Home improvement and maintenance projects are costly in terms of time and money.
Workers, machinery, and project materials need to move across the project site without ruining landscaping, concrete, and patios.
The ground itself needs protection from big equipment and trucks.
If workers and equipment can’t drive safely and efficiently, damage to employees, equipment, and the land is inevitable. How can you prevent this?
Before work begins, a contractor can install access mats. This reduces the risk of environmental degradation and protects ground cover.
For homeowners, this may mean saving hundreds of dollars on restoring their grass or landscaping.
Usually, the contractor already owns mats that are being reused from a previous site.
It should not cost a homeowner extra in terms of the overall costs.
What is an Access Mat?
An access mat is a flat, stable surface on the ground that allows employees and equipment to move easier across the job site.
These are a part of worksite safety since they were patented in the early 1990s.
Mats may differ from industry to industry, depending on the work, the size of the worksite, and the equipment.
Your contractor may choose larger mats for more significant projects and smaller mats for simpler projects.
Why Contractors Should Use Ground Mats
Mats are a smart idea for almost every contractor project.
If hiring a contractor, you should always ask them to use access mats to protect your lawn, sidewalks, patios, and driveways.
As a contractor, you should use access mats as a standard part of your business.
These protect both clients and contractors from additional damages and delays that otherwise drive up to work costs.
They also protect against unexpected hazards, like severe weather.
When your contractor uses ground mats, they are creating a stable work surface on uneven ground, which is especially useful in wet or grassy environments.
The mats also create temporary roadways for more extensive projects involving heavy machinery that is driven on your lawn.
When you have a project that is far from the road, over grassy terrain, mats provide an easy way to reach the worksite safely.
Mats for Remodeling
A large home remodeling project means lots of heavy materials and machines rolling over the lawn, the driveway, and more.
Laying down a composite mat roadway helps contractors and clients move freely around the worksite without worrying about destroying landscaping or harming the environment.
Furthermore, machinery and materials left out in an unexpected storm won’t sink into the ground.
Otherwise, you’d find equipment stuck in the mud. This would hold up the project and potentially damage the machine.
From the homeowner’s standpoint, it would also mean that a section of the lawn would need to be restored and replanted.
Overall, mats make remodeling easier and less risky.
Mats for Tree Cutters
Tree cutting machinery must be heavy if it is to provide a solid foundation when removing large trunks and branches.
While this makes them more stable, it also means that they’re more likely to leave large tracks through yards.
Using mats means they can reach the tree without damaging the lawn.
Then they can reposition the equipment easily without worrying about destroying the ground and causing more repair work later on.
This makes tree trimming and removal safer and more efficient.
After all, you shouldn’t be faced with restoring your lawn because a contractor didn’t protect it.
Mats for Plumbers
Most plumbing work is done within the home, but when working on the below-ground system outside, it is common to make a mess of the lawn.
By using mats to create platforms for machinery and people, plumbers have stable access to the systems.
This allows them to finish jobs quickly and easily, minimizing disturbances in the lawn.
Common Mat Materials
Access mats come in several major categories: wood, laminate, and composite.
Wooden mats are very heavy and tend to be used on heavy-duty worksites.
Laminate and CLT mats are an alternative to pure hardwood, and they may be used on your lawn.
Obviously, these choices vary in cost depending on the kind of wood and how many times the contractor is able to reuse it.
Fortunately, mats also come in composite materials.
The composite mats have a pattern across the top to provide traction for people, trucks, and equipment.
Composites are known for blocking contaminants from reaching the ground.
They are easier to transport and easier to move around the worksite because, despite their weight, they are much lighter than their wood counterparts.
These man-made mats are known for sustainable production as they’re made of recycled material, such as tires.
Even in production, companies can capture the excess and use it to make the next round of mats.
Setting Up Mats on Site
Setting up mats is relatively simple. It should not take an excessive amount of your contractor’s time, and you will certainly reap the benefits. A contractor will:
- Survey the area where the mats will sit. Look for the most direct paths to and from the worksite and the storage site.
- Pick the right kind of mat for the job. Consider what equipment will be used and what terrain it will travel over.
- Arrange the mats according to manufacturer instructions. This will require additional equipment, such as skid steers or track excavators (depending on the intensity of the project and the kind of mat).
As long as you have enough mats to sufficiently cover the area, that’s all there is to it.
To remove the mats, a contractor will again use a leverage device to pick them up and load them on a truck.
Access mats are a simple solution to worksite protection. They’re reliable, multifunctional, and simple to use.
They are an essential part of any worksite where there is a lot of movement, either from people or machines.
It’s smart to request the use of these ground mats for any contractor at your home.
They will create a solid, stable ground to keep your property safe from unnecessary damage.