Below you can find some of the most occurring problems in laundries with the possible causes and solutions.
Border Cuts, Splits, Tears
- Gaps between the dryer basket and housing: The cure for this is to use proper gaskets supplied by the equipment manufacturer and to ensure basket supports are properly adjusted.
- Customer abuse: Customers sometimes cut mats to make them fit around equipment or furniture. Also, mats occasionally are cut by electric doors or other customer equipment. Service people should be made aware of such problems so they can be eliminated.
- Sharp edges in processing equipment: These are usually found in dryers and can best be located by feel.
- Excessive extractor pressure or speed: A high-speed centrifugal extractor can stretch mats to the point of bursting. Maximum centrifugal extractor pressure should not exceed 250 G’s.
- Product design: Some mat manufacturers choose not to reinforce their mat borders which enables mats to tear or split more easily.
Burned or Melted Carpet
- Excessive dryer temperatures: Nylon melts at approximately 260˚C. If mats have been exposed to these temperatures, the carpet surface will feel rough and coarse. It may also be possible to see burn marks caused by dryer ribs or basket perforations. Inspect dryers if this problem occurs.
- Cigarette burns: This kind of damage should be self-evident. Advise the service department to avoid this kind of damage. Also, avoid using unicolor mats in areas where this problem exists.
- Chemical burns, welding burns: This kind of damage should be self-evident.
Chewing Gum or Tar on Carpet Surface
In most cases, it is possible to remove gum and/or tar by using a solvent (De-Solve-it, citrus-based solvent). Please note: Follow directions on the bottle and wash mats immediately after using the solvent. This will help to prevent damage to the mat.
Colour loss can be caused by high washing temperatures and/or high pH detergents. Please make sure you follow the washing guidelines for the mat. Laundering instructions for each product can be found on the product page of that mat.
Delamination - Carpet Separates from Rubber Backing
This problem rarely occurs. Delamination is generally due to a manufacturing defect. If this happens there is no solution other than replacement by the manufacturer.
Dingy & Dull Mats
A good cleaning is important. Otherwise, if it is not done right it can cause mats to appear dull or dingy. This can be caused by washing at low temperatures, too much or too little detergent, or inadequate rinsing. Please make sure you are following the washing guidelines. Laundering instructions for each product can be found on the product page for that mat.
Discoloration of Floor Beneath Mat
Yellowing is normally attributed to moisture. The moisture is typically already present on the floor when mats are placed. Since the mats prevent moisture to evaporate, the moisture becomes trapped on the floor, causing discoloration.
On hard surface floors, the use of mats with claw backing will help reduce trapped moisture. On carpet, this problem is caused by placing mats on wet carpet. Again, the mats prevent the moisture from evaporating which causes severe yellowing or browning of the carpet colour. Discoloured carpet of this nature is very difficult or impossible to clean. Mats should never be placed over wet carpet. Allow the carpet to dry before placing the mat.
Dye Cross Staining
This problem is usually seen when light-coloured mats are washed with dark-coloured mats. High wash temperatures and/or high pH chemicals usually cause this problem. Please make sure you are following the washing guidelines. Laundering instructions for each product can be found on the product detail page for that mat.
Faded Property Marks
As mats age, property marks tend to fade, that is normal. This is best visible on labels placed on borders or corners of mats. The fading is caused by the abrasion of mats during the washing and drying process.
Lint From Other Mats on Carpet & Cleated Backing
This problem is caused by poor tuft lock between carpet and rubber backing. M + A Matting mats are made with a special polyester substrate to prevent this problem. However, not all mat producers use this product. If you have mats of this nature in your system, there is little that can be done to prevent the fibre loss. The lint can usually be removed by drying the mats for 5-10 minutes
Odours in Mats After Washing
Odours result from mats not being properly cleaned. This problem can be made worse by not drying mats.
In severe cases, it may be necessary to use the Heavy Soil Wash Formula for that mat (please reference the particular mat's laundering instructions).
Ozone is a naturally occurring ground-level gas. Over time, the rubber that is exposed to ozone can be weakened and damaged. Mats experiencing ozone damage exhibit cracking on the rubber side of the mat similar to a spider web. Mats that are stored over significant amounts of time should be rolled with the carpet-side out. This will decrease the likelihood of ozone damage.
Rippled or Distorted Mats
- High temperatures: High temperature (washing or over-drying) can cause the carpet on the mat to shrink, leading to distorted or rippled edges. It comes down to the rubber not being able to support the tension created by the yarn shrinkage.
- Excessive extraction pressure: Centrifugal extraction with high G forces can stretch and damage mats. This can cause rippling. Consult with M + A Matting or your equipment supplier to ensure proper extraction pressures are used.
- Stretching of mats: Runners are prone to this when they are removed from washers and dryers. Employees should not pull on borders of mats when unloading tangled mats.
- Exposure to strong solvents and petrochemicals: Exposure to some chemicals can cause the rubber to swell. This can cause ripples on the borders of the mats.
- Allowing mats to cool in an other than flat position : When mats cool in a wrinkled or folded state, they remain wrinkled. The “heat set” stays in the mat. Heating the mats to normal drying temperature and laying flat again usually cures this problem.
Sand Build-Up in Carpet/Mat Surface
This problem is the result of not drying mats. Damp mats retain sand. A short 5-10 minute drying cycle will eliminate this problem.
Spot Colour Loss
Typically caused by bleach. This problem can be difficult to diagnose as the colour loss caused by the bleach mostly does not occur before mats are collected. It occurs when the mats are washed. Employees should be conscious of bleach odours in mats, particularly in food handling environments where bleach is used as a disinfectant.
Spot Swelling on Carpet & Rubber
Exposure to solvents and petrochemicals can cause spot swelling. Most examples are swellings because of gasoline, hydraulic or transmission fluid.
Certain stains are difficult to remove using normal wash procedures. If heavy soil wash formulas do not produce the desired result, treat stains with a solvent (for example De-Solve-It). Please note: Follow the directions on the bottle and wash mats immediately after using De-Solve-It to prevent damage.
Streak Colour Loss
Streak colour loss is usually caused by a defect in tufting or yarn production. Consult with your mat supplier to remedy this problem.
Wet Floors Beneath Mats
This problem can be caused by sweating floors beneath the mats. The use of mats with a claw backing will usually reduce (eliminate) the problem. CAUTION: Never placemats on wet floors.
Yellowing or Browning of Silver or Light Blue Mats
This problem seems to depend on local water conditions. Some customers have no problems, while others experience significant difficulties. The use of chemicals such as sodium percarbonate or hydrogen peroxide typically minimizes this problem.