What cleaning and maintenance tasks are required for mats, and at what frequency?

Mats require maintenance. If you want a safe floor, there is no such thing as set it and forget it. Even if the mat is in great condition, if it gets saturated with water or if there is stuff on it, (in a grocery this could be squashed grapes or in a factory it could be grease or metal shavings) you need to maintain it. Situational maintenance has to happen in real-time as opposed to a schedule. So if there’s an oil spill on a mat, or if it’s drenched with water from tracked-in snow, it needs to be cleaned, dried, or changed out right when it happens. Rental mats are typically changed out every week or every other week, so that can kind of function like a scheduled inspection or audit. If you own your mats, visually check them during a minimum weekly walk around the facility. You are looking for:
POSITION - are they where they are supposed to be?
WEAR – are there tears, holes, uneven surface areas, wrinkles, or fraying?
FLAT - do they still lay flat with no rippling to cause trips?
CLEAN - are they excessively soiled, which can cause tracking of dirt or contaminants (and look bad)?
  — Daniel Silver, Vice President of Product Development, New Pig, Corp.

Daily vacuuming is recommended and with the right quality mats, a periodic extraction is acceptable as well. Optimal mat performance usually depends on how well the product is maintained in accordance to the manufacturers suggested cleaning and maintenance instructions.
  — Aaron Mills, Marketing Manager, 3M Commercial Solutions Division

The quality of the mat determines the amount in which you need to clean it. The better the quality the less you need to clean. Durable mats can take the abuse, but it really depends on the area the mat it placed. A good tip is to rotate your mats if possible so one mat doesn’t take the brunt of a heavy traffic area.
  — Brian Evans, National Sales Manager, Superior Manufacturing

The frequency with which mats should be cleaned and the process for cleaning them is largely determined by the amount of foot traffic, weather and type of matting product.
In general, matting should be vacuumed daily using a commercial brush vacuum cleaner.  This is the most important maintenance activity for preserving the mats appearance, longevity and performance.  Carpet matting should be deep cleaned using the hot water extraction method with a commercial truck mounted steam extraction machine weekly or monthly depending on foot traffic, weather, etc. If the matting is not permanently installed (glued down), the mats should be removed from service during the deep cleaning process.
  — JoAnn Durette, Vice President of Marketing, Mats, Inc.

Daily cleaning by sweeping or vacuuming is recommended to keep mats looking great.  It is common to wet/dry vacuum the during winter months to remove excess moisture.  For a deeper cleaning use a carpet extractor. To prolong the life of the product it may be periodically washed using a hose with a pressure spray nozzle to remove soil. Position the mat in an inclined position to drain dry. It is always advised to check with the manufacturer before laundering the mat, as many are not recommended for tumble-type washing machines.
  — John Miller, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Americo Manufacturing

Daily vacuuming with periodic water extraction or pressure washing is a good, basic cleaning program. In addition, one must be monitoring the mats for additional attention to spot cleaning, extra vacuuming as needed based on the environment the mats are placed in.
  — Mark Roberts, National Accounts Specialist, The Andersen Company

Cleaning frequency is very specific to use an dirt load.  Regular vacuuming is the most important cleaning task.  Regular deep cleaning preferably with a carpet extractor is important especially after inclement weather.
  — Mitchell Saltzman, President, Proform

For even more questions about matting, including how they encourage floor safety, click here.