Keeping dirt, moisture and debris out of the home is an ongoing challenge – even if your home is hermetically sealed. Particulates blow in when you come through the door, or they hitch a ride on your jackets and clothes – especially on your shoes. Carpets do a great job of incarcerating dirt and dust until you vacuum, or get them professionally cleaned. However, dirt particles still damage carpet fibers the longer they’re allowed to stay and get trampled over with everyday foot traffic.
In an earlier post, we discussed the idea of taking your shoes off when you enter your home, but perhaps that idea isn’t practical for your household. Thankfully, there is another line of defense to significantly reduce how much dust and dirt makes it into your home and onto your carpet.
Enter the Floor Mat
Adding a floor mat to your entryway – front door, side door, garage access or other – greatly reduces the amount of dust and dirt that has a chance to get in. Studies by the ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association) show 30% of dirt tracked into a building, including residential homes, is trapped by the first 3 feet of a typical floor mat. One square yard of commercial-grade carpeting can accumulate one pound of dirt over a one-week period, and twice that in inclement weather.
If you deliberately wipe your feet off on a floor mat just before you enter your home, the same principles apply. As a result, some homes have a mat positioned on both the outside and the inside of their entryway. Others create a “mudroom”, which is basically a buffer zone between the entryway and the rest of the house. Over a series of floor mats, footwear and outerwear are removed and replaced with indoor wear to isolate dust and dirt.
Not only does a floor mat capture a good portion of dirt and dust before it’s carried into the home, but they are also easy to clean. According to the Georgia State University, about 10% of dirt is removed from mats with a vacuum cleaner (that’s how good they are at keeping what they capture). However, since they aren’t tacked down like carpet, you can get rid of the remaining dirt by taking them to the yard and shaking them out like your area rugs.
Types of Floor Mats
There’s quite a variety of styles and functions when it comes to floor mats. Most experts say that creating a 3-stage area is best: a scraper mat outside, a scraper/wiper just inside the entry, and a wiper mat immediately following. Three mats will take up a lot of space, however – many apartments and smaller homes don’t have the room. So, having a scraper outside your entryway and a wiper on the inside is a common compromise.
All-weather mats designed for outdoor placement) commonly have a coarse texture to help dislodge loose dirt and grime, making them excellent scrapers. They are often made from things like coconut fibers or artificial grass. Many wiper mats have a smaller texture, and often soak up moisture efficiently. Finding an appealing pattern to complement the interior décor is a popular selection.
No doubt, it would certainly help for an experienced professional like Preferred Carpet Care to give input on what kinds of mats would best protect your carpets from everything outside. Give us a call, or you can ask us about it when we arrive for your semi-annual carpet cleaning. When it comes to your carpets and your health, matting definitely matters!
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On May 16, 2019