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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Piping Problems That Can Lead to Water Damage

12/29/2020 (Permalink)


  • Piping problems are a common cause of water damage.
  • Knowing the material and age of piping in your home can aid in avoiding any damage.
  • Based on material of piping, some insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage.

Did you know that water damage is the second most common type of insurance claim? There are many causes that can lead to water damage in your home or office, but the most common cause is due to piping problems.

With that being said, are you aware of how old your plumbing system is? In most situations the phrase “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” is true but it should never be applied to your pipes and plumbing. Knowing how old your pipes are and what material they are constructed of is vital information and can save you from needing to dealing with costly damage repairs down the line, because ignoring faulty or outdated plumbing pipe systems is an accident waiting to happen.  

Living in South Florida the two primary materials used for plumbing systems are cast iron or PVC. While these two materials are not the ONLY plumbing options, they do tend to be the most used.

Cast Iron pipes are said to be able to last up to 100 years in some locations. Many of the Florida homes that were built before 1975 contained plumbing systems made of cast iron because it was a material known for its long-life span, durability and ability to withstand heavy loads and high pressures. However, in south Florida, many systems have been found to fail in as few as 25 years due to Florida’s humidity levels and salt-rich soil. Piping failure has become so common in cast iron systems, that many residents are finding that their insurance companies are not covering costs related to water damage due to corroded plumbing.

PVC on the other hand, tends to be a common option due to its cost efficiency, but is just as prone to damages. PVC when constructed is held together by glued joints, when installed properly can be incredibly strong, however there is a small margin for error and when not installed properly can lead to major water damages in your home or office.

Other damages that piping can experience leading to or causing issues are tree roots and clogs. Tree roots naturally grow towards water, so if you have a pipe that is experiencing even the smallest of leaks, there is risk that the roots can find the line further damaging your pipes. Clogging in piping can also lead to water damage in your building if not dealt with properly. Unlike supply lines that can withstand continuous internal water pressure, drain pipes and joints are made to move water that is flowing under much less pressure. As clogs develop, water backs up inside the pipe and result in leaks or worst case, a burst pipe.

Home and building owners should make it a habit to inspect all of their pipes and plumbing fixtures at least annually. Doing so can prevent costly water damage and a headache down the road.

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