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To stop soil and water from entering a building or to minimise tracking of contained soil and water into the building and to provide a safe surface for traffic, a proper entrance matting system is imperative, especially during monsoon.

In any premises, the first line of defence against contaminants and particles entering inside the building is through proper entrance matting systems. The US Green Building Council in its recommendations on promoting design and eco friendly implementation of cleaning programmes has included a minimum of 10-15ft of quality matting at the entrance. The dust and water entering the building can be arrested by around 70-80% at the entrance, according to Crown Mats and Matting, USA.

“A high-performance scraper mat outside an entrance contains soil in a place where it can be removed effectively and safely with minimum impact on the building. A high-performance wiper mat reduces airborne dust contaminants and thereby improves a building’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ),” says Christopher R. Tricozzi, VP Sales and Marketing, Crown Mats and Matting (Ludlow Composites), USA.

Entrance matting has different functions, says matting expert Vijith Nambiar of 3M. “In the current scenario majority of the customers prefer the loop vinyl & z-web matting. While z-web matting scrapes the coarse dust from the shoes, the loop matting collects & traps the dust and mud. The moisture part however carries the adhesive dirt inside the building. Ideally a good matting system should have z-web followed by vinyl loop followed by a moisture absorbent mat at the entrance.”

In high traffic areas during monsoon, a high performance wiper/scraper mat at the entrance contains the liquids with in the structure of the mat and does not allow them to seep onto the floor causing a potential slip/fall accident. According to Vijith Nambiar, “Loose dirt and adhesive dirt are the two major soils which create immediate concern on the floor. During the wet season the dirt gets easily transferred to the floor area making it dirty. All the dust is in a soaked form during the period, creating a painful area for housekeeping to tackle.

“To prevent such situations, proper three-way matting systems has to be laid in all the areas to trap wet mud. Wet absorbent mats play a vital role in preventing the dust during the monsoon season.”

Besides having a cleaner facility, says Debapratim Dinda- Technical Services, Building & Commercial Services Division, 3M India Limited, “matting extends life of floor surfaces, reduce interior maintenance cost, reduces chances of costly slip and fall accidents, improve interior appearance and reduce consumption of cleaning chemicals.”

“Ideally a good matting system should have z-web followed by vinyl loop followed by a moisture absorbent mat at the entrance.” – Vijith Nambiar

Vijith warns, “If appropriate mat is not used for the relevant application, it not only fails to fulfill the requirements but also shows a marked reduction in life. Matting products are available in coir, grass, cotton fibre, black rubber holes, vinyl, etc. Mat selection depends on a lot of criterion.”

Some of them are:

Traffic condition
Area of application – Outside/Inside
Type of dirt present
Presence/Absence of moisture
Function of mat
Trolley movement endurance

“If the choice of mats is not in accordance to its functions, they can flatten out over a time and once soil is deposited on these mats, it can reattach to the shoe and be tracked further into the building,” says Tricozzi of Crawn Mats. Apart from the entrances, there are many other areas in a building which requires matting, such as restrooms, pantry, cafeteria and breakout area. Matting in those areas is selected on the basis of the functions.


Unclean mats always carry lots of dust. Ideally, mats have to be cleaned on a daily maintenance routine. Daily cleaning will not allow dust accumulation in the mats and thus the chances of dust sticking to shoes or being carried inside the building is reduced. “A routine mat maintenance programme implementation is very important for any facility. This preserves and maintains the floor covering and extends the life of matting. Thus, saving the investment made on matting. Poor maintenance can cut-short the life of the matting and adversely affect its long term performance. Failing to adhere to maintenance guidelines in a regular routine that includes preventative maintenance as well as restorative cleaning can cause irreparable damage to your carpet investment and void applicable warranties. Routine care makes the matting more durable, more effective and will do the job which it is intended to. When a routine maintenance programme has not been followed and the matting appearance has gone down, proper full cleaning is necessary. However, full cleaning may not achieve the original beauty and appearance of the floor covering. Routine care means a longer lasting product,” explains Deb.

“Mats can be cleaned by normal dust collection method or using vacuum cleaner on a daily cleaning method. It has to be deep cleaned by washing with chemicals on a weekly basis,” adds Vijith.


A quality brand will easily come with a minimum lifespan of two years. Also, a proper maintenance process given by the manufacturer has to be followed thoroughly to get the maximum durability.

“Matting extends life of floor surfaces, reduces interior maintenance cost, reduces chances of costly slip and fall accidents.” – Debapratim Dinda

Replacement can depend on two parameters:

  • Quality / Brand
  • Maintenance

The type of matting – heavy duty / standard duty / low duty – and also where it has been placed determine its replacement. Again, depending on the type of usage, medium duty mats needs replacement every six months and heavy duty at once a year. But, again checking the mat visually is also very important before replacement.

In corporate India, awareness of the matting and maintenance process are increasing day by day. Most of the companies have a dedicated maintenance team in place.

Types of Mats

Vinyl loop – Scraper Mats

The matting material has nonwoven continuous vinyl filaments bonded together to form an open, attractive walking surface. The integral, fused all-vinyl foam backing provides the cushioning. The mat is suitable for day foot traffic in dry or some wet areas. Overall, the mat provides a comfortable walking surface, collects dirt, and helps to stop dirt from being tracked into a building. It is most suitable for applications in entryways, hallways, computer rooms. It is not recommended for kitchens, greasy or oily areas or areas that are wet. Such mats embedded into an all-vinyl foam backing form durable, resilient, water-resistant matting.

Routine Maintenance

For dry areas:

Shake dirt from mat and remove mat from service area
Sweep and remove dirt from service area
If needed, flush both sides of mat with warm water to remove remaining dirt
Allow mat to dry flat before placing it back into service

For wet areas:

Hose both sides of mat daily with warm water

Severely soiled mats can be restored to a high level of appearances by

  • Scrubbing the mat using a brush with a low foaming general purpose cleaner. For heavy grease buildup, use a water based degreaser. Flush mat with hot water and allow to dry flat before placing it back into service.
  • Or, cleaning the mat using a high pressure washer with a low foaming general purpose cleaner. Flush mat with hot water and allow to dry flat before placing it back into service.

Polypropylene Fibres

The carpet type entryway matting is tufted structure with various sizes of polypropylene fibre. The blocks of small fibres provide outstanding water removal while the blocks of large crimped fibres provide excellent dirt trapping and hiding. These mats have solid PVC and slip resistant backing. The vinyl backing helps to reduce mat movement, holds dirt and moisture off floor and increases safety.

Daily Maintenance

Use an upright beater-brush dry vacuum adjusted to its most powerful setting. Move nozzle slowly over mat to allow time for dirt to be picked up. In heavier traffic areas or at pivot points, rotate matting end for end when repositioning. Important: Keeping the backing of the mat clean is critical in minimizing the mat “walking”. Floor under mat must also be kept clean (swept and/or damp mopped underneath mat).

Weekly Maintenance

  1. Remove matting from service.
  2. Turn matting over and run beater bar, dry vacuum on back side of matting.
  3. Pick up matting.
  4. Clean up dirt/debris from floor (sweep, vacuum, damp mop, etc.)
  5. Place matting back in service and vacuum top surface of matting.

Wet Conditions for Mats and Rolls

  1. Use an extractor or wet vacuum to remove as much water as possible from mat.
  2. Allow mat to dry. Hang up if necessary. Use of fan or blower will reduce dry time.

Restorative Maintenance

Frequency of restorative maintenance will depend on the amount of traffic and soil in the area of application.

Use high pressure washer (i.e., at self-service car wash).

  1. Hang mat up
  2. Wash mat thoroughly
  3. Rinse mat thoroughly
  4. Let mat dry


These entrance mats are flexible open mesh structure of vinyl ribs, featuring a continuous Z-patterned surface. The open mesh structure allows high amounts of dirt and debris to be retained from traffic and fall through the mat for easy cleaning. These are suitable as an indoor or outdoor walk-off mat at building entrances. (Source: 3M)

Sustainable non-woven market

Double-digit growth has been projected for global sustainable non-wovens market to 2015 in a new research from IntertechPira, a market research division of Pira International, UK.

The global sustainable non-wovens market is projected to reach $12.2 billion by 2015 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 12.7%. This is almost twice the 6.9% CAGR predicted over the same period for non-sustainable non-wovens.

By 2015 IntertechPira expects sustainable non-wovens to account for 30.6% of all non-wovens in value terms – a sharp rise from 24.1% ($4.5 billion) in 2005 and 25.3% ($6.7 billion) in 2010. According to the company, Europe leads the world in sustainable non-woven consumption. It is projected to be using almost 1.5 million tonnes by 2015, up from an estimated 786,000 tonnes in 2010. Growth in the region has been stronger for longer. The 9.5% CAGR 2005-10 was almost double that seen in other regions over the same period. European growth is expected to maintain this lead achieving a projected 13.5% CAGR 2010-2015.

North America is the second largest market, projected to reach 1.1 billion tonnes in 2015 with a CAGR of 13.1% 2010-15. This is impressive acceleration coming from only 6.4% CAGR 2005-2010.

Based on extensive primary research, The Future of Sustainable Non-wovens to 2015: Global Market Forecasts, quantifies global consumption of sustainable non-wovens. The study presents a complete review of the global sustainable non-woven market, process technologies and product applications. It covers the historical market from 2005 to 2010 and provides projections from 2010 to 2015.

The global market is broken down into product use, production process technology (both forming and processing technology), raw-material composition and consumption, and geographical consumption patterns.

The drive for sustainable products and processes in all markets has been growing for the last decade. For some markets the fear of global warming has been the driver, for others, the uncertainty of future petroleum supply or overflowing landfills.

The non-wovens industry is no different. In fact it may be even more driven to develop sustainable products due to its high level of dependency on disposable products, many of which are among the most visible products in the world, such as disposable nappies and wipes.

Over the forecast period to 2015, sustainable non-wovens have grown faster than non-sustainable non-wovens since 2005, in value, square metres, and tonnes. IntertechPira projects growth to accelerate between 2010 and 2015.

Wipes are the most developed sustainable end use, according to the company, with a 44.4% share of sustainable disposable non-wovens versus 25.8% of all disposable non-wovens. Hygiene is the least developed sustainable end use (37.7% of sustainable disposable non-wovens versus 59.4% of all disposable non-wovens). IntertechPira says that drylaid leads all processes for sustainable non-wovens. By 2015 the process is expected to account 60% of all sustainable non-wovens (1.9 million tonnes) achieving a CAGR of 15.5% to 2015. In 2005, drylaid accounted for 590,000 tonnes of sustainable non-wovens, growing to 941,000 tonnes in 2010, with a CAGR of 9.8%.

Global consumption of raw materials for sustainable non-wovens is estimated at 1.8 million tonnes in 2010. As the sustainable non-wovens market grows, this is expected to hit 3.245 million tonnes by 2015. In 2010, wood pulp accounted for 35.1% of sustainable non-woven raw materials, with rayon/lyocell fibre second at 28.9%, and polyester fibre third at 16.3%.

While the overall increase in percentage of raw materials for sustainable non-wovens only increases from 17.1% in 2005 to 23.5% in 2105, this does equate to an additional 1.4 billion tonnes of sustainable materials in non-wovens in 2015. The total tonnes of raw materials in sustainable non-wovens will increase from 812,000 tonnes in 2005 to 2.2 billion tonnes in 2015, a change of about 273%.

In the study, sustainability has been defined, in general by The United Nations Commission on the Environment and Development: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. For non-wovens, the international non-wovens association EDANA defines sustainable development, or sustainability, as “The reconciliation of economic growth with environmental protection and social responsibility, globally.”

Determining floor cleaning machine

In order to achieve high productivity and profitability from the cleaning process, the man-machine combination has to be optimised. Whether for an office building, a retail outlet, a hotel or a healthcare premise, certain parameters will assist in making the right decision in purchasing the cleaning machines.

Floor Area

The overall area of the floor to be cleaned, determines the size and type of floor cleaning machine required. For example, an auto scrubber drier can cover large areas, while a single disc machine and a wet vacuum cleaner can do the job efficiently in small areas. Some other factors are :

  • Scrubbing path: Using a machine with the right scrubbing width alone will increase the productivity and reduce the time and labour cost. Initial expenses may be slightly higher for a larger machine but the same will be covered up over a period of time. Choosing a ride-on machine over a traditional walk behind would be still more economical on a long-term basis. But the limitation of the machine in terms of manoeuvrability and accessibility to every corner of the site also need to be considered while deciding the equipment model.
  • Dump-and-refill efficiency: Smaller machines are easy to use but they have a smaller solution and retriever tank, which needs to be emptied and refilled frequently, hence reducing productivity. The layout of the site and the accessibility to every location thus needs to be considered while deciding the right equipment model.

Kind of floors

The type of floor also plays a very important role in deciding the right cleaning machine. Whether ceramic, marble, kota, vinyl, rubber, concrete, ceramic, wood, slate or carpets they need different cleaning procedures and machines. For example, natural stone like marble requires regular buffing & crystallization with a single disc machine weighing at least 50kg and above and having a rotation speed of 165rpm. Carpets need vacuuming with a vacuum cleaner and a foam generator along with a single disc for shampooing.


Depending on the area of usage, one can choose the right cleaning machine. For example, a wet & dry vacuum cleaner is required if the floor of a washroom has to be cleaned. And a dry vacuum cleaner is required if cleaning has to be done in the dry areas.


The choice of the cleaning machine also depends on the frequency and time for cleaning. For example, in a call centre, if only three hours are given in a day for cleaning, then more number of heavy duty machines that work in a much faster pace has to be used. On the other hand, in an office where cleaning can be done in intervals, lesser number of machines is required.

Type of cleaning task

Floor cleaning tasks like daily cleaning, deep or periodic cleaning also determine the kind of cleaning machines to be used. For example, a dry vacuum cleaner should be used for daily cleaning and an automatic scrubber drier for large areas where periodic deep cleaning is required. For periodic cleaning of carpet, a foam generator can be used.

Light v/s Heavy Soil

Areas like reception and office floors, where loose and light dirt is found, can be cleaned using a dry mop or sweepers. Whereas in areas like the kitchen floor or factory floor where heavy soiling is found, a single disc machine or a auto scrubber drier should be used.

Choosing a brand

It is imperative to choose a ‘good’ brand while selecting a cleaning machine. Following are some points that need to be kept in mind:

  • Always buy machines from established and trusted brands
  • Check the past performance records of the machine that you want to buy
  • The results claimed by the company must be proven
  • Many brands are present in the market that offers cheap machines. Be aware of such brands
  • Ensure that the company provides


In an ideal scenario the budget of cleaning machines should be determined depending on the above factors. In either case looking at the criticality of the site and acceptable cleaning standards, the budget can be decided.



– Sunil Nair, Senior Key Accounts, Manager – BSC, Diversey India Pvt. Ltd.


Safety through hard floor maintenance

With new and evolving tools and technologies at facility managers’ disposal, there’s no time like the present to implement a floor maintenance programme that not only elevates cleanliness but safety, too.

At first look, a hard floor surface seems safe enough. But once the floor is wet or if there is soapy residue left on the floor even after cleaning, suddenly a hard floor surface becomes dangerous. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, more than eight million people end up in the emergency room every year as a result of accidental falls. While the majority of falls take place at home, more than three million occur in a place of business – a restaurant, a hotel, a school or even a medical facility.

“In order to prevent slips and falls, a business has to have some form of a strategy that deals with the cleaning and maintenance of its floor. It simply cannot put the responsibility on customers or employees by suggesting they watch where they’re walking,” said Russ Kendzior, founder of the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), an organization that has developed a universal standard for floor safety.

A typical hard floor maintenance programme consists of daily dust mopping, regularly applying a cleaning solution with some form of agitation, and, maybe, polishing the floor to make it look shiny and clean. Consistent cleaning is important because a dirty floor is a potentially unsafe floor with its dirt, sand and other debris affecting floor friction. Using a dirty mop and a bucket of dirty water that at one point had detergent is not very effective. Not only will the floor remain dirty, but it will likely remain wet and slippery – and unsafe.

Today it is easier than ever to implement an effective hard floor cleaning process due to a growing movement towards automation and technology. Many maintenance programmes – because of the tools used to implement them – not only clean the floor but also extend the life of that floor and increase safety for those who clean and use the floor.

Facility managers might want to pay special attention to four key floor maintenance tools: automated dispensing systems, hygienic recovery tanks, foam activated scrubbing technology (FaST®) and chemical-free ec-H2O.

Foam activated scrubbing technology – foam as opposed to liquid detergent, is created by injecting air into a water and detergent mixture – dramatically reduces the amount of water used to create the cleaning solution. Because less water is used foam is less slippery than traditional cleaning agents. And with less water and no messy detergent, foam also won’t migrate or spatter. As a result, foam is, by its very nature, a safer choice for obtaining cleaner and drier floors. It uses up to 70% less water and 90% less chemicals to clean making it safer for the environment. FaST® equipped machines automatically mix chemical and water and is safer for operators as it virtually eliminates the contact with chemicals.

Hygienic tanks allow users to quickly and easily access and sanitize the recovery and solution tanks on automated scrubbers. Cleaning the recovery tanks eliminates mold, bacteria and other contaminants that can grow in enclosed tanks. Not only is a facility’s hygiene greatly improved, but the water being used is cleaner – and safer.

Ec-H2O is a chemical-free technology that electrically converts water into superior cleaning solution. With ec-H2O the productivity goes up by 35% and the environmental impact of cleaning operations is reduced by up to 98% according to the study conducted by Ecoform, a leading technical environmental analysis firm. Professional cleaners like ABM rely on ec-H2O technology to help them clean greener and smarter. “Ec-H2O works. And it’s safer for people and the environment,” says John Bierer, Vice President, ABM Janitorial Services.

Safety is no longer just a water cooler topic among facility managers, building owners and housekeeping professionals. A few years ago, Russ Kendzior’s NFSI introduced a product certification programme designed to help curb the growing number of slip-and-fall accidents and fatalities in commercial settings. Through the programme, NFSI certifies floor coverings, floor polishes, floor cleaning chemicals, and automated cleaning systems as “High-Traction.” The certification means the products offer a significant benefit in the area of slip and fall prevention and provide a higher floor slip resistance value under wet conditions.

As more cleaning equipment and products are certified, companies have better opportunities to improve safety. With new and evolving tools and technologies at facility managers’ disposal, there’s no time like the present to implement a floor maintenance program that not only elevates cleanliness but safety, too.

– Tennant Company

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