An old rusty cast iron plumbing in an old house
If you live in a home built before 1975, your pipes are probably made of cast iron, and you should check them for damage. Wear and tear is normal in residential pipe systems. Cast iron waste pipes last anywhere between 50 and 100 years. However, it may be time to replace cast iron pipes long before their lifetime is up. Deterioration of cast iron pipes is normal after just 25 years, so homeowners should conduct routine inspections. An estimated 76 million American homes have failed cast iron pipes that must be replaced.


If pipes appear rusted, decayed, discolored or cracked, owners should have a plumber determine if the entire piping system needs replacement.

Symptoms of water damage may include:

  • Slow drains
  • Clogs or backups
  • Foul smells from sewer gases
  • Roach/pest infestation
  • Warped or separated wood floors
  • Tinted (raised) floor tiles
  • Loose or broken floor tiles
  • Water-stained floor tiles (grout)
  • Water-stained/discolored carpet or rug/mat

Leaks can cause serious health problems, including coughing, sneezing, eye irritation, and fatigue. A broken plumbing system also lowers property value. For good home maintenance practices, homeowners should routinely inspect exposed tubing for signs of deterioration.


Coverage for water damage can be a grey area in the fine print of homeowners insurance policies. However, you may have a legitimate claim for damages if you suffered financial losses or health problems caused by water damage from bad pipes.

Most insurers exclude coverage for pipe repair or new pipes, but they may pay for damage resulting from deterioration, with one major rule: you did not have prior knowledge of the issue when you bought the home. Still, insurance companies are notorious for denying claims or providing low reimbursements for these issues.

We can help appeal a claim denial related to water damage or secure funding for a full system replacement. Protect your rights as a homeowner and contact us and get a free case evaluation today.

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