Keeping your commercial building’s floors clean and safe starts right at your front doors, and your entrance matting is your first line of defense. The amount and quality of your entrance matting has more impact on the overall condition of your building than most people think. The performance of your matting impacts not only the cleanliness of your floors, but also affects your indoor air quality (through trapped dirt and dust), and even your responsibilities as a commercial building operator under the Occupier’s Liability Act.
Commercial building engineers and facilities managers are in charge of keeping things in tip-top shape, and as the old adage goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Did you know that according to the Carpet and Rug Institute, your installed flooring needs 12 to 15 feet of entrance matting for a typical medium office building, and 20 to 25 feet of entrance matting for a retail store or hospital? And that’s just enough for “adequate protection” – it takes approximately 40 linear feet worth of entrance matting to remove 98% of the incoming dirt and debris from foot traffic!
Along with the overall length, take these other factors into account when choosing the right matting:
- How much foot traffic do you have? Calculate your annual foot traffic level by multiplying the occupancy load of your building by the number of workdays in the year. In an office setting, the National Fire Protection Association estimates that a standard full-load is 1 person for every 7 square feet of office space. It’s better to have matting rated for more traffic than you need rather than less – buying matting with a higher capacity just means it will last longer than expected! High quality matting like our Grizzly FX mats are rated for 1,000,000+ people per year.
- Where is your matting being used? Are you keeping your entrance matting fully inside your building, or do you have space to deploy a full entrance matting system both indoors and outdoors? Starting the cleaning process outside of your building with a recessed well mat is a great way to reduce your cleaning and maintenance costs – you don’t have to clean dirt from inside your building if it never makes its way inside at all!
- What’s your climate? Is your biggest weather enemy rain? Or snow? Or are you dealing primarily with dry, dusty dirt and gritty sand? Different types of contaminants need different types of matting to be most effective. Rainy climates are best served with a scraper mat outside like our Duromat, and then finished inside with a dryer/scraper like Grizzly FX. Very snowy climates need a higher moisture holding capacity to allow for the extra time for melting, so deep recessed well matting like Pedisystems are ideal. Dry, sandy dirt is best addressed with a mat that’s easy to vacuum, like our Kermode.
Once you’ve installed your entrance matting, it’s important to monitor the wear patterns on your mats! Excessive wear in specific areas can be balanced out by rotating those mats with ones from less-busy entrances to your building, sort of like rotating the tires on your car! If you’re still wearing out your mats faster than anticipated, you may need to consider installing even larger mats inside or increasing the amount of entrance matting outside to meet your building’s foot traffic needs.