GPR or ground penetrating radar is used by commercial concrete scanning contractors and engineers to find objects lying under concrete. This is an important step before construction begins. GPR penetrates through the concrete down several feet. The radar waves bounce back when they hit an object and provide an image of what lies below. Contractors and engineers can then create a precise map of objects beneath the concrete before they start digging. This helps prevent broken pipes or damaged electrical lines.
Quite often there will be underground utilities which can be very expensive to repair. Hitting a major electrical line can also be very dangerous. If an underground sewer pipe or gas line is damaged, noxious and often toxic materials can be released into the ground. It is never a good idea to rely on maps drawn when the utilities are first installed since they may become inaccurate over the years. Ground penetrating radar can also be used in other types of digs.
Using GPR makes it easier to locate and identify rebar or post tension cables inside a building, under a floor, or beneath a foundation. Once any objects are located, installing sewer, duct work, and electrical fittings become easier, with the threat of damage to already existing underground lines or utilities reduced.
Archaeologists will often use GPR to scan possible sites to see if there is anything below the surface. While on a dig or exploration, archaeologists can only estimate where ancient buildings, cemeteries or objects may lie. Using GPR saves both time and money. It can reduce the hit or miss digging that often accompanies an archaeological dig, helping the specialists zero in on exactly where to dig. GPR can also be helpful for other types of treasure hunting.
Those who hunt for sunken ships often use GPR to identify the size, depth, and shape of an object under water. GPR can scan beneath concrete pilings or to the bottom of the ocean and identify possible sunken wrecks.
One of the primary advantages of using ground penetrating radar is that the process may be done without shutting down existing services. GPR is very accurate and quickly and accurately identifies where electrical conduits, plumbing fixtures and other underground or in-wall utilities are located. GPR also helps locate any spaces that may form when the concrete is poured.
Concrete scanning with GPR is a very efficient means of identifying underground utilities and existing ductwork or plumbing within a building. Contractors and engineers can then determine where to dig without harming existing systems.