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Cast Iron Pipes Lawsuit in Alpharetta
While owning a home offers the promise of having a place to call your own, it does come with responsibilities. You’ll need to maintain your home to keep it suitable for habitation and receiving visitors. Sometimes, you may find it needs repairs you weren’t expecting, which can prove costly, especially when you try to file a claim through your homeowner’s insurance policy.
One particularly tricky problem that thousands of homeowners face is repairing cast iron pipes.
Homes built before 1975 often feature cast iron plumbing components. At the time of construction, manufacturers expected cast iron pipes to last between 50 and 75 years without the need for repairs. However, many homes have significant damage from old or worn-out cast iron pipes, and homeowners often have difficulty obtaining compensation for repairs through their insurance policy.
If you’ve noticed signs of damage from cast iron pipes in your Alpharetta home, it’s vital to seek the advice of a competent lawyer. An attorney can help you file a cast iron pipes lawsuit in Alpharetta and collect the compensation you need to repair your home. Contact Morgan & Morgan to schedule a free case review today.
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What are The Problem With Cast Iron Pipes?
As mentioned, many homes built prior to 1975 had cast iron pipe plumbing systems. Contractors used to claim that cast iron pipes would last decades before they began to break down. However, a significant number of homeowners have found out the hard way that these claims were untrue.
Today’s homes predominantly use plastic materials such as PEX and PVC for plumbing fixtures. PEX and PVC are much more resilient and are less likely to require serious repairs, even when they’re decades old.
Individuals who live in older homes with aging cast iron pipe systems often need help replacing lines in their plumbing systems, especially when signs of damage and deterioration begin to appear.
While you’d expect your homeowner’s policy to cover the repairs of your cast iron pipes, many providers deny their homeowner’s claims. Usually, they’ll argue that the damage has resulted from gradual wear and tear and that the homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover the damage.
Unfortunately, the cost of repairing plumbing systems out of pocket is often exorbitant. Homeowners might pay tens of thousands of dollars to repair pipes and joints, despite having active insurance policies.
The situation can become much more difficult if the homeowner doesn’t have the money needed to make repairs. In the worst-case scenario, the house may even become uninhabitable.
How Can a Cast Iron Pipes Lawsuit in Alpharetta Help?
Insurance companies use various excuses to deny claims related to aging cast iron pipes, such as natural wear and inadequate maintenance. They may also try to find other clauses that exempt your claim from coverage, like failure to file within a reasonable timeframe.
If your insurer denies your claim, you have the option of filing a cast iron pipes lawsuit in Alpharetta with Morgan and Morgan. Our attorneys can negotiate with your insurance provider to obtain the money you need to repair your home’s plumbing system. If they refuse to offer an adequate settlement sum, we have no problem taking them to court.
With that being said, time is of the essence when filing your claim. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the damage to your home will worsen. Furthermore, it may become more challenging to obtain a fair settlement.
For these reasons, it’s best to seek legal advice immediately following a claim denial from the company that handles your homeowner’s insurance.
What are Signs of Cast Iron Pipe Damage?
It’s a good idea to inspect your plumbing system and surrounding areas for signs of deterioration regularly and seek repairs when needed. If you fail to make improvements in a timely fashion, small issues can easily escalate to major damage. If you’re planning on selling your home, you may find that it doesn’t pass an inspection, making it difficult to market it without significant investment.
Plumbing damage can also cause illness to a home’s inhabitants if not addressed promptly. Depending on the nature of the issue, you may find that your house attracts more rodents or pests.
A few of the most common signs of damage to your cast iron plumbing system include:
- Bad smells from kitchen or bathroom drains
- Slow or inconsistent drainage
- Frequently clogged drains
- Warped or uneven flooring
- Discolored floor mats or rugs
- Moisture stains on the walls, floors, or ceilings
- An increase in pests, including roaches, ants, and mice
- Mold growth
If you happen to notice any of these signs, contact your homeowner’s insurance provider immediately and schedule the necessary repairs.
Why Cast Iron Pipes Fail?
There are many reasons why cast iron pipes fail, but most relate to corrosion.
Corrosion is dangerous since it can impact the safety of your drinking water supply and cause further deterioration to pipes in other locations. Sometimes, corrosion can even lead to burst pipes, which can cause significant damage to your home and belongings if not caught quickly.
Corrosion also produces foul-smelling drains and water. No one wants to shower or brush their teeth with water tainted with rust and other elements of a decaying cast iron pipe.
Other common reasons for cast iron pipe failures include:
- Naturally damp soil surrounding the pipes, which can produce corrosion over time
- Failure to install lines correctly
- Flushing acidic chemicals from household cleaning supplies down the drain
- Construction around your house or in nearby areas
- Significant levels of pesticides in the soil
A plumber will be able to diagnose the cause of your leaky cast iron pipes and formulate an appropriate plan for repairs.
What are the Costs to Repair Cast Iron Pipes?
Repairing deteriorating cast iron pipes only gets more costly as time goes on. Failure to address problems over the long term could potentially lead to tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
Get help as soon as you start to notice signs that you have a plumbing issue. The earlier you catch the problem, the smaller your repair bill will be. You’ll also reduce the chances that you’ll end up needing a complete plumbing system replacement.
A minor structural issue may only cost a few hundred dollars to fix. Total replacement of your plumbing system, however, can cost upwards of $50,000 or more. If plumbing complications have caused additional damage to your home, like warped flooring or damaged walls, the bill can easily shoot up to $100,000. If conditions are especially dire, your entire home may even be a total loss.
If you’ve been making regular mortgage payments on your home for years, finding out that it’s a lost cause can be devastating. No one should have to discover that all the money they’ve put toward paying off their home has essentially been wasted.
What are Reasons Why Insurance Companies Deny Claims for Cast Iron Pipes?
When your insurance provider finds out that you need an entirely new plumbing system, they’re likely to try to blame you for the issue. Most insurers don’t want to pay tens of thousands of dollars toward home repairs, valid and necessary though they may be, as it threatens to eat into their profits.
Some of the most common excuses a home insurance provider may come up with for denying a claim related to leaky pipes include:
- Claiming that the damage was pre-existing
- Pointing out that your policy doesn’t specifically include water damage
- Arguing that you failed to get regular maintenance on your plumbing system
- Classifying unforeseeable damage as ordinary wear and tear
If your insurance company denies your claim unfairly, hiring an attorney to file a cast iron pipes lawsuit in Alpharetta may be wise.
What Should I Do if My Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
First of all, try to stay calm. You might be facing thousands of dollars in potential expenses, but remember that the claim denial could be illegitimate. Many insurance providers try to deny claims when they can, expecting their customers to step up and shoulder the bill.
But you pay for insurance coverage for incidents just like this. The burden shouldn’t be yours to carry, especially if you take good care of your home.
That’s why it’s a good idea to seek the advice of a qualified attorney.
If you have a valid claim, your lawyer will pursue a cast iron pipes lawsuit in Alpharetta on your behalf. Most lawyers don’t charge for their services unless or until they win a settlement or court verdict for you. In other words, if they fail to win your case, you won’t owe them a penny.
How Long Does It Take to Replace a Cast Iron Plumbing System?
The time it takes to replace a cast iron plumbing system can vary depending on the size of your home and the complexity of your system. Homes with multiple stories or large numbers of bathrooms and other water outlets may take longer to restore. The accessibility of your piping system is another factor that can slow the progress of such a project.
Should I Report Damage to a Pipe to My Insurance Company?
Unless the pipe has caused damage to your home, it’s not advisable to contact your insurance agency. You won’t have a valid claim to present, and you’ll be alerting them to potential problems that may or may not arise in the future, giving them a chance to come up with excuses to avoid paying for them.
If you experience an issue with the same pipe in the future and it ends up causing damage to your house, your insurer may try to argue that you’re at fault for the damage since you knew there was a previous issue.
If you’re concerned about communicating a plumbing issue to your insurance company, it can help to seek legal assistance. An attorney at Morgan & Morgan can help you determine the best course of action.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim With My Insurance Provider?
Most insurance providers limit the time homeowners have to file a claim in their policy details. You’ll need to review your policy to determine your timeline for filing a claim.
Generally, it’s best to start a claim as soon as you discover signs of damage. Waiting too long may cause you to lose your right to repairs and incur unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses.
Get Help From the Trusted Attorneys at Morgan & Morgan
Morgan and Morgan is the nation’s largest personal injury law firm. We’ve helped thousands of clients obtain the compensation they needed to repair damage to their homes from stingy insurance providers. We look forward to doing the same for you.
Don’t risk letting aging cast iron pipes devalue your home or belongings. Contact us today to schedule your free case review.