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Don't Let the Winter Months Play Havoc on Hard Surface Floors

The winter months may be the toughest time of the year for hard surface floors. Winter is typically when we have the most rain, snow, and ice buildup. This is also the time of the year ice melt and other salt-based products are used to keep walkways and entries safer for foot traffic.

boots in snowRain, snow, ice, and ice melt can play havoc on a floor's finish, and when this happens, they can also damage the floor itself. This is because the role of a floor finish is not to just put a shine on the floor, but to protect the floor from moisture, soils, contaminants, etc.

But there are ways to keep hard-surface floors clean, safe, and healthy during the winter. This is especially true if a durable floor finish has already been applied. The most important thing to do starts at the front door: installing effective, quality matting systems

Entry and walkway mats are often viewed as an afterthought in many facilities. However, for a facility to be LEED-certified, it must have an effective entryway matting system in place. Mats are required because they have proven their effectiveness at keeping soil and moisture on shoe bottoms from being walked into a facility.

However, placing a mat here and a mat, there is not an effective strategy. According to Crown Matting Technologies, three types of mats should be installed at all key building entries, especially those in industrial locations.

The three mat types are the following:

Scraper mats. These mats, as the name implies, scrape more substantial soils off shoe bottoms. They are placed outside of entries.  Crown’s Premium mat, Commercial Clean Machine® is an aggressive mat with an exclusive surface designed for dynamic scraping action and is designed for heavy traffic areas.

Wiper/scraper mats. Many facilities have a vestibule area directly inside their entries. This is a perfect place for a wiper/scraper mat; however, it can also be installed directly inside a facility. Oxford™ Elite with ThermoGrip™ is designed to remove more of the larger soils as well as smaller soils and moisture. It combines performance and appearance in one mat hiding dirt.  The ThermoGrip™ vinyl backing offers superior floor protection.

Wiper mats. Often called the final line of defense, the wiper mat further wipes shoe bottoms clean and removes moisture. Crown Matting Technologies Dust-Star™ with ThermoGrip™ vinyl backing is an efficient and innovative wiper with a unique microfiber/olefin blend that will keep dirt from spreading onto floors.   

The length of the mat is also critical. Crown recommends what it sometimes refers to as the "Rule of 15's." the Rule of 15's means that each of the three types of mats just mentioned are five feet long, totaling 15 feet.

Fifteen feet help ensure that as much as 70 percent to 80 percent of all soil and moisture are removed from shoe bottoms. However, for those that want to take further steps to reduce soil and moisture from entering their facilities, especially during the winter months, twenty or thirty feet of matting is advised.

The Crown Matting Technology blog is where cleaning professionals and building managers find expert, practical advice on the many features and benefits of high-quality, purchased floor mats and how they can help keep your facility cleaner, safer, healthier, and looking its best. For more information, contact us at 800-MAT-LINE (628-5463).

Topics: hard surface floorcare, mats and hardsurface floorcare, lobby mats, wiper mats