Entrance matting is a multi-purpose tool for any facility. They provide protection from slip and falls. They help control the dirt that is tracked into a building and they can add to the style and image of the building. In some cases entrance mats serve as billboards and warning signs. Given all of the rolls they can and do play, they require very little maintenance and care. Here are a few entrance matting tips to ensure that you are getting the maximum use from this important part of your building cleaning program.
Entrance Matting Tips
Buy The Correct Mats
There are different types and qualities of entrance matting. Investing in the correct entrance matting system will go a lot farther when it comes to protecting your floors. Stopping the most amount of dirt. There are two main types of entrance matting commonly used. The first is a combination mat that remove larger dirt, debris and moisture from shoes users walk over them.
These typically will have different levels of tufting that scrapes the sole of the shoe and hold the dirt and moisture below the surface to prevent re-tracking on the floor. The second is a finishing or wiper style mat. This is a single level style of entrance matting that works well for removing fine dust and light moisture. When used correctly as a system, these mats can prevent as much as 90% of dirt from entering a building. As I talked about in the post Stop Dirt At The Door, more than 3/4 of all dirt in a building gets tracked in by foot.
High quality entrance matting will hold several times its weight in dirt, while not detracting from the appearance. This is demonstrated very well by the Anderson Company, in the video below.
Keep Your Entrance Matting Clean
This is the most important of the entrance matting tips and should go without saying. The best practice for maintaining entrance matting is to vacuum as often as possible and to deep clean them as often as needed. Think of it this way, any dirt stopped by entrance matting is dirt that does not spread throughout the building. This means less dusting, mopping, vacuuming and grout cleaning. All (or most) of the dirt in one convenient location!
For vacuuming, I prefer a canister or backpack, direct suction vacuum, but uprights will work too. The reason for the direct suction is that the brush on an upright vacuum will stir up dust in the multiple levels of a combination mat and the lighter weight finishing mats edges will potentially get pulled into the brush. The direct suction vacuums, not having brushes, will prevent both of these issues.
Deep Cleaning Entrance Mats
When it comes to deep cleaning entrance matting, using a carpet extractor will work when it is not possible to hose the out or pressure wash them.
Just make sure to use as little soap as possible or non at all. In the winter months, using a neutralizer or vinegar will remove salt residue and remove the white alkaline mess. Hanging them over a fence or taking them to a car wash and using the floor mat clips works great for pressure washing.
When it comes time to dry them, if possible, leaving them to air dry on a fence works great but if you are in a hurry to get them dry, turn them over on top a few milk creates. Place a fan or carpet drier at the end will greatly speed up the drying process.
Replace Entrance Matting When Needed
To over extend the life of an entrance mat is a huge waste of money. The cost of removing a pound of dirt from a building can be as much as $700 in labor, equipment and deferred maintenance. This adds up quick considering the average full vacuum cleaner bag will hold 2-5 lbs of dirt. Replacing entrance matting is not an option but a budget saving investment.
The are just a few entrance matting tips I pass along all the time. I am sure you have some too! What have your results been with entrance matting? I am always looking for new ideas and success stories to make cleaning easier and more cost-effective. Please post your suggestions in the comments area below.