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Outdoor door mats are, as the name suggests, used for outside the entrance to a building. This means that they are usually the first line of defence against dirt and water and they may also be exposed to the elements. In the UK we get all types of weather, so they need to be able to cope with everything that this brings. Due to these factors outdoor door mats have unique challenges that need to be overcome which we cover here to ensure you make the right choice.
Outdoor Door Mats: The First Line of Defence
Outdoor entrance mats are often used in combination with an interior entrance mat. We recommend this, because multiple mats acting in combination with each other are more effective.
The outdoor door mat is typically faced with the task of removing heavy dirt, mud, grit and sand. For this reason the mats need a scraper surface and large holes to collect the removed dirt and store it below the walking surface.
Because outdoor matting sits outside exposed to wet weather, it cannot soak up water like an interior mat should. If it did then it would soon become saturated in wet weather. Instead, the outdoor mat can help wipe or wick moisture away from footwear and allow it to drain away safely.
UK Weather Proof Outdoor Door Mats
Rain, snow, wind and even sunshine all present challenges that outdoor door mats need to deal with.
With rain comes plenty of water, so the mats need to be able to help scrape water off footwear and wheeled traffic. The water then needs to drain away from the surface of the mat, so that it leaves a safe surface to walk on.
Most effective outdoor entrance mats have flow through holes in the mat for this purpose and channels beneath the mat, so that the water can flow away from the mat rather than pool on the surface or underneath where it could cause a slip hazard.
Outdoor door mats also have a textured surface, which gives good grip underfoot even in wet conditions. Raised nubs and patterns usually achieve the traction required.
Snowy conditions are particularly difficult for mats to cope with. The mat needs to be able to scrape off the snow and hold onto it, until it can melt and flow away. Choose outdoor mats with a high-water tolerance and a pronounced anti-slip surface so that it can give more grip underfoot.
Cold weather can cause mats to become brittle and crack. Rubber mats are generally a good choice to resist this issue.
Outdoor door mats need to be able to stay in place in the event of strong winds. Most of these mats are made from heavy rubber which helps to ensure there is no movement.
Sunshine can also have a bleaching effect on mat colour. Red mats are particularly prone to this, so if you want a coloured outdoor mat ensure it is UV resistant. Most outdoor mats are black which reduces this issue.
Cleaning Outdoor Door Mats
With all the dirt outdoor mats have to remove, they need to be simple to clean. It’s best to choose a mat which can be hosed down or swept clean.
Cleaning of mats is important, to prevent dirt building up on the mat. Once saturated, mats will become ineffective at stopping more dirt.