With much of North America covered by snow and ice, now is the perfect time to review one of the most effective ways to keep facilities clean and healthy during the winter months.
According to Dennis Knapp, national sales director for Crown Mats and Matting, "An effective matting system is your best defense against adverse winter weather, preventing sand, rock salt, moisture, and other contaminants from entering a facility...And it should be installed at all building entries, not just main entrances."
According to Knapp, while some building entries may receive more foot traffic than others, "Ultimately, the installation of floor mats is like spokes in a wheel. If one spoke is weak or missing-meaning one entry has no or inadequate mating-it can impact the cleanliness of the entire facility, especially under adverse weather conditions."
Along with installing matting at all building entries, it is important to:  
• Abide by the "Rule of 15." This refers to the installation of five feet of coarse matting outside a facility; five feet of matting directly inside the doors of the facility; and another five feet of interior matting as the final line of defense.
• Vacuum. During winter months, cleaning crews should vacuum mats several times during the course of the day.
• Replace. Even with proper vacuuming, mats can become saturated with moisture and soil, which building users will then walk into the facility. Replace mats as often as once per day under very adverse weather conditions or if necessary.
• Deep clean. Mats should be cleaned on a regular basis; the most effective way to clean mats is to use a carpet extractor.
• Purchase. While some rental mats may prove effective, in most cases high-performance matting systems specifically designed to protect a facility during unfavorable weather must be purchased, not rented.

"A jan/san distributor familiar with high-performance matting systems can be a great resource during the winter months," adds Knapp. "While it may be nasty and icy outside, it can still be clean and healthy inside with a sound matting system in place."