When there is a need to identify and assess what lies beneath a concrete surface without disfiguring it, GPR is the tool of choice for most civil engineers. A thorough knowledge of the location of conduits prior to excavation can help avoid utility outages and prevent damage. Although ground-penetrating scanning services are certainly not a new industry, there are many myths circulating among people.
Non-metallic utilities cannot be detected
Although ground-penetrating radar cannot see all utilities, it can still be useful in locating non-metallic utilities in favourable subsurface conditions. In addition, if access permits, a metal locating wire can be inserted into the conduit which is hollow, making it easier to locate utilities using cable or pipe locating equipment.
GPR is effective in all surface conditions.
During a ground-penetrating radar survey or a ground-penetrating radar survey, the moisture content of the concrete to be scanned plays an important role in the accuracy of the results that the locator produces.
For example, high moisture content can make it difficult to obtain good readings since moisture increases the conductivity of an object. Other surfaces that can be difficult to read are marble, granite, etc.
Ground Penetrating Radar uses X-rays
A common myth about the ground-penetrating radar is that it uses X-ray technology to find and identify objects under the ground. This is a common myth because it is simply what people expect when they discover the GPR. And although the ground-penetrating radar uses electromagnetic waves, it does not use X-rays. Instead, it uses high-frequency radio signals to receive and store data about what is below.
GPR does not work with water
On the contrary, ground surveys work perfectly well with water, especially if the water comes from a freshwater source. Fortunately, this is what is available in most municipalities. However, if the water comes from a saltwater source, it tends to interfere with the electromagnetic waves used by the GPR. This is because salt water contains a myriad of minerals and ions.
Anyone can use the GPR
Many people believe that scanning concrete with the GPR is easy enough for the untrained eye, but this could not be further from the truth. Interpreting and understanding the ground-penetrating radar data requires a well-trained and experienced professional to correctly mark anomalies and ensure the safety of the site and workers during excavation, drilling or cutting.
If you are interested in conducting a GPR scanning for a construction project, contact one of our highly trained professionals to scan, interpret and provide an accurate report on the location of rebar, air pockets, service lines and other features that may be present in the concrete.