Readers submitted questions on recommendations for cleaning and maintaining mats. Below are those questions, along with feedback from industry experts:

Mark Roberts
Region Manager
The Andersen Company
Dalton, Georgia

JoAnn Durette
Vice President of Marketing
Mats Inc.
Stoughton, Massachusetts

Don Mistro
Senior Regional Sales Manager
Superior Manufacturing Group
Chicago, Illinois

How often should mats be cleaned/maintained and what is the recommended process for doing so?

Roberts — Mats should be vacuumed regularly — daily in high traffic applications and weekly in lower traffic applications. Extract clean or hose off as needed to remove heavy soil and then hang mats to dry. The mats should be completely dry before placing back in service.

Durette — 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 single most important — yet most overlooked and omitted  —maintenance activity for preserving the mat’s 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.
The deep recessed foot grille is a type of “matting” often used at building exteriors with overhangs and in vestibules.  These entrance products last longer than fiber-only matting systems and make maintenance routines even easier because they remove larger amounts of debris from the surface and store them underneath.  Depending on whether the foot grille is all aluminum or one with fiber inserts, surface cleaning can take place as needed using a broom, dust mop or vacuum.
Grilles should be lifted weekly or monthly — contingent on weather and foot traffic conditions — for vacuuming underneath, and restoring surface panels using soapy solution or hot water extraction method.

Mistro — Cleaning of matting depends on the quality of the mat and environment. I would recommend that floor mats be treated similarly to carpeting by vacuuming daily and cleaned with an extractor seasonally.

How often should mats be replaced?

Roberts — Replace your mats when the performance life has expired. This can vary depending on quality, placement, traffic, etc.

Durette — A variety of factors can contribute to mat replacement timing including the types and quality of products, maintenance routines, foot traffic and climate conditions. Some products will only last a year or two but the highest quality matting products can last up to 10 years, while aluminum foot grilles can last 15 years or longer. Matting suppliers should be able to give you an idea of how long you can expect each system component to last. 
There are also signs that may indicate you need new entrance matting:
•    Visitors can be located by following their wet footprints.
•    One too many guests have tried to look like nothing happened after they lost their footing on slick interior flooring surfaces.
•    Cleaning clumps of dirt beyond the matting has become an endless chore.
•    You've had to increase cleaning frequency to keep the facility clean.
•    Mats look dreadful even after they have been deep cleaned.
•    You’ve added your fourth 3-by-5-foot mat to your not-so-attractive matting series and there’s still entirely too much dirt and moisture tracking in.
•    Visitors trip trying to get past the wrinkle in the mat that won’t come out.
•    Dirt, salt and moisture are causing damage in the form of scrapes, gauges or cracking to interior flooring surfaces.
•    You’re thinking about placing an order for more “wet floor” signs.
•    You have a rental matting program and are unable to keep up with interior flooring maintenance.

Mistro — Mats should be replaced when they are not performing at the level intended. For example, if an indoor entrance mat is not providing a safe environment, the mat should be replaced. The life of a mat will vary based on the material and can be measured by the face weight.

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