6 Qualities You Need in an Outdoor Mat

by Chris Martin on December 20, 2013

As a storefront business owner, you know that consumer-grade equipment often won’t cut it for your operations. That’s why restaurateurs have industrial stoves and refrigerators, financial advisers have complex trading and market analysis software, and repairmen have machine shop-quality tools.

The concept applies to floor mats for your business. You can’t just take any old indoor mat and place it outside your entryway and expect it to do the job. You’re much better off springing for a floor mat that’s specifically designed to handle the traffic and trials of outdoor use; otherwise, your interior floors will start to resemble the outdoor surfaces.

Here are some qualities that are essential in an effective outdoor floor mat:

  1. Sturdy materials. No matter how durable the yarns or fibers in an indoor mat claim to be, they’ll still wear and deteriorate more quickly in an outdoor environment. WaterHog and SuperScrape mats are made with polypropylene or rubber, both of which dry quickly and are resistant to rotting and fading.
  2. Smooth backing. Many indoor floor mats have cleated backings, which consist of pointed “bumps” on the underside that grab carpeting to prevent slippage. Obviously, cleated backings are useless on smooth outdoor surfaces like concrete or brick tile, so outdoor mats must possess a flat backing that is slip-resistant, even when ground moisture may be present.
  3. “Scrapeability.” Conversely, the surface of an outdoor mat must be constructed so that dirt, sand, mud, salt, and other particulates are “scraped” off of footwear instead of being tracked indoors. The WaterHog’s “waffle” pattern and the raised, molded tread of the SuperScrape both accomplish this task very well.
  4. Grease-resistant capability. Keep in mind that outdoor floor mats are often just as important by the back door of the business as they are by a front entryway (especially in restaurants and repair shops). Since employee work areas may contain significant levels of grease, oil, and other viscous products, the outdoor mat must be impervious to these substances or they will deteriorate more quickly and become less effective.
  5. Ability to hold and channel water. A flimsy indoor mat won’t do much to keep water from rain, snow, or ice from seeping onto surrounding floors. Outdoor mats have “built-in” water storage and channeling qualities so that the moisture stays outside. SuperScrape mats have grooves to channel water away from the center of the mat, and WaterHogs can hold up to a gallon and a half of water per square yard.
  6. Easy to clean. Many indoor mats can be cleaned using a standard vacuum cleaner, unless they have been subjected to outdoor conditions where they are more likely to retain dirt. Outdoor mats are made so that a quick spray of the hose will rinse them off, and a more thorough cleaning can be conducted using only a mild soap solution.

To paraphrase a popular adage, you can’t send an indoor floor mat to do an outdoor floor mat’s job. Make sure that your storefront’s floors are protected form soil and moisture by choosing a high-quality mat that’s made to handle the daily grind of outdoor conditions. Ultimate Mats has a wide variety of WaterHog, SuperScrape, and Logo mats that are durable and effective. Contact Ultimate Mats today!

 

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