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Flood Prevention

Take steps now to prevent flooded basements and lawns

March 5, 2015

With temperatures expected to be in the 40’s this weekend and 50’s next week, melting snow is likely to cause localized flooding across many areas of Illinois and potential headaches for homeowners. To prevent flooded basements and expensive clean-up costs, COUNTRY Financial is encouraging homeowners to take action now.

“Before the snow starts to melt, homeowners should inspect their properties to make sure there is nothing preventing water from flowing away from the foundation,” said Eric Vanasdale, COUNTRY Financial senior loss control representative. “Sump pumps also need to be inspected to make sure they are working properly.”

Acting on these five tips can help prevent standing water in basements:

1. Check the sump pump to make sure it is operating correctly. Also, make sure the sump pump drain is free of ice or debris.

2. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and that downspouts are directing water away from the foundation. Use downspout extensions to get water at least three to six feet away from the foundation.

3. Make sure there are no obstructions on the property to prevent water from draining off and away from any buildings.

4. Check the roof for ice dams, where water builds up behind a blockage of ice. If one is spotted, call a professional to help remove it.

5. Shovel snow away from the perimeter of the home, especially basement windows and window wells.

“If you end up with standing water in your basement, call an electrician immediately,” Vanasdale said. “Do not walk in the water and try to clean it up yourself without first making sure the electricity is turned off from your basement.”

Besides calling an electrician, homeowners should contact their insurance company immediately if there is any damage to the home.

About the COUNTRY Financial® group
The COUNTRY Financial® group ( serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States and offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home, business, farm and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.