For years the commercial cleaning industry has studied floor and carpet maintenance issues. So it is well known that if we place the correct system, right length, high quality matting systems at our entryways we can keep 70-80% of the dirt out of our buildings in the first place. What can we expect if we do not follow that advice? Especially in the Midwest, we have sandy soil in many areas, so we want you to think about what sand does to floor finishes and carpeting and that is an issue year-round. In the winter we have snow events and we use ice melt of various kinds which wreak havoc on our floor finishes and carpet as well. All of this creates maintenance issues but also shortens the life of our flooring and carpets. We also know that proper matting reduces slip and fall incidents which plays into your risk management efforts.
What might the proper matting system look like at an entryway? It is definitely going to depend on the type of building and traffic flow, however some basic guidelines are as follows: entry matting works best when used as a system. Scraper mats should be placed directly outside the building; wiper/scraper mats placed in the entry or vestibule area; and wiper mats, the “last line of defense,” inside the building to trap any remaining soils on shoe bottoms. The system should be a minimum of 12 – 15 feet in length and in some cases longer. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements for floor matting have certainly heightened the awareness, in fact the requirement falls under the Indoor Chemical Pollutant and Source Control credit in the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) section and then again for the maintenance of the matting in the Green Housekeeping credit. The proper floor matting also positively contributes to the air quality in your buildings. Once you have the proper system in place, daily maintenance is very important. Daily vacuuming with extraction and deeper cleaning as needed. The proper system and length will contribute to a clean and healthy facility.
We often get asked about rental versus owning your own floor matting. Many times when we see building owners/managers using the rental services for matting, the proper systems are not in place which cause the problems described above. We encourage a return on investment analysis because typically the rental matting is not getting changed daily and the internal or cleaning contracted teams are doing the daily maintenance on the matting anyway. Keep in mind that all mats are not created equal!
Distributors and the cleaning industry typically try to heighten the awareness and importance of floor matting in the fall before winter hits but there really is no wrong time to evaluate your systems and get the proper ones in place. Contact us for a floor matting evaluation. We will help you analyze your needs and calculate that return on investment. We can help you with compliance for LEED building requirements as well. Floor matting is an investment and will save you money in so many ways.