Floor Mats can be divided into three broad categories:
These mats usually consist of an outside Scraper mat for removal of heavy soil, inside transitional Scraper/Wiper mat to remove medium to heavy soil and a Wiper mat to stop light soil and moisture. Should space be limited and a three mat system will not fit the entry area the best overall performance choice is the Scraper/Wiper mat.
Soil is everywhere. It is a part of the earth we live on and managing it is a vital part of our everyday existence. Even the least sophisticated commercial facility requires some type of soil management program. At the heart of soil management is the concept of prevention - prevention of contaminants from entering a building. 85% of all soil enters a building on the feet of building occupants. Of this, at least 80% is dry soil and the rest is oily. The dry soil can range from large particles to powder-like dust. Over the years, many products have been developed and sold to help keep soil at the door and out of the building. The International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) has estimated that it costs 600 dollars to find and remove one pound of soil after it has been allowed to enter an average building. This cost is primarily labor. Since entrance mats stop and contain soil and water, it is obvious that removing soil from a mat can be less expensive than removing it from a building since the soil is concentrated in a localized area. A three mat entry system consisting or an outside Scraper mat, transitional Scraper/Wiper mat and an inside Wiper mat will provide the best performance results.
Four things an entrance mat should do:
Stop soil and water at the door - Most, if not all mats claim to do this. The most effective mats provide a combination of scraping and wiping to stop the maximum amount of contaminants.
Store soil and water for removal - The most effective entrance mats are designed to provide a place for soil and water to go to for storage. It is important that the storage be designed for maximum storage and ease of removal when the mat is cleaned. It is important that the mat provide a way for the contaminants to be contained so that water cannot spread to the surrounding floor creating a slip/fall hazard. Water that flows off the sides of the mat is referred to as seepage. Mats with flat borders allow water to seep off the edges, thus increasing one’s exposure to slip and fall. Excessive floor damage is also created by the water seepage around the perimeter of the mat. Higher performance mats provide a dam that will hold the water back from floor surfaces and from reattaching to one’s shoes.
Minimize tracking of soil and water - This capability is best accomplished by a Bi-level construction that provides an upper surface for walking and a lower area where soil and water are stored until removed by cleaning. The amount of soil that a mat allows to be tracked back on to patrons’ shoes is commonly referred to as the performance threshold. The best mats on the market maintain this Bi-level construction thereby trapping large quantities of moisture and dirt keeping not allowing it to reattach to peoples shoes and be tracked further into the facility. Low performance mats such as those with ribbed or square patterned face yarn alone will not hold up under foot pressure, thus allowing more water and dirt to reattach to shoes and be tracked into respective facilities. Look for a permanent rubber membrane that will support the face yarn throughout the mat’s productive life. High performance mats have a permanent rubber reinforcing membrane that will permanently support the textile face, increasing product unity and extending useful product life.
Provide a safe surface - The mat should be slip-resistant to prevent slipping on the floor when it is walked on. Also any water on the mat should be contained in a reservoir below the traffic surface to prevent slipping on flooring surface adjacent to the mat. Rubber-backed mats provide a better slip resistance than vinyl-backed mats. Rubber-backed mats do not curl as do vinyl mats thus reducing trip and fall exposure. Some rubber-backed mats have cleated surfaces on the bottom that further enhances non-skid properties and allows moisture to dry from underneath the mat.
These mats perform many tasks. In many cases, they are used as “wiper” or “finishing” mats when used in conjunction with a scraper, scraper/wiper entrance mat in a three mat soil management program. They are usually made with a nylon textile surface that will provide good wiping characteristics. Nylon is typically used over olefin because of the high twist level of nylon fibers which allows the mat to more effectively remove soil and spring back up after cleaning. Olefin mats will crush out in as little as 30-days rendering the mat virtually useless. Other uses of interior mats include spot, spill and soil control in high-use areas such as vending machines, coffee service areas, copy machines, registration areas, etc. It is important that mats used in these areas provide safe footing that minimizes trip and fall hazards as well as slip resistance. The best interior mats are made with a rubber backing that will resist slippage on any surface – carpet or hard surface.
Industrial mats usually fall into two broad use areas – Traction Control/Floor Protection mats and Anti-Fatigue mats.
Anti-Fatigue mats are designed to provide a safe, productive surface for occupations that require long periods of standing. The best anti-fatigue mats are designed to comfortably support a person with a cushion that does not crush after months of use. To do this, an anti-fatigue mat should be resistant to environmental conditions that can contaminate and deteriorate the cushion in the mat.
Another benefit of higher performance industrial anti-fatigue mats is soil and debris trapping to help prevent or minimize cross contamination of soil from one department to another or to office environments.
Custom Logo Mats
Logo mats are available in constructions that allow them to be used as entrance mats, interior mats and industrial Anti-fatigue or Anti-Slip mats.
Logo entrance mats should be made with the same construction as non-logo entrance mats in that they should provide the soil and water stopping and storage or scraping properties inherent in the best entrance mats. One of the most common misapplications of matting products is the use of interior logo mats at the entrance to a facility. Since interior mats do not provide the permanent bi-level construction required in an entrance mat, these mats can become saturated with soil and water and become a source for contaminants. The result is a mat that allows water to seep onto the floor around the mat causing unsightly and unsafe conditions. Interior logo mats are designed for dust and moisture control in conjunction with a planned matting program of scraper and entrance mats.