Keeping floors properly clean and maintained is essential throughout the year but never so much as in the winter months. Selecting the right matting can make a bigger difference than you think.
Do mats really matter?
In a word, YES. More than 80 per cent of dirt in any building comes from being tracked in by pedestrians through entrances and doorways. According to the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), it can cost as much as $600 to remove a single pound of dirt from a single commercial building, and for every dollar spent keeping dirt out of that building, it saves the $10 it would cost to remove it once inside. With proper matting, most of that dirt is absorbed before it has a chance to get inside a facility, reducing cleaning costs, slips and falls, and floor refinishing. Mats that absorb moisture can even improve indoor air quality by preventing dust and dirt particles from being spread through the air.
How to Choose The Right Matting
1. One, Two, Three
The best arrangement of mats consists of three different types that work best to capture as much dirt and debris as possible. The first kind is a scraper mat that traps and removes coarse debris including gravel and ice melt pellets. These work best when placed just outside the entry of the building. Within the doorway both wiper and scraper mats are the best choice for capturing sand and snow. Just inside the entrance, wiper mats should be used to trap fine dust and the remaining moisture.
2. The Rule of 15
The more steps people take on a mat, the more effective it will be. Most people entering a building don’t stop to wipe their feet, which means mats need to have enough length and substance for most of the dirt and moisture to be captured by the mat. Only 30% of dirt is trapped in the first three feet of matting, making it critical to follow the ‘Rule of 15’ – five feet of scraper, five feet of wiper/scraper, and five feet of wiper mats – installed at all entryways. Entrances with low foot traffic need mats with a minimum of 15 feet of appropriate matting to ensure 85% of soil entering their facility is trapped within the matting. For help choosing the right length of matting for your customers, contact your local R3 expert today!
3. Keeping it Clean
Educate your customers on how to clean entrance floor mats as part of their existing maintenance protocol. The frequency depends on several factors, including the extent of dirt accumulation, the volume of foot traffic, and where that traffic comes from. For instance, the entrance connected to a busy street will inevitably bring in more dirt and moisture than an entryway linked to a parking garage.
4. When to Install Matting
The best time to implement matting solutions is before the seasons change, but mid-winter is the ideal time to address gaps in your customers’ matting programs. For help building your matting program offering, speak with your R3 expert today!