Protective Maintenance begins with the use of walk-off mats in strategic places, such as outside before entering a building. Mats are a buildings’ first line of defense to keep dirt out and typically start with heavier and rougher grate type mats on the outside, to finer standard matting the further you go into a building. A heavy type soil removal mat, which is made of natural fiber, rubber or man-made materials is manufactured to stand up to weather, salt, grit and rough foot wiping. Mats should be placed between outside entry doors and inside entry doors. First floor elevator landings should have fiber walk-off mats with thin but firm type backing such as vinyl or rubber. In elevators, if possible, use easily removable carpet modules and have replacements available. Sometimes it is wise to have protective mats around hot water dispensers, food and drink dispensers and coffee stations or rooms.
Mats should be replaced with clean ones when dirty which in many cases is weekly, or otherwise vacuumed frequently and thoroughly. Don’t let them get too dirty – they will then be sources of dirt pickup to deposit on other flooring that you are trying to protect. Signs saying “Please Wipe Feet Here” may also be helpful.