Except for using specialized concrete scanning equipment, once a concrete wall, ceiling or flooring sets, it’s hopeless to figure out exactly what is inside the concrete. That’s where 2M’s concrete scanning services come in to help because not understanding what is inside the concrete before you cut or drill can end up delaying a job, causing huge cost overruns and will damage your reputation in the industry. Let us help you avoid all that!
So what exactly is concrete scanning?
Superman might have x-ray vision, but construction workers do not, so they can’t just see what lies inside concrete. Using ground penetrating radar (GPR), a non-destructive and non-intrusive technology used for concrete scanning, can produce quality results far superior and safer than those offered by most other technologies. Using high frequency GPR antennas, metallic and non-metallic objects and features can be detected at depths of up to 24” (depending on conditions).
What’s really helpful is that GPR concrete scanning can provide instant results on site and scanning data can be saved digitally and reviewed off-site to provide detailed reporting such as high resolution rebar mapping. We also sketch out our findings on the concrete or masonry surface prior to your company coring, drilling or cutting to help prevent costly structural damages.
Who uses concrete scanning services?
Professionals involved in concrete/structural coring, cutting and construction.
Why use concrete scanning?
Unfortunately, construction plans and records for most structures are not available, and even if they are, as-designed plans are often drastically different from what is actually present at the site. GPR is useful in this scenario because it is the most efficient way to determine what is there.
My Dad always taught me to “measure twice and cut once” because there are no second chances in drilling, cutting and sawing!
Those wise words of advice are why you should get 2M’s concrete scanning office near you out to your job site during the planning/pre-construction phase or, at minimum, before any penetration of the concrete.
What can GPR concrete scanning find and do?
- Locate rebar and tendons before you cut, core or drill,
- Plastic and metal conduits,
- Metallic and non-metallic pipes
- Post tension cables,
- Map rebar distribution
- Measure slab thickness,
- Detect deterioration,
- Discover voids,
- Detect current carrying cables,
- Confirm as-builts (“as-maybes”)
How does concrete scanning work?
At 2M, we perform concrete scanning services using a 3-step approach.
First, we examine the work space to assess the concrete’s durability and subsurface condition. We identify any potential issues that may prevent a scan during the assessment. Some of these issues can include accessibility issues (for example, barriers in the area from walls or other structures), rough or damaged surfaces that impede scanning equipment, or troughs of pan-decking that may conceal metallic objects.
Second, after the initial assessment is finished, we scan the area. The results are immediately visible and we note the position of each object as we go, allowing us to create a working map of the area.
Lastly, during the scan, we also photograph each located object. These photographs are crucial to our (optional) third step, in which we develop a 3-D model that fully maps out all detected items for review. Using the model, we can easily determine where the concrete slab should be cut, cored, drilled, etc.
Can GPR see through everything?
Almost. GPR is the only sensing technology that can detect both conductive and non-conductive materials. Although concrete is conductive when it is fresh, it becomes non-conductive as it cures.
Is it possible to scan vertical surfaces or ceilings?
For sure! Yes, GPR concrete scanning equipment is frequently utilized to locate rebar in concrete columns and walls, as well as to scan the bottom of a floor to identify reinforcing steel and any embedded pipelines.
Is GPR concrete scanning safe?
Those who are familiar with x-raying concrete are frequently concerned about the health risks of radiation exposure, as radiation-exposure from x-rays is well documented. X-raying remains a reliable and accurate method for marking objects embedded in concrete, but x-ray companies must ensure safety by keeping people away from their x-ray locations. They must create a safe and controlled environment.
Our project managers, construction workers, and building tenants are all safe because of the low power output of GPR antennas.
Non-destructive, non-invasive concrete and structural scanning radar is also cheaper and waaay more efficient than the older x-ray tech. Our equipment can also scan slabs that are on grade, since we only need 1-side to work with. With its portability and “real-time data collection” capabilities, a GPR Concrete/Structure Scan allows like our GSSI Structure Scan Mini XT concrete scanner to collect lots of data in a pretty short time period all with color display and 3D images.
It is important to avoid injury or costly damage to a structure when cutting, dilling or penetrating concrete. Typically, x-ray machines are used to scan concrete slabs in order to map their contents. However, this procedure is slow, cumbersome, and potentially dangerous due to the radiation (yikes!) generated by the x-ray machines.
Using concrete scanning GPR, slabs of any length or width can be scanned quickly and easily, whereas x-ray machines typically require specifically sized squares (1’x1′, 2’x2′) to function properly. 2M’s techs and anyone else working in the area can safely utilize GPR concrete scanners because they utilize very high frequency waves (similar to Wi-Fi and mobile phones), which are completely safe. An x-ray machine, on the other hand, usually requires the area around the scanned area to be cleared because of radiation.
What’s the difference between concrete scanning and a concrete x-ray?
Many people refer to Concrete and Structural Scanning as concrete x-ray, but this is incorrect. Concrete and structural scanning are two different technologies, and concrete x-ray is not one of them. Concrete structural scanning and concrete x-ray are both distinct techniques. X-ray technology is not as fast, accurate, or efficient as concrete and structural scanning, and it comes with serious health risks and requires stopping work in the area.
What concrete scanning deliverables does 2M offer?
Once scanning is finished, you will know the:
- Vertical and horizontal location of post tension cables,
What concrete scanner does 2M use?
All of our concrete scanners are well-trained and well-versed in finding the GSSI Structure Scanners using the latest technology:
- 60 cm (24 in) is the maximum depth.
- The antenna operates at a frequency of 2700 MHz.
- Can accurately map areas of rebar corrosion-related deterioration within a 1/4 inch of the real distance
How much does concrete scanning cost?
Sure is funny how you can always find the money to do something the right way the second time right? We charge an hourly rate (4-hour minimum) that includes the mobilization charge and deliverables. That rate is determined by whether the job is prevailing wage or private.
While the cost of scanning concrete can vary by the job, concrete scanning costs a lot less than cutting through a post tension cable and the damage, injuries, expense and absolute embarrassment of not following proper safety procedures and getting the concrete scanned prior to starting work. 2M is here to help you avoid all that and work safer and smarter!Please contact us today for a quote to get a free estimate.