Finding The Dangers Within - Ground Penetrating Radar

Everybody knows that when it comes time to dig a trench, a hole or any other reason to be digging dirt that it is important to locate underground utilities before digging. What is not so well known is that utilities and other dangers can be embedded in concrete slabs, walls, and pillars. Accidentally cutting into one of these hidden items can be not only dangerous but deadly. For this reason, it is critical to always identify these dangers before boring, cutting or drilling into concrete structures

Blueprints and other building plans often lay out the location of items within the concrete. However, especially in older buildings, these plans may not be entirely accurate and this inaccuracy can be very hazardous. Just as utility companies use underground locating devices to identify the location of water, gas and electric lines, items embedded in concrete can be located using technology called ground penetrating radar (GPR). This technology emits a high frequency radio wave into the concrete. When the wave encounters an embedded object it is reflected back to the surface where a number of antennas record and analyze the variations in the signal. Many different items can be safely located which are dangerous if discovered accidentally.

  • Utilities - Conduits containing electrical wires, water lines, gas lines, communication lines, etc. are often imbedded within concrete pillars or foundations. If these lines are cut, not only is it dangerous, but also time consuming to repair. GPR technology can identify these conduits and allow safe modifications to the concretes structure.
  • Post Tension Cable - Often post tension cables are also imbedded in concrete. These cables are under extremely high tension and if cut become not only dangerous to the person who cuts it but can damage the structural integrity of the building itself. The simple radar detection of such cables can save major headaches later.
  • Rebar - rebar in concrete slabs, foundations and pillars is engineered to provide structural strength to the concrete that is critical to its ability to support the weight of the building. Unintentional cutting of this support can have catastrophic impacts on the safety and structure of the building. 

As opposed to relying on potentially inaccurate plans or worse yet simply hoping for the best, ground penetrating radar can safely and accurately locate and identify hidden hazards. This simple process can save lives, time and money.  All of which are valuable to a project. 

Contact a company like Concrete Coring Company for more information and assistance.