In this article, Facility Cleaning Decisions asked industry manufacturers to respond to some of the most pressing questions presented by facility cleaning professionals working within K-12 districts, colleges, universities, healthcare facilities, government and commercial offices, hospitality facilities and retail spaces. These are their responses:

Maintaining mats during seasonal transitions can be a daunting task for cleaning departments. What recommendations do you have for maintenance and upkeep during these challenging months?

Particularly in the northern states with all four seasons and a lot of salt, the main maintenance goal is to keep additional debris out of the facility. This is accomplished by first having an effective open-back matting system outside the building to trap and filter the salt. Secondly, installing heavy-duty matting inside the building for at least the first 10 feet is crucial to help ensure that salt doesn’t hit the facility floor and cause additional maintenance issues.
— Rochelle Quandt, Market Development Manager, 3M Commercial Solutions

Managers need to write in that there is no one cleaning protocol that will work year-round in geographic areas that have seasonal weather changes. When there is rain, snow or ice present, any mat can become saturated and will stop absorbing water. Whenever mats are saturated they should be replaced or subject to accelerated drying methods. Excess water can be removed with drying fans, wet-vacs, or simply by removing mats to dry areas where they can be hung to drain out.
— Dan Silver, Vice President of Product Development, New Pig

Matting should be vacuumed often with a strong door motor upright. Matting should be cleaned in place with a carpet extractor or bonnet cleaning, or even brought outside to be cleaned with a hose or pressure washer.
— Mitchell Saltzman, President, Proform


What considerations should be made to the matting backing before purchasing? Are certain mats better suited for specific flooring types?

In most cases, facility managers have the option to pick between rubber or vinyl backing. Between the two, rubber backing is usually the preferred choice due to its gripping capabilities on carpet and in heavy-traffic areas. However, in order to avoid floor discoloration caused by chemical rub-off, facility managers need to make sure their rubber-backed mats are high quality.
Vinyl-backed mats typically provide a quicker return on investment due to a lower initial cost. When maintained properly, the longevity of vinyl and rubber mats are quite similar and the choice simply becomes a matter of preference. Vinyl mats are effective for moisture absorption and soil capture and are typically thick enough to avoid curling or folding at the edges, helping to reduce the risk of a trip hazard.
For a matting system on carpet, it’s important to make sure the mat has a gripper to remain in place and reduce slips and trips. As a result, facility managers should choose a high-quality mat with a rubber backing to help ensure traction and durability.
— Rochelle Quandt, Market Development Manager, 3M Commercial Solutions

One of the big problems with traditional rubber-backed carpeted mats is that they slide or creep out of position continuously. Not only does this result in dangerous conditions, it also means employees constantly have to pull those heavy mats back where they’re supposed to be. The new adhesive backed mats solve this problem because they are actively bonded to the floor, yet can be peeled up and removed when needed. If you are determined to stay with rubber backed mats, choose one with a non-skid backing. Also, the heavier the mat, the less likely it is to migrate out of position.
— Dan Silver, Vice President of Product Development, New Pig

Rubber backing tends to "creep" less on a hard floor. Cleated rubber mats are preferable on carpet.
— Mitchell Saltzman, President, Proform

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Re-Evaluating Matting Programs Means Deciding Whether To Rent Or Buy
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Floor Mats: The Most Overlooked Areas Within Facilities