If a building owner has standards surrounding branding or aesthetics, purchasing their own mats is a way to enhance those choices. Mats can be customized in proprietary colors and designed with logos to reinforce branding and overall ambience.

“Owning mats offers more choices in size, color and customization than rental programs,” says Silverman, adding that “many distributors have cost calculators which will allow for comparison between rental and owning.”

The benefits of mats are not limited to cleaner floors, longevity of flooring, or adding a component to a branding strategy. Safety is another plus. By trapping moisture and debris before it can be deposited on floors, mats can help prevent slip-and-fall accidents.

This can become a double-edged sword, however, if mats are not routinely cleaned and maintained. Mats that become saturated will allow moisture to be carried further into a building and deposited on floors, causing a slipping hazard or staining carpeting.

Meanwhile, matting itself can create hazards BSCs should be aware of. Placing inadequate or poor-quality matting that may become rippled, buckled, or curled has the potential to be a tripping hazard. When speaking with building owners about matting programs, it’s important that BSCs include routine care and maintenance guidelines in the plan.

Those conversations should also highlight less obvious benefits to matting programs. For example, mats can contribute to the green cleaning goals of building owners and facility managers who seek to purchase or use environmentally-friendly products.

“Mats improve air quality by eliminating dust particles from entering the building, which can be hazardous to the health of building occupants,” says Silverman.

Other contaminants that can hitch a ride on people’s shoes include pollen, pesticides, chemicals, oil, dirt and debris. Stopping these at the entrance keeps them from finding their way into interior air or being taken into an HVAC system and distributed throughout the facility.

“Knowing that almost 90 percent of dust, dirt, and moisture can be contained within approximately 15 feet of the entrance to a building should give any facility manager peace of mind,” says Spallone.

In listing the “green” benefits of mats, Cadell adds, “There are options that use recycled plastic to manufacture the mat. Also, with the dirt it keeps out it helps reduce the amount of chemicals used to keep a building clean.”

Armed with information about the benefits of a comprehensive matting system and its impact on facility cleaning, maintenance, and the resulting long-term savings, BSCs can work with building owners and facility managers to improve the safety and appeal of their facilities for building visitors and occupants.

Shannon O’Connor is a freelance writer from Mason, Ohio.

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Should You Rent Or Buy Mats?