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Free Information - Getting the most out of your floorspace

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Why use Barrier Matting in your buildings?


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dot There should be entrance barrier matting at every exterior entrance.
dot This matting should extend for at least 2.5m in the direction of the general traffic flow.
dot Ribs on the matting should be at right angles to the traffic flow.
dot Barrier matting should be cleaned thoroughly and frequently.

An effective barrier matting system can go a long way towards preventing major soiling to an installation, but it is almost inevitable that some soiling will occur. Detailed are the types of soiling that are principally responsible for damage to an installation.

For further information please refer to BS 7953: 1999. Entrance Flooring Systems, Selection, Installation and Maintenance.


Soil Types


Soil is best described as a substance that is foreign to the construction or make-up of the carpet or floor mat. There are 3 main types of soiling that are present in commercial carpeting:

1) Dry soiling

An amazing 86% of carpet soiling is dry soil, such as sand, grit and other abrasive products. These particles quickly work their way down between the tufts of the carpet, where they start to rub against the fibres and destroy them, resulting in a permanent change of appearance.


2) Oil based soiling


Oil and grease can come from anywhere and not just foodstuffs. Motor oil is common on most carpets and can be easily walked in from the road, pavement or car park. Oil and grease adhere to the fibre surface, causing discolouration by attracting and holding dry soil.


3) Dye soiling

This type of soil can be classed as the worst type of soiling. The dye normally from food or drinks can enter empty dye sites on the fibres resulting in permanent staining if left untreated.


Where soil comes from

There are four main ways for soiling to occur in the installation, they are as follows:-

1) General Traffic

This accounts for 75% of all the soiling present in the installation, also known as contact soiling, it is the direct result of traffic from the outside. Care must be taken with tracked-in soil, as it often contains oily or greasy particles which can help to bind together dust and soil particles to form a greasy mark which is both difficult to remove, and attracts other dirt to it. If this soiling is not monitored it can form the most costly part of maintaining the carpet appearance.

2) Air Pollution

This accounts for about 12% of the soiling, and consists of airborne pollutants such as tobacco smoke, small dust particles, emissions, pollens, human skin flakes and hair. This type of soiling can also be oily in nature, and should be treated the same way as tracked-in soil.

3) Spillages

This accounts for 5% of soiling. Usually liquid in nature, and highly localised, and if untreated can cause permanent staining to the installation.

4) Environment

This accounts for 8% of soiling. This soiling is created by sunlight, humidity and atmospheric contaminators.


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Conservation Flooring


Click for FREE download (Opens in NEW window; The Floorcloth and Other Floor Coverings in the London Domestic Interior 1700–1800.
Credit to Sophie Sarin and the Journal of Design History


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