M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal — Owners, Developers & Managers — Insurance/Title — October 22 - November 18, 2021 — 7C I nsurance /T itle


E.B. Cohen Maintaining plumbing systems - Proactive facilities managers can ensure their structure remains safe


installed in many structures built before 1960. However, it generally doesn’t last more than 25 years, and when the zinc coating eventually cor- rodes, it can reduce or com- pletely block the flow of water. This buildup increases the risk for leaks and may affect the water quality since metals begin to seep into the water supply and cause discoloration and an unpleasant taste. Lead — Lead piping was widely used in water supply systems until it was banned in new U.S. plumbing systems in 1986. Around that time,

communities began to recog- nize the health effects of lead exposure, including anemia, kidney and brain damage, and even death. Metals such as brass and cast iron — Pipes made out of metals like brass and cast iron are subject to corrosion and should be replaced. Water heater failure — Every water heater will give out at some point due to their constant subjection to pres- sure. Their failure may come in the form of a slow leak or sudden combustion, which usually results in a crack or

big burst that releases water. A typical commercial water heater that is properly main- tained and cared for should last about 20 years, but be aware of the following signs when scouting for water heat- er failure: ▪ Lack of hot water — The most common sign of a failing water he▪ater is insufficient hot water. ▪ Popping or rumbling noises — These noises are typically caused by pockets of air boiling in the hard water and min- eral buildup that accumulates on the surface of the water

heater. ▪ Cloudy water —Murky and foul-smelling water are both signs of water heater failure. ▪ Leaking or faulty pressure relief valve — Mineral salt, rust and corrosion buildup can cause the pressure relief valve to freeze and stop functioning. ▪ Leaking tank water —Pool- ing water beneath the tank may indicate that the heater is cracked and needs to be replaced. Nowadays, copper is com- monly used in the construction of plumbing systems. While its continued on page 10C

ging Buildings - Plumbing Systems Modern plumbing can

often be taken for granted, but once there’s an issue, it can be detrimental to the integrity of the building, especially after the building is 30 years old. Maintaining plumbing sys- tems can prove challenging be- cause most of the piping is out of sight, primarily concealed in walls and under slabs. It can be easy to overlook mainte- nance until a problem occurs. The following are some of the many issues that can arise due to damaged or aged plumbing: Water Damage - the aver- age cost for water damage res- toration is between $3.75 and $7 per square foot. It can be costly repair project that can render a space uninhabitable for weeks at a time. Mold - Exposure can lead to congestion, eye and skin irritation, and trouble breath- ing. Black mold can form if the problem is ignored, caus- ing more severe symptoms, including upper respiratory infections, chronic lung illness, and chest inflammation. Water Quality - Poor water quality due to plumbing issues can potentially lead to adverse health effects, including gas- trointestinal illnesses, nervous system or reproductive effects, and chronic diseases such as cancer. Why Failures Can Happen Plumbing Failures can be the result of several factors, including: Out-of-date piping com- ponents —Plumbing pipes have changed a lot over the years. Past piping that is no longer adequate includes: Polybutylene — This rela- tively inexpensive and easy-to- install piping was installed in millions of buildings from the 1970s to the 1990s. However, it later became apparent that standard water treatment chemicals, (such as chlorine and antibacterial products), caused the material to become brittle, leading to cracking and breakage. As the pipes degraded, water quality issues emerged as chemicals leached into the water. Polybutylene cannot be repaired and must be replaced, as building codes no longer recognize it in the United States and Canada. Galvanized Iron —This steel or iron piping was coated with a protective layer of zinc to limit water corrosion. It was

YOU R L I A B I L I T Y I N S U R AN C E U NQU E S T I ONA B L Y H A S A P O L L U T I ON E X C L U S I ON That means no protection against direct and indirect liability losses, and property devaluation, caused by mold, bacteria, legionnaires disease, oil spillage, lead, and many more pollution-related claims. E. B. Cohen Insurance and Risk Management has solutions and coverages to fill this gap in your security.


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