Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Question

What is the MRI floor care cleaning process? How are the floors being stripped and resealed? With what type of equipment?


Answer

As you are well aware, anything magnetic metal (iron, steel) showing up in the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) room will be drawn into the heavily magnetized exam machine with disastrous results that can include personal injury and as well as expensive equipment damage.
Before the machine was first turned on, the floor should have been finished with several coats of a quality product. Since you canít use a rotary or any other motorized floor machine in the room after the unit is energized, you will have to rely on dust and damp mopping for daily maintenance. You probably already have non-metallic handles for this, and while the machine is activated, you will be forced to do hand scrubbing with pads on holders, and rinsing with plastic or fiberglass mop holding equipment.
Because this is such a time-consuming project (hand work), postpone stripping until the machine is down for service. In the interim, hand scrub and rinse and apply a light top coat to bring back the gloss. Avoid adding excessive layers of finish you cannot readily strip.
If the wet vac you use has an aluminum wand and tool, that could work for rinse pickup. Use a long hose that allows the vac itself to sit out in the hall well away from the door. Make sure the pick-up hose is not steel reinforced. The plastic mop buckets can have the steel handles removed or simply be left outside the room. Mop presses have a limited amount of steel, but keep them outside the room as well. Non-magnetic stainless mopping equipment is available, but expensive.
Fortunately, there is limited foot traffic in the MRI room itself and a good floor finish job should last a long time without stripping. Just donít recoat a dirty floor and force the procedure.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com