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While entrance matting is a vital addition to a floor when it comes to keeping it safe, the regime used to clean them is of vital importance if you are going to keep them working to the best of their ability. With that in mind, Mike Egerton, Managing Director of Host Von Schrader, spent a year reviewing entrance matting and discovering how many Facilities Managers are not only not given enough resources to install it, but they’re also not given the budget to maintain this expensive and vital asset.

Matting at shopping mall, London

“Over the last year, we have been reviewing a large number of matting sites. As maintainers we were interested in how matting could be kept on working at maximum efficiency rather than looking at the pros and cons of each system. We were fortunate at a couple of sites to be able to review current practises and then to look at how dry extraction cleaning and, specifically the Host system, could keep these mats working well and looking good.

There is already a wealth of information regarding entrance matting available from Dupont, ISSA and also from UK and USA government sources, which cite statistics about soil removal, costs of soil removal and costs of slip and fall accidents. It also seems to be accepted by architects, specifiers, cleaning and maintenance professionals that entrance or barrier matting works to remove and trap soil and moisture from the soles of shoes and the treads of wheeled traffic as they cross the threshold from the exterior of the building into the interior.

Mats may exist within a facility, to prevent soil transfer from one area to another e.g. kitchen to dining


areas. They conceal soil but also should be very willing to release this soil via vacuuming and extraction methods.

Matting companies have a variety of systems and some recommend two and three stages systems. They use a variety of material and gauges to achieve the result. Everyone we spoke to commented that the case for installing matting was well researched and proven beyond doubt. All seemed effective in stopping soil, preventing internal hard floors from getting wet, saving money on internal cleaning and preventing slip and fall accidents.

Our concern was to find that, all too often, these mats were not being maintained, were in poor condition and as a result fairly useless.

These photographs (shown) are not unrepresentative of what we found, although the train station was certainly towards the bottom of the chart.

After completing our research, our view is that three components are involved in the cleaning process. Firstly, vacuum the mat removing loose dry soil, secondly, use chemistry to remove any sticky soil and finally, extract the soil that

Matting at mainline rail station.

has been loosened. The frequency of the clean should be flexible enough to take into account the two factors that dictate the process. The total footfall during a given period and the external conditions that determine the amount of soil and water carried into the facility. What is clear, in the majority of cases, is that companies are spending up to £180.00 per square metre on entrance matting and its use and life expectancy are not being maximised.

Then we looked at a different approach.

Shopping Mall Trials We were able to carry out some field trials at a major UK mall. Firstly, we established that the mats at this mall were maintained using upright ‘brush type’ vacuums on a regular basis and apart from some high traffic areas looked pretty good.

We then carried out extensive trials using the Host system. The biggest

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