Most commercial building engineers and facility managers know how important quality, high-performance entry matting can be to the overall health and air quality of their buildings. But in order for matting to do its job effectively, it needs to be maintained!
Here’s ten top tips to make your entry matting perform better and last even longer:
- Unroll that mat ASAP! Mats that have just arrived have typically been rolled up for shipping, and (if it’s fall or winter time) are probably cold and stiff. Unroll them and place them in a room-temperature area as soon as possible, and give them time to relax! Most bumps and lumps will settle out within a day or two.
- A bit of fuzzing is normal. It’s normal for certain types of matting to shed or ‘fuzz’ a small bit of material when they’re brand new. This will stop after a couple of regular vacuum cycles.
- Rubber is stinky! Many facilities managers order rubber matting for their entrances without realizing just how strong the odour is from new rubber matting! Unless you’re prepared to handle the complaints from your building occupants, rubber might not be the best choice for your entrances.
- You’re probably not vacuuming enough. Really! 9 out of 10 buildings don’t vacuum their entrance matting frequently enough to really maximize the usefulness of that matting. Leaving dirt in your matting because you didn’t vacuum it all out is like putting a bucket under a dripping roof, but then only emptying it out half-way…and then complaining when the bucket overflows!
- Check and inspect. Periodically inspect your mats to make sure they’re wearing evenly, and rotate lower-use mats with higher-use mats to balance out their wear. Check inlaid logos for loose tufts and trim with a sharp pair of shears or scissors as necessary.
- Spot cleaning works! Don’t leave stains untreated until the next major service – spot treat them with a commercially-available carpet stain remover as quickly as possible.
- Regular deep-cleaning is essential. Just like oil changes in your car, your mats need periodic service to keep them working properly. Deep-clean fabric mats with a carpet extractor, and make sure you rinse, rinse, rinse them well!
- Watch out for rotary scrubbers. While rotary scrubbers and polishers are great for hard flooring surfaces, be extra careful when using them near the edges of your mats! Rotary scrubbers are the #1 cause of damaged and torn-off edging on large entrance mats.
- Wash & dry. Shampooing and deep-cleaning your mats is great, but it’s only half the story – make sure you allow your mats time to properly dry out before you return them to service. If they’re small enough to be portable, hang them up to dry. If they’re not, use a wet/dry vac to remove the moisture the shampooer left behind, and then place drying fans near the mats to promote airflow and faster, more thorough drying.
- Write a recipe. Develop a formal, written mat maintenance program and incorporate it into your regular janitorial cleaning routines. Part of a mat’s job isn’t just to trap the dirt, but try to look clean while doing so – so there’s more dirt hiding in there than the naked eye would have you believe! Formalizing a maintenance routine helps ensure that “as necessary” doesn’t turn into “never”.
A clean mat is a happy mat – and the happier the entrance mats are in your building, the happier you’ll be too!