February, 2014

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Basement Flooding and Water Mitigation

Basement Flooding and Water Mitigation

by: Rick Kinney

Do you have the basement flooding water mitigation woes? Because a basement nature is usually a underground structure, basements are prone to water and moisture damage. It doesn’t take the ‘Delaware’ or ‘Schuylkill’ rivers to over flow their banks and or a major hurricane like ‘Sandy’ to cause basement flooding in southeastern pennsylvania. In reality, underground basement cellar flooding usually happens due to water build up in the surrounding soil and subsurface water saturation.

Therefore what is a property owner to do when the basement floods or a sump pump overflows? Prevention is constantly the best remedy, particularly when it comes to your dwelling and personal belongings. Since one or more inches of water can cause thousands in revenue when repairing the home and replacing personal belongings damaged as the result of a basement flood.  Also tiny leaks can be major catastrophes if mold develops and takes over. If your basement cellar isn’t overwhelmed by flood waters today, then take the recommended precautions to avoid the absolute most typical basement underground cellar flooding issues. You will save your self a great deal of heartache (and cash) later on. A heater alone can cost $5,000.00, wallboard, insulation, flooring, furniture, belongings stored in the basement, and much more.

Initially, if you’ve got cinder block walls, use a waterproof compound or a tar base product following the manufacturers application specifications. DO NOT cut corners and be cheap during this step of water proofing the foundation walls. You may possibly also require a 2nd coating if water seepage goes on after the very first application. Utilize a waterproof coating that’s especially developed to block water moving through because of to hydrostatic stress or water pressure that causes basement walls to leak through and cause basement flooding.

What’s hydrostatic stress-force? This might be stress-force triggered by water in the soil which could range from the water table, rainfall runoff moving toward your home underground, or also your dwelling’s own roof gutter system.

Other prevention measures consist of repairing leaks, making sure there is appropriate drainage, and setting up a sump pump with a battery backup system just in case the power should go out during a severe storm. Water that leaks into a basement doesn’t always originate from a foundation leak. For instance, if you’ve got a leaking plumbing fixture or appliance above, where do you suppose the water is likely to show up? That’s right…down to the basement underground cellar!

Keep in mind that a defective gutter system can cause major basement flooding? Is rainwater draining correctly away from the basement foundation walls or is water gathering in the soil and pressing against your foundation cellar walls? Make certain that your dwelling’s gutters are draining correctly and are pitched away from the foundation basement cellar walls. Does the terrain near your house slope away from the foundation it or toward it? Preferably, the ground should slope away from the basement walls. If it does not then you may have to hire a professional to pitch the ground away or adjust the grade of the ground.

Sump pumps are typically utilized as a preventative device that discharges ground water that leaks in through foundation walls, french drains, and subsurface water out through a drain discharge pipe.  In the past, sump pumps had been utilized after flooding took place. Today, numerous municipalities have actually limited builders from routing rainwater from gutters to the sewer systems as they try to comply using the Clean Water Act. If the water isn’t carried away from your basement cellar, flooding can take place.

The sump pump functions is to eliminate or discharge water from the lowest parts of the cellar basement, also below the cellar basement flooring. A sump pit opening collects rising ground water. The sump pump triggers on as soon as the water reaches a “decisive” level and starts pumping the water out through the discharge drain line. The water is forced through the drain line discharge pipe that diverts it away from your dwelling’s cellar basement foundation.

A multitude of different kinds of sump pumps are on the market. Many utilize a “float” which activates the pump as soon as the water reaches a specific level. Some are created to work underwater while other types are not meant to get damp. Various materials such as plastic and cast iron impact the cost and lengthy term overall performance of the pumps. In addition, sump pumps can be driven by either water or electrical energy.

Sump pumps should have a “check valve” to avoid water from moving right back in when the pumping is finished. Or else, the water will flow  straight back in, activate the sump pump, and produce an endless pumping phase. Select the kind of sump pump that best satisfies your particular basement cellar. Make certain to inspect the sump pump frequently assuring that it will work efficiently when the time comes to keep the basement dry.

If your sump pump failed and or basement flooding occurred then call ADVOCATE PUBLIC ADJUSTMENT  for Expert advice and claims representation. We are Your Advocate in Property Damage Insurance Claims. Help is only a click away.  If you live in the following countiesBucksCounty, Chester County, Delaware County, MontgomeryCounty, and or PhiladelphiaCounty then we are only a phone call away.

Call (215) 364-4546


Rick Kinney

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Prevent basement flooding from snow melt and sump pump failure

Prevent basement flooding from snow melt and sump pump failure

By Rick Kinney


Twitter: @privateadjuster  


Basement Flooding 1

Bucks County Pennsylvania — While most residents in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and in the Philadelphia area are surely ready for higher temperatures and the resultant snow melt that will accompany them, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Services employees and all of the above mentioned county employees that have been plowing local roads all winter long now have another equally important task — to prevent storm drain flooding.

Crews have been working the last few days on storm sewer drains making sure that they are not blocked or frozen over from the accumulated snow and ice from this winter. In addition to clearing and digging ‘Catch Basins’ that help water runoff into area’s to help with storm sewer systems.

With temperatures expected to hit highs of between 41 and 45 degrees during today and 60 – 65 degrees Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Local areas such as BucksCounty, Chester County, Delaware County, MontgomeryCounty and Philadelphia accumulated snow on the ground is expected to melt significantly.

To make matters worse, Friday’s forecast also calls for a 100 percent chance of precipitation and thunder storms. Saturday to be in the upper 50’s as well as Sunday.

Prevent basement flooding if possible and have the right insurance protection

Homeowner’s need to understand that water that leaks through basement walls or backs up from a storm sewer or drain is specifically excluded under the exclusions part of the insurance policy found in Section 1 Property Coverages.

If you have a basement that has a sump pump then you will need to have the sump pump overflow endorsement or backup of sewer and drain endorsement in order for coverage to exist. Sump pumps should be check every year to see if they are working correctly and should have a battery backup just in case a severe storm causes a power outage. It is also important to make sure that the discharge line from the sump pump is not frozen.”

Please be advised that there are only a few companies’ that offer these types of endorsements. More importantly if you are lucky to get a sump pump or backup endorsement then make sure you select the correct limit of liability coverage. Some carriers will only offer $5,000.00 in total for dwelling-building coverage in addition to personal property damage in the basement. There are higher limits that you can select from such as $10,000.00, $20,000.00 or even the actual loss sustained which is the best coverage you could possibly get. The actual loss sustained means that the limit of coverage allowed would fall under the Coverage Dwelling limit.

Let’s face it a heater could cost $5,000.00 at minimum to replace. If you have a $5,000.00 limit and have thousands of dollars worth of building/ personal property damage then this obviously would not be enough and you will be out of pocket thousands of dollars. In addition to drying out the basement to avoid mold issues. Mold remediation can cost THOUSANDS of dollars to clean up professionally.

If you have any questions regarding the home insurance claim process then contact ‘Rick Kinney’ or his staff for a FREE No Obligation Policy review. Do not wait until its too late and the damage is done. Mold 

Rick KInney

Rick Kinney       ‘Your Advocate in Property Damage Home Insurance Claims ‘ Basement Flooding Bucks County, Basement Flooding Chester County, Basement Flooding Delaware County, Basement Flooding Montgomery County, Basement Flooding Philadelphia, Bucks County Sump Pump Failure, Chester County Sump Pump Failure, Delaware County Sump Pump Failure, Montgomery County Sump Pump Failure,


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Receive Professional Public Adjuster Help with a Home Insurance Claim from Advocate Public Adjustment

Receive Professional Public Adjuster Help with a Home Insurance Claim from Advocate Public Adjustment

In the aftermath of all the winter storms that we have been experiencing this winter (2014) such as ice storms, fallen trees damaging homes, frozen pipes bursting causing severe water damage to a home and or personal property, fire damage, ice damming roof leaks, wind damage to roof and siding systems and or other major perils insured against, homeowners should never have to worry about how to regain the standard of living they enjoyed before disaster struck, in addition to getting their property restored to  apre-loss condition. Advocate Public Adjustment will maximize the home insurance claim settlement making sure you receive the money necessary to repair your home completely.

We generate fair, equitable property damage insurance claim settlements that you deserve from an insurance company at competitive fees. On average our fees range from 15-20% but for larger losses we can negotiate that down to a standard that is reasonable.  After all we are your Advocate in Property Damage Insurance Claim Settlements.

Typically homeowner insurance claims are not as simple as just filing the claim and waiting for a check to arrive in the mail. It requires a claims investigation of the building’s interior and exterior, which means digging deep to uncover hidden damage that could potentially be overlooked by a staff adjuster or independent claims adjuster working for the insurance company.

It requires thorough written and photographic documentation of the visible and hard-to-find damage. It requires using the evidence gathered during the investigation to negotiate with the insurance company making sure you are paid what is rightfully owed.

It often requires overcoming stalling or de-layment practices that insurance companies use and also drafting rebuttal letters to refute low ball offers and rejecting property damage estimates that do not depict the correct scope of damage cutting through bureaucratic red tape. Advocate Public Adjustment will handle every aspect of your claim from start to finish making sure you receive every dollar that you are entitled too.

A home insurance claim must be considered within the context of the extent of the damage, the cause of the damage, and the policy language that describes what is covered. A typical homeowner’s policy covers:

  • The building or dwelling itself under (COVERAGE A-DWELLING)
  • The building’s contents under (COVERAGE C-PERSONAL PROPERTY)
  • Additional living expenses if you cannot maintain the standard of living you and your family were a custom to living under (COVERAGE D- LOSS OF USE)
  • Law and ordinance coverage or codes upgrade coverage which is usually 10% of the building limit of liability.

When it comes to the COVERAGE A – DWELLING portion of the claim Advocate Public Adjustment will provide a unit cost estimate that is used in the insurance claims industry. This itemizes every part of the repair /rebuild process needed to restore your property back to a pre-loss condition. Therefore if your home is damaged by a wind storm, fire, flood, hurricane, or other destructive event then we have you covered as your advocate in property damage insurance claims.

Far too often many home insurance claims are underpaid. Insurance company representatives have a unique way of overlooking damage that can expand on the settlement offer increasing your payout.

This of course is unacceptable and as Your Advocate we make certain that this does not happen. Our services include locating and substantiating the origin and cause of loss, uncovering hidden and hard-to-find damage and, when necessary, calling upon our deep network of engineers, emergency service vendors, and other trained specialists to provide their specific areas of expertise to protect your assets and property from further damage.

The portion of a homeowner insurance claim that is most often under evaluated is contents or personal property. In this, the aid of a public adjuster can be particularly valuable for policyholders. The process of documenting damaged and lost contents is a massive undertaking that consists of inventorying, pricing, and arriving at the proper depreciation value for each and every item.

COVERAGE C – Personal Property claims can be complex if the contents have been severely damaged or destroyed. We have conducted thousands of these investigations, and have developed the process into almost an art form. Keep in mind, also, that the insurance company’s interpretation of a lost or damaged item’s value might differ from the amount required to replace it.

For example, a TV bought seven years ago might be recorded at its depreciated value, rather than the $cost to purchase a similar TV today. We can negotiate a higher payment for that television, or for unique items that are difficult to valuate.

In addition, Advocate Public Adjustment will negotiate with the insurance company plus request an advance payment on a portion of the contents damage so clients have the funds to replace damaged clothing, damaged furniture, and ordinary day-to-day items required to maintain your standard of living while gong through the home insurance claim process.

Under COVERGAE D- Loss of Use…The coverage for additional living expenses helps displaced policyholder’s and their family members maintain a reasonable standard of living while they wait for their property to be repaired or rebuilt.

Claims involving this type of coverage with regards to homeowner insurance claim can be tedious and time-consuming, but Advocate Public Adjustment will take the stress and headaches from you and handle it. This is part of the service we offer at competitive fees.

We don not apply our fees to expenses, such as rent for an apartment or temporary housing, this portion of a policy covers increased food expenses, and other, less-obvious items, such as excess mileage on cars incurred because of the loss. We advise our clients to keep a record and to document their additional living expenses and keep receipts, mileage, and other increased costs for day to day expenses.

Advocate Public Adjustment uses a unique combination of experience and knowledge of the insurance claims process to serve as advocates for our clients. Our goal is to make sure that the policyholder receives the largest settlement possible from their insurance company. We have negotiated millions of dollars in property damage insurance claim settlements on behalf of our clients.

We have an A+ BBB rating and Angies List profile. We have been practicing property damage insurance claim settlements since 1992.

We assist policyholder’s / named insureds by:

  • Performing the daily monitoring and legwork necessary to advance the claim. This includes communication with the insurance company, attending on-site meetings, submitting documents and forms, etc.
  • Assuring that all the duties, terms, and responsibilities of filing a home insurance claim are adhered to according to the specific terms of the insurance policy
  • Presenting the claims package to the insurance company, supported by scientific evidence, detailed estimates with proper supporting documentation, in-depth deficiency reports and professional testimony
  • Negotiating with the insurance company to ensure our clients receive the largest settlement possible

Contact Advocate Public Adjustment for help with a home insurance claims or business insurance claim, or for answers to any claims-related questions.

CALL (215) 364-4546

Rick Kinney

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Federal Aid Programs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration

Release date: 

FEBRUARY 6, 2014

Release Number: 


Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s emergency disaster declaration issued for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Assistance for the Commonwealth and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • FEMA is authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas.
  • Specifically, FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program at 75 percent Federal funding.

Initial Notice

Date of Notice: 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Billing Code 9111-23-P


Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-3367-EM]

Docket ID FEMA-2014-0003

Pennsylvania; Emergency and Related Determinations

AGENCY:  Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION:  Notice.

SUMMARY:  This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of an emergency for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (FEMA-3367-EM), dated February 6, 2014, and related determinations.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  February 6, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Manage­ment Agency, 500 C Street, SW, Washington, DC20472, (202) 646-2833.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated February 6, 2014, the President issued an emergency declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the Stafford Act), as follows:

I have determined that the emergency conditions in certain areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania resulting from a severe winter storm beginning on February 4, 2014, and continuing, are of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (“the Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such an emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

You are authorized to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the designated areas.  Specifically, you are authorized to provide assistance for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance is supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs.  In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal emergency assistance and administrative expenses.

Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, Department of Homeland Security, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Donald L. Keldsen, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this declared emergency.

The following areas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been designated as adversely affected by this declared emergency:

Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York Counties for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance – Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households – Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants – Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant



W. Craig Fugate,


Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Ice Storm damage to trees, power outage, frozen pipes, and roof leak


Rick Kinney

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President Obama Signs Pennsylvania Emergency Declaration

FEBRUARY 6, 2014

Release Number: HQ-14-008WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to supplement the commonwealth and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from a Severe Winter Storm on February 4, 2014, and continuing.The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York.Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.

Donald L. Keldsen has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected area.

If you are a BucksCounty, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County resident and have experienced property damage from this winter storms then call Advocate Public Adjustment to negotiate a larger insurance claim settlement on your behalf. Fallen tree claims, frozen pipe burst, and roof leak, Call (215) 364-4546 for a FREE Policy Evaluation.


Rick Kinney

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