When it comes to maintaining your walk-off entrance matting, most people underestimate how much cleaning they need to do and how much work their mats can do on their own. The easiest way to understand just why regular, routine cleaning is so essential is to look at your mats the way you’d look at a pail you took to the beach. You can dump sand into the pail, but once that pail is full the sand is going to spill over the sides if you keep on dumping until you empty it…and your entrance matting is no different! The bigger your mats are, the more sand they can hold – but there is still a maximum amount they can hold between empties! That emptying process is as simple as regular vacuuming and maintenance, but you would be surprised at how many facilities managers forget this most basic of cleaning steps.
Sometimes you have more traffic than usual due to special events or just busier times of year, and that means you need to change your cleaning regime to keep up with the new demands. Or sometimes there’s a change in the building’s external environment that’s increased the soil load – nearby construction is notorious for this kind of change. If your mats are particularly dirty and you need to get a lot of dirt out of them fast, some staff will create an ad hoc ‘extractor’ or sorts by pouring a moderate amount of clean water onto the especially dirty mat areas, and then completely vacuuming up all the water (and attendant dirt!) with a wet/dry vacuum.
With regular maintenance and a walk-off entrance matting system properly designed to accommodate a building’s traffic levels, many facility managers find that they have been able to extend the usable lifespan of their installed flooring by 15 – 20%, or as much as 3-4 years! And that also doesn’t account for the side benefits of cleaner floors, like higher indoor air quality, less dust and dirt accumulation on hard surfaces, and extended air filtration replacement cycles.
You can make your cleaning time and energy go even further by monitoring the traffic patterns in your building and ensuring that you are deploying your entrance matting in the most effective way possible. In the case of one of our major shopping mall clients, they have one exterior portal consisting of 4 sets of double doors…but over 85% of the inbound traffic comes through only one of those four sets of doors because it’s the closest one to the transit stop! A single, large mat to cover off all four doors would not be the most effective way to manage such an imbalanced traffic load, as one end of the mat would wear out much more quickly than the other. Instead, we designed a system of modular matting that allows them to rotate each mat through the busiest entrance, ensuring even wear across all the matting (sort of like how you rotate the tires on your car!)
Keeping your mats clean, well-maintained, and monitoring them for even wear patterns can help keep your building in top condition – and will save you money in your maintenance budget in the long run!