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The Importance of Maintaining Your Matting

Posted February 13, 2013 in Matting
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Entrance matting is your building’s first (and primary) line of defense against the dirt, grit, and water that cause premature wear and damage to your floors.  A functional entrance matting system helps to greatly reduce the amount of soil coming in contact with your flooring.  According to The International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), it costs an average of $600.00 in labor to locate and dispose of one pound of soil once it enters an average commercial building and is distributed throughout the flooring surface inside.  Entrance mats trap that soil and water right at the entrance of the building.  This means your cleaning staff can focus their efforts on a small, concentrated area instead of the whole building, saving you money!  Entrance mats are designed to work hard and trap as much dirt as possible as fast as possible, and then release that dirt easily when cleaned.

Why use mats?

Aside from their aesthetic appeal, floor mats can greatly improve your indoor air quality.  The soles of shoes are the primary way toxic chemicals are transported into your building.  Think about where you walked today on your way to work – through the parking lot over oils and automotive fluids, or down the sidewalk over pesticides and other harmful residues – there’s a lot of unwanted extras on the soles of your shoes!  Good quality entrance matting scraps and traps these contaminants, as well as less harmful ones like dirt and common allergens.  But your mats aren’t magic – they need to be emptied of contaminants through proper cleaning and maintenance so that they can keep working hard for you!

Why spend on mat maintenance?

A single square yard of carpet can gather a pound of dirt and dust in a week, and double that amount in bad weather.  About 70-80 percent of dust, filth, and mud in any building are carried by shoes from outside, and damage they cause to carpets and hard floors is permanent (and usually not covered under your flooring’s manufacturer’s warranty!).

In the absence of effective matting at your building’s entrance, a mere 1500 people can cause significant damage to 42% of the floor’s finish!  A well-maintained mat will not only save money you would have spent on labor to clean the entire building’s flooring, but also protects the floor’s finish and appearance.

How else does matting help?

Slipping, tripping and falling are a major reasons of injuries on the job.  According to a recent study, more than 30% of worker injuries result from slipping on the floor.  The employer cost of a slip-and-fall injury is on average over $12,000!  Customer liability can be even riskier.  If your building is open to and accessible by the public, you also have to consider your liability to the general public who may sustain injuries due to slipping and falling on a wet or slippery floor.

Well-maintained, effective entrance mats can help limit your liability and save you the worry of all the extra cleaning chemicals, mops, brooms, carpet extractors, caution signs, and labor for cleaning the building’s floors without matting.

How to maintain entrance mats?

We supply every customer with a copy of our recommended maintenance for their mats, but it boils down to a very simple concept:  a clean, dry mat is a hard-working mat!  Your entrance mats must be cleaned at the right time intervals to avoid the overflow of soil and water.  The frequency of cleaning will depend on the number of visitors and the weather, especially in winter.

While professional cleaners can sometimes rescue an abused, overworked mat, regular maintenance is mostly all you need.  For most entrances, daily vacuuming to remove overall dust and dirt and spot cleaning to remove obvious stains or gum will keep your mat happy and healthy.  For the most part, avoid carpet shampoos!  Most people either use far too much shampoo or neglect to adequately rinse it from the mat after shampooing.  Any shampoo residue left behind is a magnet for future dirt! Shampoo residue left behind will cause your mat to get much dirtier much more quickly in the future.  Your matting is meant to get wet, so don’t be afraid to rinse it well!

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