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How to protect your floors during the winter months

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 ruin a floor's finish, and ultimately damaging on of the largest investments in your building the flooring. 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. When the finish is damaged it allows the contaminants to reach the floor itself. 

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 tracked into a facility.

The most effective matting solution to keep floors protected from the elements is a 3-mat system.

View our 3-Mat System Infographic

Scraper mats. The function of these mats is to scrape more substantial soils off shoe bottoms. They are placed outside of entry ways as a first line of defense.  Crown’s Premium mat, Jasper is an aggressive mat designed for dynamic scraping action and is designed for medium 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. 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 entrance mat is also critical. Crown recommends using the Rule of 15's. This means that each of the three types of mats mentioned above are at least five feet long, totaling 15 feet.

Having 15 feet of entrance mat help ensure that as much as 70% to 80% 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, 20 or 30 feet of matting is advised.

The Crown Matting Technologies 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