It’s always a good idea to have entrance matting at your building’s portals, but are your mats truly working as hard as they should be for you? Here’s seven points on which you should be evaluating your current entrance matting situation to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
- Placement. Entrance matting needs to be placed in the right areas of a building to be effective. The most obvious spot is the entrances to your building from outdoors, but have you considered where floor matting might be needed internally too? Transitions from parking garages to lobby areas, or from warehouse to office spaces, or from greasy kitchen areas to front-of-house, or from wet laundry areas to patient-facing areas are all good candidates for floor matting to help improve floor safety and cleanliness.
- Type. While you can make do with just a dryer/scraper mat at your entrances, the most effective matting is made up of a complete entrance matting system that includes a scraper mat at the first point of contact, and a dryer/scraper mat to finish the cleaning job. By using the right type of mat at the point in the traffic flow, you can stop much more dirt and water you otherwise would with an equal amount of the wrong type of matting.
- Edging. The edging of your mat matters a lot! Rental mats are notoriously bad for this – rather than a proper reducing edge, their “edging” is just an extension of their thin vinyl backing that extends beyond the textile surface of the mat. This is why you often see rental-grade mats eith their corners and edges flopped over, creating a trip hazard! Entrance matting for commercial and retail spaces needs edging heavy and substantial enough to keep the mat anchored in place, stiff enough to resist edge flop, and tapered enough to not present a tripping hazard.
- Weight. Entrance matting is only effective if people are walking on it, and people can’t walk on a mat that’s flopped over itself and traveled halfway down the hallway! Lightweight, low-grade rental matting is notorious for being too lightweight to stay put, which means it’s essentially ineffective. If a mat is light enough to be launderable, then it’s basically just a glorified bath towel with a bit of vinyl on the back! Look for matting that’s heavyweight and sturdy enough to stay where you put it.
- Size. A mat that’s too small is almost worse than no mat at all, because it might make you think that it’s cleaning feet when it’s actually stopped long ago. The “Rule of 15” states that for a typical commercial building or retail store, 15 linear feet of matting should be installed at all entrances that lead inside from the outdoors. The exact breakdown between scraper and dryer matting varies on the weather, time of year, and other factors – but the Rule of 15 always holds.
- Maintenance. Mats that get dirty quickly are mats that are working effectively! But they’re not magic…mats that don’t get maintained stop working. Entrance matting needs to be vacuumed regularly (daily!), edging should be inspected for damage, and the floor underneath matting should also be cleaned regularly to prevent the mats from ‘walking’. Matting should also be professionally shampooed and hot water extracted on a monthly or quarterly basis, based on traffic levels.
- Storage. Entrance matting can become permanently warped or damaged if it is stored rolled-up over periods of time – and this is especially true for matting with inlaid logos. Store your matting flat to prevent damage. If rolling the mats for storage is absolutely unavoidable, then make sure you roll the mats around a core to prevent them from being crushed under their own weight – concrete forming tubes of at least 12″ diameter are good for this purpose.