Entrance matting starts to collect dirt from the moment it’s installed – that’s what it’s there for! But to keep your mat working to its fullest capacity, you need to start maintaining it from the very beginning. The nylon and polypropylene fibres used in our entrance matting grabs dirt and water from incoming foot traffic and traps it within the mat until it is removed by regular maintenance. Until you remove that dirt, it will start to build up and make your entrance mat less effective at stopping dirt at the door – so begin your maintenance program immediately!
We recommend the following guide as a basis for planning your matting maintenance program, but be sure to fine-tune it according to the specific needs of your facility:
It’s also important to make sure that maintaining other areas of your floor doesn’t adversely impact your matting! When waxing/polishing or otherwise using a floor machine on areas near your entrance mat, we recommend removing your entrance mat from the vicinity so that the entire area can be effectively cleaned. Contact between your mat’s vinyl edging and the moving parts of a rotary floor machine will severely damage the mat’s edging over time and can even tear the edging right away from the mat’s backing!
Most maintenance programs employ only a small amount of vacuuming and spend a great deal of time on hot water extractions. Unfortunately, hot water extraction is one of the most expensive maintenance methods – it requires more man-hours, more expensive equipment, and more costly chemicals than vacuuming. Vacuuming with a powerful commercial vacuum cleaner requires fewer man hours and NO chemicals. Done effectively, vacuuming can remove 85% of the soil in your entrance mat. This leaves more time for the maintenance crew to focus on effective spot cleaning, resulting in less chemical usage and less time wasted.
Effectively vacuuming knob matting requires a different technique from carpet or carpet matting. The needlepunch construction of knob matting leaves a great deal of open air space between each ‘knob’ that low powered vacuums can’t overcome. To effectively vacuum knob matting, we recommend the following steps:
- Adjust your vacuum to its most-powerful suction setting.
- If equipped with a power head, lower the head to its lowest (closest to the floor) setting to reduce the open air space as much as possible.
- Make at least eight to ten vacuum passes over the entire area of the mat using slow, deliberate passes both forward and backward. Slow movement allows time for air to circulate through the mat and extract the soil.
- For larger/heavier dirt particles, use a crevice tool (or similar) to remove dirt from between the knobs.
Spot cleaning is vitally important to prevent temporary blemishes from becoming permanent. Removing stains and foreign contaminants from your mat as soon as possible will help prevent permanent damage.
For solid substances, gently scrape away as much of the contaminant as possible using a soft bristle brush or the edge of a spoon.
Liquid spills should be dabbed using white blotting paper or a terrycloth towel, repeating until the paper/towel is no longer wet. Do not rub or push down on the spot – always blot gently, moving in a circular motion from the outside of the spot towards the inside and with an upward motion. Keep blotting until you cease to get transfer from the mat to your paper/towel.
Add a small amount of water to the spot. (Hot spills should be removed with water the same temperature.) Do not soak the stain – add just enough water to get transfer of the spot to your paper/towel. Repeat this process as long as you get transfer of the spot.
For stains that have dried, use a small hand-held extractor for spot cleaning. Attempt to remove the stain with only water at first; if this is unsuccessful, use a minimal amount of commercially-available spot remover. Rinse the mat until no suds come back out of it to extract all cleaning products – it’s important that you do not leave any spot remover residue behind! Allow the area to dry before walking on it.
Warning! Do not use chlorinated cleaning solutions, quaternary solutions, petroleum distillates, or solvent-based cleaners on your matting!
NEVER PRESSURE WASH MATS WITH INLAID LOGOS. DOING SO VOIDS YOUR WARRANTY.
We recommend monthly or quarterly deep cleaning of your knob entrance matting (dependant on traffic volume) via pressure washing. While a thorough vacuuming program can help keep your matting working well, pressure washing helps to remove the stubborn, ground-in deep dirt that vacuuming just can’t remove.
Heavily soiled areas may require gentle scrubbing with a soft-bristled scrub brush and an all-purpose general detergent before pressure washing for maximum cleaning. If your matting requires the application of a detergent, ensure that you completely rinse away all traces before returning your mat to service. Remember, the purpose of cleaning chemicals is to attract dirt – chemicals left behind in your mat will cause rapid re-soiling! It’s vital that you remove all cleaning chemicals introduced into your mat during scrubbing and/or pressure washing.
To pressure wash your mat, hang the mat vertically (avoiding sharp hooks) or drape over a rounded (not sharp-edged) surface and flush the mat until all the dirt and/or detergent has been rinsed away. Use a wet vacuum (Shop Vac) to remove excess remaining water, and then place the mat face-down and allow to dry fully before returning the mat to service.
Allow your mat to fully dry before returning it to service. Fans or air movers can help accelerate the drying process – most mats can fully dry in approximately 3-4 hours after being pressure washed.
Don’t forget the floor underneath!
No mat is able to trap 100% of the dirt entering a building 100% of the time. This means that eventually some dirt will accumulate around the edges of the mat and usually end up being swept, brushed, or kicked underneath it. These dirt particles trapped between your hard floor and the mat backing can act like tiny ball bearings, allowing your mat to ‘walk’ in the same direction as foot traffic over time.
To prevent your mat from ‘walking’, lift and move the mat to vacuum and damp mop underneath it and to remove the dirt accumulation. This should be done as frequently as you maintain the rest of your hard flooring in this area. Removing this dirt will also help prevent damage to your hard flooring surface underneath. Ensure that you allow the floor to completely dry after damp mopping to prevent the potential growth of mold or bacteria.
Rolling & Storing Mats for Extended Periods
If you have to store your entrance mat for an extended period of time, please be sure to store it in the correct manner for your mat. The backing on entrance matting is stiffer and less flexible than other kinds of flooring, so special care must be taken to prevent damage during storage. Store your entrance mat loosely rolled up, and preferably with a heavy cardboard tube inside to help it retain its shape. Roll your mat with the traffic side facing out. Never stand your rolled mat upright on its end, as this can damage the vinyl edging and cause bubbling when the mat is re-laid; lay your rolled mat flat on its side, and ensure that no other objects are stacked on top of it. Logo mats should NOT be stored rolled up as rolling can break the bond between the logo and the backing and cause the logo to detach.
Logo Mats Need Special Care
You’ve made an investment in the appearance of your facility through the purchase of a logo mat, and these mats require a little special care to keep them looking their best.
Take special care in moving these mats for cleaning. Remember, the logo present in your mat is made up of individual pieces of matting that have been custom cut and hand-fit into your mat; your mat is not a single, homogenous piece of material. Never tightly roll up a logo mat to move it, and never store a logo mat in a rolled up state. To move your logo mat to clean the floor underneath it, loosely curl it into the largest roll practical and unroll it while you are cleaning the area. Roll your mat with the traffic side facing out. If you need to store your logo mat, store it lying flat – never leave it rolled up for extended periods of time. Never bonnet buff your logo mats – you could tear the logo right out!
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