’s coming to a head at this time. In this post, we’ll drill deeper into the details, and discuss practical, proactive steps homeowners can take. Cast iron piping failures are a unquestionably a sign of our times.
There are about 4.8 million single-family homes
in the state of Florida. Of these, somewhere between 2 million (40%) and 2.4 million (50%) have cast iron drain piping. The youngest of these homes is now 44 years old. That’s because builders stopped using cast iron after 1975.
CAST IRON PIPING FAILURES
Cast iron drain piping has a theoretical useful life of 50-75 years. Indeed, in other parts of the country and of the world, that may be the case. It is becoming clear, however, that our region is different. Conditions in Florida are very tough on cast iron. We’re talking about underground piping, after all, and our soil is salty and moist. That’s a perfect storm for corrosion where cast iron is concerned. Now, as the youngest homes with cast iron piping reach 44 years, it’s becoming clear. Cast iron piping failures are an epidemic in Florida.
IS IT YOUR PROBLEM?
Based on the numbers above, if your house was built before 1975 the odds are almost 50-50 that it is your problem. Or will be. If you’re seeing the symptoms of drain piping failure, it’s an urgent problem. These indicators include:
- Backing up in drains and toilets
- Discolored, bulging, cracked floor tiles
- Water stains in carpets
- Sewage odors in the house
In this case, it’s critical to act immediately to minimize damage and strengthen your insurance claim.
If your home is still symptom-free, it’s nevertheless still a serious, ticking-clock problem that demands your attention. There’s surely no getting around fixing it, other than selling the house and moving out. A good first step is a Sewer Scope video inspection of the piping. A colonoscopy for the drain plumbing, in essence. An experienced inspector can make a very good assessment of your cast iron plumbing this way. The inspection report will then guide your next steps.
This is a good time, too, to contact Florida Loss Public Adjusters
to discuss your situation. We’ve gained a great deal of experience in getting compensation for homeowners with cast iron plumbing. This, obviously, is critical because fixing it is very costly. Digging up and replacing cast iron piping for a 2,000 square foot house can run up to $50,000. The main thing is, don’t put it off. Time is absolutely not on your side.