If you’re about to undertake some new construction or renovations at your place or work, the existing concrete may need to be cut or drilled to do so. Cutting into them without checking what’s in the slab first can damage the internal components, and it can be potentially dangerous. This is not only time-consuming to fix but costly too. Concrete scanning can help you eliminate this risk altogether. We’ll explain what it is and its benefits in this post.

What is concrete scanning?

Concrete scanning is the process of using ground-penetrating radars (GPR) to scan concrete structures such as slabs, walls, encasements etc for voids or materials within the slab. It does this by using radar pulses, they are non-destructive and don’t place any impact on the structure or the elements surrounding it. Concrete slabs often contain things such as reinforcing bars, wirings, and post-tension cables. It’s important that you hire a trained technician to perform this testing as they need to be able to determine the results with precision.

Benefits to concrete scanning

There are many advantages to using GPR for your construction project. Here are some of them:

1. Saves time

Unlike x-rays which are commonly used to scan concrete and need two access points, GPR can detect components within the concrete using only one point of access. This can come in handy when the concrete is flush with the ground and not elevated. GPR is prompt and takes considerably less time than an x-ray. The process of GPR is not only faster but, when you hire a professional to scan your concrete, you can go ahead knowing that there isn’t going to be any hidden surprises along the way. This helps to keep your project on schedule. Damaging subsurface elements can delay work as the repairs will need to be taken care of before anything else can happen.

2. Prevents injury

Going in and altering pre-existing concrete without having it professionally scanned first is going in blind and ultimately an accident waiting to happen. A wide range of issues can occur from doing this including, but not limited to, making contact with a live conduit, hitting a cable and it flying back and hitting the worker or those around them or disrupting a utility service. The consequences can cause serious injury or even death. When a workplace incident occurs such as this, there’s the paperwork to contend with afterwards and there’s a possibility that the worksite will be shut down as a result. Safety should always be paramount, and getting your concrete scanned is a great way to ensure everyone, including yourself, is safe.

3. Prevents unnecessary expenses

Construction type work is expensive, and accidents and incidents can cost you significantly. People can get injured, equipment can get broken, the site may get shut down. If someone gets injured, they’ll likely need to have time off work and receive compensation as a result. All these things cost money.

4. Maintain structural integrity

Digging into concrete and compromising materials that are critical to the integrity of the structure can make the site unsafe to work on and, if it’s an existing building such as a home, it may be unsafe for people to be on the premises until the problem is rectified. This can be a huge inconvenience and will most certainly push back your proposed completion date.

5. Maintain your reputation

There’s no denying that displacing people from their homes or workers from a job due to negligence can be bad for business. Not only that but, you could be looking at hefty fines and penalties as well. Protect your employees, clients, and your company by getting a GPR every time. It can save your business and lives.

Things a GPR can pick up in concrete when done by a reputable professional

1. Reinforcing steel

If there are rebar or post-tension cables in the concrete the technician will find them with the GPR and mark where they are located. Workers can then clearly see where they can and cannot cut into the concrete.

2. Integrated electrical wiring

Identifying electrical wiring that is integrated into the concrete is essential when drilling. It keeps workers safe and prevents unnecessary power outages in the surrounding areas. The technique that the technician will use to find the conduits will depend on whether the slab is elevated or not.

3. Establishing weaknesses

Experienced technicians can detect voids in the sub-grade below the concrete, displaced materials, or hollow pockets within the slab. Many factors can create these, such as compaction, erosion, and rupturing pipes. This needs to be done so that concrete doesn’t collapse while working on it, and it allows any repairs to be made before they have a chance to worsen.

When should I get concrete scanning done?

Anytime that existing concrete needs to be drilled, cut, dug up or similar, you should employ an experienced technician to conduct GPR. Recognising underlying materials or faults before starting work can save you some serious headaches down the track.

Need concrete scanning done?

The benefits that concrete scanning can provide are priceless. If you’re located on the Gold Coast or surrounding areas, and you’re looking for an expert scanning and concrete cutting professional, look no further than our team here at South East Scanning. We can help you to work safely with our sophisticated equipment and attention to detail. Contact us today.