The single most important preventative measure a BSC can employ in a facility to keep floors in tip-top shape during the harsh winter months is a high-performance matting system, says Daniel Josephs, general manager of Spruce Industries Inc., located in Rahway, N.J.

“If there are three things you want to do in the winter to really save your floors it’s mats, mats and more mats,” Josephs says. “Everything else will sort of take care of itself if you have proper matting in the facility. But if you don’t have proper matting, taking care of your floor is going to be very, very difficult.”

Matting systems help stop contaminants at the door by trapping soil, including ice melt, sand and moisture, before it can be tracked in. The wells in these systems capture and hold soil and water for easy and convenient removal later on.

Josephs emphasizes that matting should be present in a good floor care system long before the wind blows and the snow falls.

“You should have mats in the facility regardless of the season,” he says. “They are always your No. 1 defense against dirt and grime coming into your building.”

Griffin agrees, and adds that BSCs should consider installing additional matting come winter.

He recommends upgrading matting, replacing worn mats or those with curled edges and putting in extra matting in locations known to receive a lot of rain or snow during the winter. Manufacturers typically recommend that matting cover a span of about three paces, both outside and inside the entrance, for a total of 15 feet of matting.

Griffin also recommends a heavier, scraper and moisture-removing type mat that allows moisture to run off and soil to settle in for the outside of the building, and a finer type of matting that collects moisture and smaller particles of soil for the inside.

“The deeper the wells in the matting right inside the door, the better they will help collect the dirt and prevent it from going forward,” says Joseph.
A common mistake is putting an olefin-type mat in the entryway, which is great for drying feet but doesn’t do much to scrape off sand or ice melt or to collect water coming in.

BSCs should also switch out mats periodically during the day. 

“In the Northwest, we trade out the matting during the day because by noon it’s saturated with water…and if matting gets overloaded, it’s no longer functional,” says Griffin.

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