When doors finally start reopening, hopefully within a month or two, one of the things facility managers must check is whether they have effective floor mats installed at all building entries. Often managers believe installing floor mats is seasonal, for instance only necessary during the winter months. But we need them year round, especially now in a post-COVID world.
We cannot say that matting will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 or any other virus, but what it can do is help protect indoor air quality (IAQ). This helps to reduce sneezing and coughing, which are two of the main culprits now spreading this virus.
Further, according to the World Health Organization, poor IAQ in commercial facilities:
- Increases the risk of allergies and asthma—mats capture and then trap moisture, mold, mildew, and other contaminants, preventing them from being walked into a facility.
- Heightens the risk of lung cancer due to radon; radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It can collect on shoe bottoms and then walked into facilities if mats aren’t present.
- Causes a variety of problems for children in schools. When soils and moisture are walked into schools, children tend to have more types of allergic reactions than adults. This often results in increased student absenteeism as well as impaired student performance.
Over the past decade, mats have proved to be so effective that they now are considered a requirement for a facility to earn LEED certification. Mats help keep facilities cleaner, which often means that fewer cleaning solutions need to be used to maintain a facility. Whenever fewer cleaning products are used, green or traditional, it has a reduced impact on the environment, the goal of green cleaning.
Because we can see how vital floor mats are in helping to protect health, how should facility managers go about selecting them? Here are some suggestions:
- Work with a knowledgeable janitorial distributor. While floor mats may look the same, they can differ widely. A janitorial distributor can prove to be a valuable resource in selecting the most functionally effective floor mats that are also the most cost-effective for your facility.
- Discuss with your distributor if you should purchase mats instead of renting them. Many cleaning experts suggest that purchased mats are more effective at keeping facilities healthy because they are made of higher quality materials and designed to be more durable. Some mat manufacturers even call their mats “high performance” mats. High-performance mats have enhanced capabilities for trapping and capturing moisture and contaminants.
- The length of the mat is critical. It is recommended to have at least 15 feet of floor matting at all building entries, more if possible. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the length of the mat is key to its effectiveness. The AIA reports that:
- Five feet of matting captures 33 percent of debris entering a facility
- Ten feet of matting captures 52 percent
- Twenty feet captures 86 percent
- Twenty-five feet captures 100 percent
- When selecting mats, ensure that you understand the cleaning and maintenance procedures. Purchased mats, for instance, can be cleaned using dry methods or cleaned using the extraction method. This deep-cleaning process removes all the soils that have been collected on the mat.
Finally, whether the decision is made to purchase mats or rent them, view floor mats as an investment. Quality floor mats help keep facilities clean, but they also help keep building users healthier, which is more paramount today than ever before.
The Secure Clean blog is designed to help building managers keep their facilities cleaner, healthier, greener, and safer, in the most cost-effective ways possible. To learn more about us, please take a few minutes to explore our website at www.securecleanbsi.com, contact us here, or at 888-609-1410.