Here’s How Matting Stops Dirt In Its Tracks
Lynette Bowden, product manager for Gradus, looks at the key points you need to consider when specifying and installing barrier matting:
BARRIER matting plays an important role in commercial environments. A well-designed entrance flooring system will pay dividends in terms of reducing cleaning, repair and maintenance costs, as well as improving health and safety for building users.
The role of barrier matting in a commercial environment: More than 70% of dirt and moisture in buildings is tracked in by pedestrian and wheeled traffic. By removing this at the point of entry, barrier matting can enhance the appearance of a building’s entrance and protect adjacent floorcoverings, making it a particularly cost effective way of reducing long-term cleaning and maintenance costs.
This, in turn, will help to improve health and safety, particularly as figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that 90% of slip accidents in public buildings occur on wet floors. Hard, resilient flooring is frequently specified in commercial locations and this can significantly increase the likelihood of slips or trips especially in wet conditions. Specifying an adequate amount of matting therefore helps to reduce this risk by preventing the internal flooring from becoming wet and slippery.
When and where barrier matting should be fitted: Primary barrier matting is suitable for use both internally and externally, and is best used at entrance and access points to reduce the amount of dirt and moisture transferred into a building. External primary matting removes excess dirt prior to visitors entering a building using a scraper wiper, and therefore increases the effectiveness of internal primary and secondary matting.
Internal primary matting then uses a combination of scraper and textile wipers to remove and retain dirt and moisture to prevent ingress to adjacent floorcoverings, while secondary barrier carpet, which resembles more conventional carpet, is made from high performance textiles and can be used in conjunction with primary matting or as a stand-alone solution at entrances, as well as in high footfall areas within a building.
Key points to consider when installing a barrier matting system: The mat selected should be suited to the volume and concentration of traffic that is expected in that area. For example, a main entrance may require a heavy duty primary mat due to the heavy volume of traffic entering a building at the primary point of access, compared to secondary entrances or access points, where a less heavy duty primary mat or even secondary barrier carpet is sufficient due to lower levels of footfall.
In line with The Building Regulations and British Standards, barrier matting is required to help provide safe access for all users of buildings, including wheelchair users, meeting the Equality Act 2010.
Installation advice: As the first point of contact for users entering a commercial environment via the main entrance, barrier matting plays an important role in stopping dirt and moisture from being tracked into the building.
A barrier mat should cover the entire entrance of a building and the length of the mat is dependent on the volume of traffic.
The HSL (Health and Safety Laboratory) and EFSA (Entrance Flooring Systems Association) have provided guidelines on the length of matting that should be installed based on the number of people entering per hour.
It is recommended that for a ‘low’ flow rate (78 people per hour), a minimum of 3m to 4m is needed, for a ‘medium’ flow rate (400 people per hour), 6m to 7m should be specified, and for a ‘high’ flow rate (800 people per hour), at least 8m to 10m should be installed.
Fitting the recommended amount of matting may not always be possible and small premises may only be able to accommodate a small primary entrance mat. In these situations, using a secondary barrier carpet to support the entrance mat is recommended.
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.