Choosing the Best Walk-Off Mat System for Your Commercial Building
Dirt never ends. Dirt is inevitable, and it is constant—to say nothing of winter’s salt and sand, leaves or grass clippings, or any other unmentionable muck that gets tracked in through entryways. Filthy entryways can be a problem for commercial businesses. A messy space leaves clients and customers with a bad first impression. Not to mention, tracked-in dirt will cost you money in carpet wear-and-tear over time.
Walk-off mats and systems help keep your entryways clean, limit the wear-and-tear to your carpet and contributes to the preventative maintenance of your flooring.
But where should you begin when choosing walk-off mat systems? There are a few different options to help you cover your entryways—and your troubles.
How Businesses Use Walk-Off Mat Systems
Most businesses know that placing a walk-off mat immediately inside the entrance is a good way to reduce dirt in the building and wear on your flooring. A recent survey we conducted found that 92 percent of respondents use at least one kind of walk-off mat, if not both an interior and exterior solution.
Walk-off mats should be long, and the most common types go on top of your flooring to protect the area underneath. This allows people to get the dirt and grime from outside off their feet before they make their way into the rest of the building.
While it is common to use walk-off mat systems, it’s important to ensure you use the right type of solution to best protect your flooring investment.
Choosing the Right Walk-Off Mats for Your Space
There are three types of mats that are commonly used in commercial buildings: exterior mats, wiper/scraper mats, and drying mats.
1. Exterior Mats
While exterior mats can help reduce the amount of outside brought inside the building, these mats are still exposed to the elements and do not always remove as much dirt as you would think. If you go with exterior mats, they still should be paired with a strong interior walk-off system.
2. Drying mats
Some buildings only use drying mats at the entrance to their buildings. Drying mats do prevent slipping, but they simply dry wet shoes and do not capture as much dirt. While they are a less expensive option in terms of up-front costs, they are not as effective as other options. They can become saturated, especially if not replaced often, which tracks more moisture and dirt into the building rather than capturing it at the entrance.
3. Wiper/Scraper Mats
These are higher quality mats that, if placed outside, need be covered from the elements or used exclusively inside. Wiper/scraper mats are rigid mats and because of the high quality, they only need to be vacuumed once a day. They collect dirt, absorb moisture and will go the distance to protect your carpet. These types of mats are your best investment. It is a lot cheaper to buy a higher quality mat that will last seven to 10 years rather than renting mats that get cleaned and rotated out every week.
To help prevent mat saturation, curling edges and promote cleanliness, many buildings choose to rent walk-off mats that are cycled out by a company. These still need to be vacuumed regularly, but a company comes to pick up the dirty mats and replace them with new ones. A rental system can be more cost-effective in the short term, but the mats are not always high quality and it does not allow benefits like DPM Care’s deep cleans that prove to extend the life of the product and protect your entryway long term.
An Alternative to Walk-off Mats
You may decide walk-off mats are the best option for your facility, but if you are searching for a more permanent, aesthetically pleasing solution, carpet-tile walk-off systems are a great option.
A carpet-tile walk-off mat system extends the life of your floor and avoids unattractive mats on top of your flooring. Carpet-tile systems can be custom-cut to your space and they adhere to the floor to make a semi-permanent entryway solution with no tripping risk.
In our experience, we have seen customer’s happiness with the carpet-tile walk-off systems we have helped select and we would be happy to help you pick the right system for your space too.
Both walk-off mats and carpet-tile systems come in different styles and colors. You want to choose a system that fits your space, consider patterns and styles that will complement the look of your building. Also, choosing a dark color to mask stains will help your space look great in between vacuuming and deep-cleanings.
Regardless of the style or color you choose, be sure not to overlook the length of your walk-off mat system. We recommend that your walk-off mat system is at least 32 feet long.
However, most spaces were not designed to allow for that much room. If your building cannot accommodate 32 feet, as long as you have at least 12-15 feet of walk-off matting, you will be in good shape.
How to Care for Your Walk-Off Mats
Caring for your flooring on a regular basis is the best thing you can do for walk-off mats and carpet-tile systems. Consider these tips to take the best care of your investment:
- Vacuum mats daily. If mats are in a high traffic area, vacuum twice a day.
- Match the cleaning frequency of the mats to your building’s cleaning schedule. At DPM Care, we clean mats every time we clean a client’s floors.
- If you live in a place with snow, proper daily care is especially important. You need to regularly flush matting because of ice melt. As the ice melt dries, it solidifies and attaches itself to the walk-off fiber. If you do not get it off on a monthly basis, it builds up and you may not get it out.
Being proactive with your maintenance and caring for your flooring well will minimize wear-and-tear and protect your entryway longterm.
Whether you need input about the right walk-off system for your building or want to make sure your floors are getting the highest degree of clean DPM Care is happy to help you get the right solution for your facility. Contact us and we’ll get your questions answered!