You may have heard of GPR scanning (or just scanning before) maybe it was just a passing remark, a note on this site, or a requirement for a job, but many people don’t understand the importance of, and power, of scanning. This post should provide you with a primer.
When working in the demolition of a material like concrete one has to struggle with the problem of encountering what exists beneath the surface. Sometimes this is as simple as trying to avoid damaging the structural integrity of concrete reinforced with rebar and sometimes it means avoiding dangerous and costly services like electrical and plumbing. Whether a new project or an old renovation it’s not always easy to tell what you’re up against. Rebar, conduits, and plumbing can move during the pouring process and they can end up in unexpected places, or, given the age of a project you might have no idea at all what’s below the surface or in that wall. In order to find out you have two viable options. One is x-raying and the other is GPR scanning (or Ground Penetrating Radar scanning). The problem with x-rays is that they are costly, dangerous and require access to the other side of the material, so slab on grade (like many floors) is simple a no go. X-raying is, however, extremely accurate, but GPR scanning has been catching up in accuracy and more than makes up for this shortcoming in its reasonable cost, safety, and speed. When you x-ray you may need to empty a building and do the work at night. When you scan you can do it during the day while other work continues so there’s no need to put your project on hold.
So, how does it work? Well it’s pretty simple actually. GPR scanning sends a signal into the material being scanned and waits to receive a response, just like sonar in a submarine. The characteristics of the response can give you a good indication of the location, size, and even material something in the concrete is made out of. This means you can easily mark out a grid right there on the concrete demonstrating where everything is and at what depth, and with some certainty, what it is.
So, who should use GPR scanning? Well anyone actually! GPR scanning may be a safety requirement on your jobsite in which case you might see it as a hassle, but it can save you thousands of dollars in lost hours and repairs. That shouldn’t be overlooked. Even if GPR scanning isn’t a requirement on your project you should probably consider GPR scanning because if there might be anything in the concrete you don’t want to encounter GPR scanning is the cheapest and fastest way to find out what you’re up against.
Give us a call today to learn more and to receive a free quote. Any project could use the extra peace of mind.