Winter has finally arrived in the northeast. Winter Storm Jonas gave us all a healthy reminder that mother nature is not messing around. There’s nothing quite like a few feet of snow to bring you back to reality, right?
And it’s not just snow that covers the roads and sidewalks when Winter rears it’s ugly head, it’s salt and ice melt as well, and when you track that stuff into your home or place of business with you it can do a number on your floors. Besides just looking messy, water, soil, and salt can permanently damage or discolor your floors. That’s why it is so important to have a high-quality entrance mat in place to prevent that damage, especially this time of year. The truth is that everyone has an entrance mat whether they like it or not, it’s the first 20 feet of carpet in front of your door. So the question is, do you want to have a mat down to protect your floor or carpet, or don’t you?
But this need for a mat begs the question, what exactly does an entrance mat need to do in order to protect my floors from the elements? Great question! A proper entrance mat needs to do 4 things to successfully protect your floors:
1) Stop soil, water, salt, and any other potentially harmful things at the door.
Most, if not all entrance mats will claim to do this, but how can you be sure that you’re going to get what you need? The most effective mats provide a combination of scraping and wiping to get the maximum amount of contaminants off of your shoes before you track them into your home or place of business.
2) Store soil and water for later 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 toseep off the edges, thus increasing one’s exposure to slip andfall. Excessive floor damage is also created by the waterseepage around the perimeter of the mat. Higher performancemats provide a dam that will hold the water back from floor surfaces and from reattaching to one’s shoes.
3) Minimize the 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.
4) Provide a safe surface to walk on.
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. Rubberbacked 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.
So, do you think that your entrance mat is up to the task? Do you even have and entrance mat right now? If not, PJP stocks Andersen mats, a company that has been in the business providing high quality matting since 1974. If you’re interested in getting an Anderson mat, call your PJP sales rep today!