Matt Aston saw sparks fly, and then everything stopped.
Aston was in his early 20s, home from college for the summer and working for his father’s concrete cutting company. He was assisting a crew working inside a grocery store, where they were trenching down the center of the freezer aisle to install new coolant lines.
“We got probably five or six feet in, and sparks fly, the saw shuts off and lights go off,” Aston recalled. “Everything in the store goes dark. It’s 12:30, 1 in the morning because all the work has to be done at night. I look at the guy [operating the saw] and go, ‘what happened?’ He said, ‘we just cut through the power. We’re done for tonight.’”
Aston listened as the concrete cutter called his superintendent, who wanted to know how the electrical conduit had been severed.
It turned out that the line was not where as-built documents indicated it should be. In fact, it was running right down the center of the marked path for the trench.
It can cost thousands of dollars to repair wire and conduit that’s been severed during concrete sawing or coring. You’ll lose more money during the downtime while repairs are completed.
The budget hit is secondary to the safety risk of severing a live power line. Aston and his father’s employee were lucky to have avoided electrocution.
Years later, when he stumbled across an advertisement for ground penetrating radar (GPR) in a magazine and read how the technology was being adapted to locate utilities, rebar, and structural supports buried within or underneath concrete, Aston remembered this incident from his college days.
“I went back to that specific job and thought, ‘OK, if they would have used this [ground penetrating radar] on that job, laid out the electrical prior to saw cutting taking place, that whole incident is avoided,” he said.
Aston saw with his own eyes the consequences of sawing or coring concrete without knowing what’s inside. His experience as a young man inspired him to build a career around protecting workers from the risks of subsurface damage.
That unparalleled level of accuracy is born out of our desire to eliminate subsurface damage, which in turn helps ensure the success of your project and the safety of your workers.
How GPRS Scans Concrete with Unparalleled Accuracy
The foundation for our precision concrete scanning services is the Subsurface Investigation Methodology, or SIM.
SIM is the industry-leading process for conducting utility locates, concrete scans, leak detections, and video (CCTV) pipe inspections. It’s comprised of three elements:
- Equipment: The SIM standard specifies that a professional locating contractor must utilize multiple locating technologies, including GPR and electromagnetic (EM) locators, to create redundant confirmation of results when conducting a subsurface investigation.
- Training: All GPRS Project Managers must achieve SIM certification, which means completing a minimum of 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom education, during which they are challenged with real-world scenarios that prepare them for anything they may encounter in the field. This level of training far exceeds the national standard for certification (ASNT SNT-TC-1A), which states that a minimum of 60 hours of practical application coaching and 8 hours of classroom training must be completed for a utility locating or concrete scanning specialist to achieve NDT Level 1 certification.
- Methodology: SIM addresses a step-by-step approach to collecting subsurface data to ensure that the results are repeatable and accurate. SIM practitioners must follow a checklist that is designed to ensure optimal results for every situation encountered in the field.
While GPRS’ concrete scanning services are underpinned by SIM, what separates the excellence of GPRS Project Managers from the rest of the industry is their ability to tailor our services to meet your needs. We call this The GPRS Difference.
Our Project Managers don’t just scan where you point and leave; they will collaborate with you to ensure the success of your project.
Whether you need us to work in the middle of the night to avoid interrupting patrons, or adjust the way in which we deliver our findings to you, we promise to give you the accurate, actionable information you need to stay on time, on budget, and safe.
We Guarantee Our Work
Saying you’re the most accurate concrete scanning company out there is one thing; proving it is another.
We’re so confident in our Project Managers’ abilities that we created the Green Box Guarantee, which states that when we place a Green Box within a concrete layout prior to you cutting or coring that slab, we guarantee that the area within that Green Box will be free of obstructions.
If we’re wrong, we’ll pay the material cost of any damage that occurs.
From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualizes The Built World® to keep your projects on time and on budget, and your people safe.
What can we help you visualize? Click below to schedule a service or request a quote today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to scan concrete with GPR?
Utilizing our state-of-the-art ground penetrating radar scanners, GPRS Project Managers can scan large areas quickly. Our standard layout for a typical core drilling location is 2’x2’. It usually takes about 10 minutes to scan and mark an area this size.
How deep inside concrete can GPR scan?
For concrete scanning, GPR can penetrate depths of 18’-24”.
Why is it important to scan concrete before drilling or sawing the slab?
Because subsurface damage can be both costly to repair and hazardous to the health and safety of your workers and anyone in the surrounding area. By knowing where all subsurface items are located within a concrete slab prior to penetrating that slab, you ensure the success of your project and the safety of your workers.