How Precision Concrete Scanning Prevents Subsurface Damage

How Precision Concrete Scanning Prevents Subsurface Damage

A general contractor drilling inside a bank in Little Rock, Arkansas avoided potentially disastrous subsurface damage by utilizing GPRS’ precision concrete scanning & imaging services.

The general contractor was preparing to core through the bank’s elevated concrete slab in ten locations. They contacted GPRS prior to coring to scan the concrete with ground penetrating radar (GPR) and determine if any subsurface obstructions were present in these spots.

A Proceq ground penetrating radar concrete scanning antenna.
GPRS concrete scanning services utilize ground penetrating radar (GPR) to find post tension cable, rebar, electrical conduit, and other obstructions embedded within or buried beneath concrete slabs.

Utilizing GPR, a GPRS Project Manager (PM) determined that post tension cable was present in every one of the contractor’s proposed coring locations. We were able to scan each area and indicate alternative, safe coring locations that fit the client’s needs.

If the contractor had cored through even one of the bank’s post tension cables, the results could have been catastrophic. A single severed post tension cable can cost as much as $30,000 to repair or replace, and it can also lead to structural failures that endangers everyone on site.

GPR is the best tool for locating subsurface items such as post tension cable and rebar within concrete. This non-destructive scanning and imaging technology uses radio waves to identify these items within concrete slabs or underground. A GPR scanner emits radio waves into the surface or soil, and those waves interact with whatever they encounter to create a readout of hyperbolas varying in size and shape depending on what was located.

A GPRS Project Manager conducts ground penetrating radar scans of a concrete slab.
GPRS Project Managers receive special training to be able to interpret the findings of ground penetrating radar (GPR) scans and tell you what is buried within and/or beneath your concrete slab.

GPRS Project Managers are specially trained utility locating and concrete scanning professionals capable of interpreting GPR scanning data to give you a comprehensive understanding of the subsurface infrastructure of a concrete slab or job site.

One secret behind our unparalleled accuracy (99.8%+ on over 500,000 utility locating and concrete scanning jobs completed to date) is SIM, or Subsurface Investigation Methodology, the industry-leading process for conducting utility locates, concrete scans, video (CCTV) pipe inspections, and leak detection.

GPRS Project Managers are required to achieve SIM 101 certification, which involves completing a minimum of 320 hours of field training and 80 hours of classroom training where they encounter real-world scenarios designed to prepare them for whatever they may encounter in the field.

During or after their second year with GPRS, PMs return to our state-of-the-art training facility in Sylvania, Ohio, to hone their skills and receive SIM 201 certification. After more time in the field, they may return to certify at SIM Level 3 as a Senior Project Manager.

SIM provides a step-by-step approach to collecting subsurface data to ensure that the results are repeatable and accurate. This includes a checklist of steps Project Managers must complete to ensure optimal results for every situation encountered in the field.

That process begins before we even arrive on your site. We call our field team members Project Managers rather than technicians because they take a collaborative approach to every job, working with you to understand what you need out of our services. By working with you to understand the scope of your work, the medium in which you need your data delivered, and more, we can tailor our services to meet your needs and ensure you walk away with information that is both accurate and actionable.

Concrete markings indicated on a slab with marker.
GPRS is so confident in the accuracy of our SIM-certified Project Managers that we introduced the Green Box Guarantee, which states that if we place a Green Box within a concrete layout prior to you coring or cutting concrete, we guarantee the area within that Green Box will be free of any obstructions.

We are so confident in the accuracy of our SIM-certified Project Managers that we introduced the Green Box Guarantee. Simply put: if we place a Green Box within a concrete layout prior to you coring or cutting that concrete, we guarantee the area within the Green Box will be free of any obstructions.

If we’re wrong, GPRS agrees to pay the material cost of any damage that occurs.

In addition to achieving their SIM-certification, GPRS Project Managers can receive 40 hours of additional training specific to conducting 3D laser scanning services. The benefit of this unusual cross-training is that after scanning concrete and marking those findings on the surface of the slab, our PMs can laser scan those markings to create a permanent record of the findings that our Mapping & Modeling Team can turn into 2D CAD drawings, 3D BIM models, or other types of deliverables to aid in virtual design and construction (VDC) and renovation that take both the aboveground infrastructure into account, and also what is inside it.

The data we collect on your site and the objects we model for you with that data are securely stored, yet easily accessible via SiteMap® (patent pending), GPRS’ infrastructure mapping software solution. SiteMap® enhances safety planning by putting your vital infrastructure data at your fingertips, whenever and wherever you need it. From your computer, tablet, or mobile device, instantly access, review and share layered, comprehensive geospatial data to avoid costly and potentially dangerous mistakes.

GPRS’ SiteMap® team members are currently scheduling live, personal demos so you can see for yourself how SiteMap® can help you plan, design, manage, dig, and build better.

Click below to schedule your live demo today!

From skyscrapers to sewer lines, GPRS Intelligently Visualizes The Built World® to keep your projects on time, on budget, and safe.

What can we help you visualize? Click the links below to schedule a service or request a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ground penetrating radar (GPR) have any limitations?

GPR is highly effective at locating subsurface utilities and other materials. It does, however, have certain limitations. When scanning concrete, GPR can typically penetrate depths of 18-24” depending on the age of the concrete, as fresh concrete is more difficult to penetrate due to the presence of moisture within the material.

Do all ground penetrating radar companies offer a Green Box Guarantee?

No, the Green Box Guarantee is an industry-leading, proprietary program GPRS created to help prevent injuries and damages. We want to provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your team can safely core and cut concrete without worrying about subsurface damage.

Will there be a Green Box Guarantee placed on every concrete slab that I have GPRS scan?

No. Our Green Boxes communicate to our clients that all critical targets such as rebar, electrical conduit, and post tension cable are absent, and no obstruction is present. We place Green Boxes on elevated concrete slab locations that we’re confident are clear to core, cut, or drill through. If we aren’t confident that you won’t hit anything, we won’t place a green box on the slab.