Whether your construction project is just breaking ground, doing a renovation, or prepping for final commissioning, or at any point between, you need to know what lies below the surface. In the old days, a contractor’s only choice when initiating subsurface digging, cutting, coring, or drilling was to review the site drawings and hope the final product lined up so their operations could be carried out safely. If they didn’t, underground utility lines, post-tension cables, and reinforcing steel could all be damaged, just to name a few, especially when using a core drill or when there was a need for a concrete cut.
Today, contractors don’t have to fumble around trying to guess where private utilities, pipes, cables, rebar, and structural members are located, thanks to an important imaging advance: ground penetrating radar systems, also known as GPR.
GPR scans concrete, asphalt, soil, or other materials and reveals what lies behind, within, or beneath the material. The GPR concrete scanning equipment can reveal obstructions, anomalies, and voids in material, facilitating damage prevention and maximizing your crew’s safety, efficiency and accuracy by pinpointing the precise location of conduits, plumbing pipes, post-tension cables, and other potential hazards.
Safe2Core Miami offers concrete GPR scanning, video pipe inspection and underground utility locate services to all the Miami area as well as south and southeast Florida, including:
- West Palm Beach
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Ft. Lauderdale
- And many more communities!
To learn more about how ground-penetrating radar scanning can help your crew perform sensitive operations more quickly and efficiently, with less risk of delays, absorbed repair costs, and damage to both the structure, your crew, and your reputation, click here to contact Safe2Core Miami today.
To find out more about the way GPR imaging works, keep reading for our FAQs about GPR concrete scan technology from contractors!
Frequently Asked Questions About GPR Scanning Miami Trusts from Safe2CoreMiami
Safe2Core Miami gives you the real talk and accurate information you need to understand how GPR works and gives you the precise locating you need to keep your crew, your project, and your budget safe!
Question: What can concrete scanning find? –Arturo, Miami, FL
Answer: Concrete scanning is any method of noninvasive scanning, such as X-ray or ground-penetrating radar (GPR), which creates an image of the area directly beneath the scanner so the viewer can see if there’s anything there and approximately how deep it is. Concrete scanning is commonly used to locate utilities, reinforcing and structural steel, voids, improperly consolidated concrete or asphalt, and other potential issues.
Question: How can concrete scanning help my crew? –Lisa, Miami, FL
Answer: If you damage a bit of rebar, this by itself is likely not a huge issue. Slice into a post-tension cable, drill into a gas pipe, or cut a fiber optic or electrical conduit and the results could be lethal. By being able to quickly and easily identify obstructions or voids in the concrete, your crew will be able to cut, drill, core, and make repairs far more efficiently, with less chance of damaging anything within the matrix. This helps boost safety, speed, and accuracy, which allows you to get more done with less risk.
Question: How does a concrete GPR scanner work? –Maurie, Miami, FL
Answer: The ground penetration from which GPR takes its name is achieved by electromagnetic induction. Basically, two probes are placed within a given area. These probes set up an electromagnetic field within the material which forms the basis of the GPR scan’s imaging. The composition and relative density of the materials within cause variations in the field which show up as a three-dimensional image, giving the precise locations of the materials below the surface. Working from this information in conjunction with site plans and as-built drawings, the technician and crew can identify what is within the matrix and avoid it.
Question: What is the difference between concrete GPR scan and x-ray? –Harbir, Miami, FL
Answer: Ground-penetrating radar scans use electromagnetic induction to create a field that forms an image of what’s under the surface. X-ray scanning uses a similar principle, only with X-ray radiation. However, X-ray scanning has a few limitations GPR does not. First, X-ray scanners require two plates on either side of a wall, while GPR does not. GPR essentially uses radio waves; X-ray scanners use radiation, which is known to be harmful in large doses. GPR scanners are lighter, more portable, more maneuverable, and can be used in active work areas. X-ray scanners require that the area be cleared and secured to prevent personnel exposure to the radiation these scans emit. Finally, GPR offers a clearer, more precise, and more comprehensive picture than X-ray as a general rule, making it the clear winner for most situations where scanning is required.
Question: Should I use a digital x-ray or GPR for my project? –Jordan, Miami, FL
Answer: In general, we recommend using GPR. It’s faster, lighter, less cumbersome and far less impactful on worker health and the progress of work on your site. In addition, it gives higher resolution images more quickly, which typically makes it the best choice. There are some very rare occasions where GPR may not be the right tool, such as in areas where strong electromagnetic fields may interfere with the scanner. Again, we stress this is very rare and becoming more so all the time! However, if digital X-ray scanning is needed for your specific situation or site parameters, Safe2Core Miami has the know-how and skills to deliver. To get a site assessment and find out which method would best suit your needs, click here to contact us or call us at (786) 254-5451!
Question: How deep does GPR scan in concrete? –Toddrick, Miami, FL
Answer: GPR can penetrate anywhere from an inch to a foot or more, depending on the concrete mix design, the material underneath it, and what’s inside the concrete. Lower frequencies achieve more depth but less resolution and accuracy, while higher frequencies give less depth but much more clarity in the final image. As a rule, both low and high frequencies are used to give the best possible image and the clearest picture of what’s inside the material and where’s it’s located.
Question: Why use ground-penetrating radar on construction sites? –Franklin, Miami, FL
Answer: When you need concrete scanning done quickly, GPR is the obvious choice for fast, accurate results. Because the scanner is very portable and doesn’t emit harmful radiation, it can be used in situations where X-rays would be slower and more problematic. Also, GPR is more versatile, can be easily used on soil, concrete, and asphalt, and produces a higher-quality image faster.
As far as why GPR scanning Miami relies on is necessary, if you need to cut, saw, drill or core into concrete or asphalt, you want to make sure you’re not going to hit something nasty, like a gas line or an electrical run.
If you take out a fiber optic conduit, your company could be out tens of thousands of dollars to repair the damage, and that’s just in a building! Hit a fiber optic line in the open that no one knew was there and the financial consequences could be cataclysmic, depending upon the size and location. GPR helps minimize these risks by giving your crew accurate location and estimated depth information, so they can tailor their approach to the conditions in play at the specific location.
Question: Is concrete GPR scanning reliable? –Blake, Miami, FL
Answer: Yes! GPR scanning is extremely accurate and reliable. In fact, while we use ground-penetrating radar scans to locate utilities, structural steel, and voids in construction, it is also used in everything from archaeology and paleontology to forensic science and criminalistics. GPR has made headlines many times over the years for identifying serial killers’ burial grounds, mass graves for victims of genocide and war crimes, and locating artifacts and remains without disturbing the ground. It has even been used in search and rescue operations after avalanches and to locate survivors and victims after natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and tornadoes. Because of its portability and flexibility, GPR has become the gold standard in subsurface scanning, and it’s only becoming more advanced, efficient, and effective as time goes on. So, if UCLA, The Hague, and police and military forces around the world trust it for their work, you can trust it for yours!
Question: What variables can impact concrete scanning using GPR? –Tseng, Miami, FL
Answer: Concrete GPR scanning can be impacted by the depth and density of the material being tested, the composition of the obstructions within the material, and other electromagnetic fields in the area. However, depth and density are the most important, generally speaking. Using a variety of frequencies from low to high, GPR scanners can produce an accurate assessment of the area and what’s underneath it, which lets your crew and our technician work from the known site drawings to determine exactly what you’re seeing, how deep it is and mark it off so you can avoid or target specific locations.