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Cleaning Mats Per LEED Guidelines
Late last year, the USGBC launched the latest version of its LEED certification. In addition to installing 10 feet of matting, the new v4 guidelines require that janitors clean mats weekly to earn a credit. Manufacturers agree, however, that may not be enough to truly protect the product.
“Vacuuming weekly may be acceptable under sunny conditions, but likely not enough when the weather is blustery, raining or snowing,” says Durette.
Foot traffic and outdoor weather should dictate the cleaning schedule for mats. In general, mats should be vacuumed daily to ensure the healthiest environment. In high-traffic areas, or during times of extreme weather, mats may need to be vacuumed multiple times during a day.
A dual-motor vacuum is an efficient tool for the task, and a backpack can simplify the process.
“If the custodian is using an upright vacuum, they need to set the deck height appropriately if the vacuum doesn’t have a self-adjusting feature,” says Evan Ghen, vice president of sales and operations at Scoles Floorshine Industries in Wall, New Jersey.
In addition to frequent vacuuming, mats should receive regular deep cleaning, typically via hot-water carpet extraction. High-performance mats are designed to capture and trap soils, acting as a filter to keep dirt out. Extraction helps remove these soils, which protects and improves the mat’s performance. Mats in areas with high foot traffic and heavy soil transfer should get more frequent cleaning.
After cleaning mats, janitors should pick them up to inspect for moisture build up on the underside. The back of the mat should be dry before it is reinstalled.
Although cleaning matting is not complicated, it is nonetheless an important task that should be done routinely to extend the product’s lifespan and improve its performance. Cleaning also keeps mats looking attractive.
“Entrance and floor mats are among the first items people notice when they step into a facility, so the quality and appearance of these mats are vital to making a good first impression,” says Miller.
Becky Mollenkamp is a freelance writer based in St. Louis.
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