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Commercial Mats: Heavy Duty Entrance Solutions

Posted July 22, 2014 in Matting, Entrance Mats
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Facility managers and operators know just how important an effective commercial mat system is at their building’s entrances.  Entrance mats for commercial buildings aren’t just there for aesthetics!  Matting cleans feet, stops dirt, reduces wear and tear on floor surfaces, and improves indoor air quality – but only if it’s effective!  Effectiveness is where the difference between commercial mats and commodity mats really becomes a factor to consider when shopping for an entrance matting system.

Value, not Price.

Commercial mats are an entirely different proposition from the light duty residential entrance mats you find in retail outlets like Home Depot and Canadian Tire.  Whereas a residential consumer may consider price as the most important factor for buying a mat, a commercial property manager knows that performance, cleaning effectiveness, and overall value deserve much greater consideration.  In a commercial building environment, entrance mats have a much tougher job than just looking pretty!

When evaluating the value offered by a commercial mat or entrance matting system, the long-term overall ownership costs must be considered – not just the initial purchase price.  Cleaning & Maintenance Management estimates that 90% of building maintenance costs are janitorial labour, and that “a dollar spent keeping soil out of a building will save ten dollars in removing the soil once it’s inside.”  According to the International Sanitary Supply Association, the cost of removing a single pound of dirt from a modern commercial building can exceed $600!  And it doesn’t take long to add up to that pound of dirt; on average, 1000 people can track 0.25lbs of dirt into a commercial building per day.  And that’s in dry weather conditions – according to field tests conducted by BST Laboratories over an 11 month period, wet weather increases that figure by a factor of 12!

The picture gets even bleaker when you examine what tracked-in dirt does to your permanently-installed flooring.  Without adequate entrance matting, a traffic level of 1500 people daily can remove 42% of the finish from a floor within a year of installation according to 3M.  The damage caused by  tracked-in dirt doesn’t stop at your floor, however – a miniscule buildup of dirt only 0.042” thick on heating or cooling coil in your HVAC system can decrease efficiency by 21%, according to the US EPA.

There’s one more important consideration to factor into your decision that’s unique to commercial property operators: slip-and-fall liability.  Many building operators respond to slip-and-fall incidents on a reactive basis only, remedying a hazardous solution only after a customer or worker has fallen and suffered an injury – which can be a very costly proposition!  For example, Walmart stores receive 100 million visitors a week.  Walmart gets sued almost once every two hours every day of the year, and many of the suits are slip-and-fall related. (USA Today).  Grocery stores across North America spend $450 million annually to defend slip-and-fall claims.  The average slip-and-fall claim is for $3,900, while the cost to litigate a lawsuit has reached $100,000 (NFSI).  With costs like these in mind, it’s easy to see the value of investing in a high quality, effective entrance matting system that can handle the traffic of your commercial building.

Commercial Mats vs Commodity Mats

While there is some truth in the adage that “something is better than nothing!”, that’s not always the case when it comes to entrance mats.  Light duty commodity-grade entrance mats do have their niches: small offices, “corner store” retail locations, small strata buildings, etc.  But there quickly reaches a point of diminishing returns with these types of mats as the traffic level at your entrance increases.  Choosing a mat that’s too light-duty for your entrance can actually turn your solution into a problem all of its own: premature wear, shifting and bunching, and flopped-over corners can all create the trip hazards that your matting was intended to prevent!  And as commodity-grade mats increase in size, the price gap between them and commercial mats (like our Grizzly FX or Kermode) narrows even more, giving you even better value for your budget dollars.

Commercial mats like our Grizzly FX and Kermode also offer more fashionable appearance options that commodity mats simply can’t match.  Both our Grizzly FX and Kermode commercial mats are eligible for our custom inlaid logo program – click here to see examples of some of our past logo work!

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