Working out when your office entrance mat needs replacing can be tricky, and probably isn’t one of the first things you think about when you get up in a morning. So to make it easier and highlight its importance, here are 5 signs your entrance mats need replacing, which you can check everyday as you come in:
1. Moisture beyond the front door:
Have you noticed moisture in the lobby of your building following heavy rain? Do you use throw down matting on a regular basis to supplement your existing matting?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then this is a key indicator that your entrance matting isn’t performing as it should. One of the main functions of entrance matting is to remove moisture from the soles of feet, preventing slipping accidents from occurring. Throw down matting, should not be used as a long term solution as it can be seen as a tripping hazard. It is recommended that fixed matting be used when possible, if you notice moisture beyond your current fixed matting system, it’s time to evaluate its effectiveness.
2. Damage to floor surface
As well as removing moisture an effective entrance mat should protect the floor surface that it is next to. Removing dirt and contaminants from shoes, prevents scratches, scuffs and general wear, helping to extend the lifetime of the adjacent floor finish. If your floor surface is damaged, your entrance mat can’t be removing all the dirt and debris.
3. Tracked in dirt and mud
Studies show that more than 80% of dirt and debris within a building is tracked in on the bottom of shoes. An effective entrance mat which allows at least 8 footfalls in each direction (roughly 6 metres in length) can remove up to 75% of this dirt, keeping it in one place for easy cleaning. If you’ve noticed dirty footprints throughout your building, it’s time to replace or upgrade your entrance matting system. A dirty building doesn’t give a good impression to any of your visitors or employees.
4. Mat inserts look tired and worn
It’s important to ensure your entrance mat stays fresh, as a tired and worn entrance mat is a lot less effective. A good way to gauge how worn your mat is to give the mat a full deep clean, making sure to properly rub up the carpet inserts raising the pile on each. (We recommend this kind of deep clean is done four to six times a year in high traffic areas) After the deep clean step back and you will be able to see whether the pile has risen or if it has stayed flat in some areas. These flat areas should be replaced, because they are not able to effectively scrape the dirt and absorb the moisture. When choosing an entrance mat, look for a long warranty period of around 5 years for the carpet inserts, this proves quality and durability.
5. Transition from front door to lobby isn’t smooth and wheelchair friendly
Documents such as Approved Document M – Access to and use of buildings and BS8300:2010 state that, when entering a building “Consideration should be given to users of wheelchairs, sticks and crutches. The entrance matting system should be designed without abrupt changes in level which could result in tripping accidents or impede wheeled traffic.” It is therefore recommended that entrances to commercial and public buildings are:
- Provided with an entrance flooring system to remove water and debris from the soles of shoes as well as wheelchair wheels
- Direct, free from obstructions, have a firm, slip-resistant surface and allow easy manoeuvre of a wheelchair.
- Any matting should either have its surface level with the adjacent floor finish or, if surface laid, be of a type that has chamfered edges.
- If other types of surface laid mats are used they should be securely fixed to the floor at their edges and at any joints, to avoid risk of tripping and slipping.
If your entrance matting doesn’t comply with these points, you will need to replace it. Non-conformance could be costly.
Hopefully these 5 points have helped you establish the current state of your entrance mat. For future reference we have created a tick sheet with a few hints at what to look for in a new entrance mat, which you may find useful when assessing your entrance mat. Download it here
- Download our entrance matting brochure
- Check out our guide to designing an entrance
- Give the experts a call on 01296 652800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how we can help you with your office entrance mats.