The five benefits of entrance matting

Big and small, safe and hazardous, dirty and well maintained – you’ve likely seen it all when it comes to entrance matting. But beyond the obvious of scraping dirt off shoes, what is its real benefit? Does it really help? And is it really worth it?

Let’s take a look at five fundamental benefits of entrance matting.

1. It will help make your building cleaner

When a building is first constructed and the fitout is completed, it's in pristine, clean condition.

Then the dirt comes.

As few as 1,000 people can bring 11kg of dirt into a building in a 20 day period, all of it on the soles of their shoes! Multiply this over months and years and you can be dealing with mountains of soil. This layer of dirt is incrementally built up and disturbingly, can go unnoticed for months or years.

The dirt ultimately ends up on various internal surfaces in a building which will eventually require cleaning. But it could have been avoided with an entrance mat.

2. It will help improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Once dirt comes into a building, some of it will likely end up in the air as particulate matter (PM).

Larger particles may break down to smaller particles over time. These particles are small enough to be air-borne, settling on surfaces or being passed through the building by HVAC systems.

Indoor Air Quality

Some airborne particles are unseen to the naked eye and can enter the human respiratory system. PM2.5 and PM10 (particles with a diameter of 2.5 and 10 micrometres or less) are so small that they can enter the lungs and may even cause respiratory issues.

The more dirt that can be prevented from entering a building, the higher the IAQ is likely to be.

3. It can lower cleaning costs

The more dirt in a building, the higher the cleaning costs will be.

Period.

Dirt that is tracked onto a polished floor, such as a granite or terrazzo entrance lobby, will gradually dull the appearance of the floor. This means that it must be restored either through stripping and sealing, or grinding and restoration – neither of which are cheap.

Carpet doesn't escape either. More dirt tracked in means dirtier carpets and more frequent carpet cleaning. This can be extended with better vacuum technology such as upright or “beater brush” vacuum heads, but they're not on the cheap side either.

It’s not just the floors that cop it. The dust created by tracked-in soil settles on other surfaces and fixtures in the building. Take a look at an airconditioning vent that hasn’t been cleaned in a while.

You may not notice the dirt build-up immediately, but a deep clean will eventually be required. And it won't be cheap!

Lower Cleaning Costs

4. It reduces slip & fall risk

A good quality, moisture-absorbent entrance mat is an essential part of a robust safety management plan to reduce OHS risk, especially when it comes to wet weather.

Almost every hard floor will be more slippery when wet. Entrances to many commercial buildings often have beautiful high gloss flooring surfaces, but that high gloss appearance can be an enemy, having poor slip ratings when wet.

A good quality entrance mat will be highly absorbent, drawing volumes of water away from the surface and dispersing it through the fibres of the mat.

This moisture absorbency ensures the floor retains an acceptable slip resistance.

Reduce Slip & Fall Risk

Consider all physical attributes of a floor mat: a thick mat with a high edge profile could actually increase trip hazard. Other rubber backed mats are susceptible to having “rippling edges” over time, also increasing trip risk.

Do your research. Check the height profile and ensure any mat you install has a good blend of moisture absorbency without adding trip risk hazard.

Reduce Slip & Fall Risk 2

5. It give a professional, responsible image

First impressions matter. Simply put, a commercial facility with an appropriately sized, good quality entrance mat presents well to visitors.

Without matting, entrances quickly get dirty and give a poor impression. A well-placed mat captures and hides dirt until cleaned, maintaining a good look between cleaning routines. Consider the following two factors when choosing a mat:

  1. A mat that can be cleaned with normal commercial floor cleaning machines will be particularly beneficial as dirt is regularly removed from the mat.

  2. Choose the right sized mat for the space. Not only will it be more aesthetically pleasing, but it will win you points when visitors notice that a responsible level of investment is being made in building care & maintenance.