Chicagoland Floors: Collateral Damage in the War on Snow

It seems too early to talk about it, but winter comes fairly early in Chicago.iStock_000015615539XSmall

Winter months in the Chicago area brutalize floors. Shortly after summer ends, the area gets a great deal of rain and snow. Lots of snow – and with the snow comes sand and salt, slush and mud. When tracked into your home, these things harm your beautiful floors, no matter what kind of flooring you have.

Floor First Aid

Having lived in Chicago for many years, I enjoyed wooden floors, natural stone and ceramic tile floors and carpeting. At one time or another, all fell victim to Chicagoland’s war on snow.

Following are some tips to rescue your floors before they become “collateral damage” and require costly repair or even replacement.

Wood Floors

Left alone with melting slush containing salt and sand your wood floor might pit and the sand scratches the flooring, if it gets underfoot.

Use an absorbent cotton towel to blot up the wetness. Much of the salt and sand will catch in the cloth. Follow up using a soft dusting cloth designed to attract dirt to wipe up the floor. This picks up the sand and salt. Personally, I do not like to vacuum wood floors, but, if you do vacuum, make sure that the beater bar is off – otherwise your floors will scratch.

Stone Floors

Some natural stone floors do a decent job of repelling the harsh additives to slush. Nevertheless, the quicker you get to cleaning it up the less likely there will be any harm. Clean these floors the same way you handle a wooden floor. However, if your dealing with marble or other porous material, use warm water to gently flood the area affected to dislodge any salt or stone. First use a towel to wipe up the slush, then flood the area and use a clean towel to wipe up the water.


Carpets need an entirely different approach. First, blot the carpet using a clean white towel. Do not use a colored towel as the dye can transfer and stain the carpet. Wait until the carpet dries and then vacuum. I find that using the hose with the proper attachment keeps any residual sand or salt from flying around.

For more information on floor care, or to have your flooring cleaned professionally, or to find about great new flooring options, call Trevino Flooring at (847) 808-7100.

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