The simple answer is yes but, there is more to it than that because just having one doesn’t guarantee success in stopping that traffic lane look on your carpets. Let me start with a few basic concepts to better explain the purpose of a walk off mat and how to maintain them to ensure you get the best results from using them.
The purpose of a walk off mat is to catch and trap soils either wet or dry from the bottom of shoes from gaining access to the fibers of the indoor carpet. All dry soils trapped in your carpet act like sandpaper against your fibers causing a sanding affect. Over time without proper care, the fibers become worn and the light reflects awkward off of them creating that dark shadow look we see in many traffic areas. Cleaning will remove the dry soils and spots but, can’t remove the shadow because the fiber is damaged. Walk off mats are just the first defense in protecting your fibers but an important one.
So you have now bought a walk off mat and everything is going great and it is doing the job. However, over time if the walk off mat is not cleaned or replaced, it can no longer trap the soils and the soils are allowed to enter your home. We all have seen the welcome mat that is so old the welcome lettering is almost gone, am I right? That is a sure sign that it is not functioning as is should and must be replaced. Just like your carpet fibers that trap and hold soils, if not cleaned on a regular bases they will fail to operate correctly. Bottom line; replace the mat every 12 to 18 months or clean it in the same interval, just like your carpets.
Type of mat and usage will determine cleaning requirements. For instance, if you are a business with lots of traffic, recommended monthly cleaning to ensure best results. For homeowners, it depends on the amount of traffic via kids, pets and friends. The quality of the mat is important too. The entire rubber ones are good for wet conditions but not as effective as fiber filled mats for dry soils. Choose a quality mat that can be cleaned on a regular basis and you will be able to save over the long run on replacement cost. The major point here is this, if you want to make your carpets last, then ensure your walk off mat is in good shape and doing its job to protect your investment.