Image courtesy of M+A Matting
Guest Blog By: M+A Matting | February 12, 2020
Entrance matting is an essential component of creating a safe and clean facility. According to the ISSA, 80% of dirt, dust, and moisture brought into a building can be contained within the first 15 to 18 feet with proper matting. But in order for this matting to retain its efficacy – to remove dirt and moisture from shoes and help prevent tracking - it must be regularly cared for and maintained. This entails routine cleanings, checking the condition of your mats, and the eventual replacement when it reaches the end of its service life.
Vacuuming is probably the single most important component of a carpet care maintenance program. Vacuuming is effective for carpeted and bi-level mats, like WaterHog® mats. Mats in high-traffic areas should be vacuumed daily. This will help eliminate the build-up of dirt and grime that collects below the surface. Monitoring traffic levels can help determine when your mats need to be vacuumed the most. More vacuuming may be necessary during periods of inclement weather since the rate of tracking is higher during that time.
Shaking the dirt and debris off of mats is also an effective method of care, especially if sand is prevalent in your area. Lifting the mat and gently beating it against the ground or with an object, in a non-traffic area, will help remove the accumulated debris. For many carpeted mats, cleaning with an extractor may also be an option for removing dirt, debris, and even stains.
Depending on the type of mat, you may be able to hose off or even pressure wash it. However, please remember that any time you use water to clean your mat, it’s imperative that you ensure your mat is dry before placing it back in service. And for indoor mats, make sure the floor is also dry before placing the mat down. Moisture trapped under a mat can be both dangerous and damaging to the floor. Trapped moisture can lead to mildew growth and, over long periods of time, can cause discoloration of the floor.
Every mat has a service life, and once it has surpassed that service life, it can become a safety hazard if not replaced. Matting should be monitored for signs of natural wear and tear. When the edges start to ripple or tear, it is time for a new mat. If the mat is carpeted, the yarn will also wear over time. Once the yarn is crushed beyond return, it should be replaced. This is evident when vacuuming no longer leaves grain trails on the surface (like when you mow a lawn).
If you need to store your mats for any reason, always roll them nap-side out; never fold them. This is especially true of vinyl-backed mats. Unlike rubber, vinyl has “memory,” meaning if it remains in a position for a long period of time, it is far more likely to retain the curves or folds from that position even once it’s returned to a flat surface. Curled edges that will not lay flat can be dangerous.
Like any possession, mats that are maintained properly will always last longer than those that are neglected. By implementing a cleaning and maintenance plan for the mats in your facility, you are extending the service life of your mats and helping to keep your facility safe, clean, and comfortable.
The M+A name represents two powerful brands – Mountville and Andersen – with nearly a century of combined experience developing and manufacturing mats designed to make environments safer, cleaner, and more comfortable.