What is Concrete Scanning and When is it Necessary

August 26, 2020

Concrete is one of the most widely used building materials for its rigidity and durability. But, these same qualities make it difficult to repair, replace, or alter. Altering concrete in any way can become extremely dangerous if you don’t know what’s embedded in the concrete, as utility lines and rebar often run through it. Thankfully, a new technology called concrete scanning makes the job far easier and infinitely safer.

What is Concrete Scanning?

Concrete scanning is similar to an x-ray of a human body. It uses radar to get an inside look at even large slabs of concrete. In other words, concrete scanning is a non-invasive way of determining exactly what is embedded in your piece of concrete.

How it Works

A trained technician will use a concrete scanner to send electromagnetic waves at a high frequency into your concrete slab or wall. The information coming back into the scanner will be read by a professional, and you’ll be provided with a visualization of what is hidden by your concrete and where.

What You Can Find

The best part about concrete scanning is that it can uncover more than just metal rebar locations. A proper scan of your concrete area can reveal the presence and location of post-tension cables, electrical conduits, plumbing, plastic tubing, steel rebar, weaknesses or air pockets in the concrete, and just about anything else that may be trapped in or beneath the concrete.

Why You Need to Scan

Scanning your concrete is essential for two main reasons. First, drilling, cutting, altering or repairing your concrete in any way will require that you know where utilities and where reinforcement is located. This will save you time trying to find a safe area to proceed, and it will ensure you can cut and drill safely without damaging what lies inside your concrete and the equipment you’re using.

Second, it can reveal anomalies in your foundation or concrete slab that may need to be addressed to prevent major structural damage to your building.

When You Need to Scan

Scanning should be done to ensure the proper thickness of your foundation, and the proper rebar or post-tension placement and spacing. It should also be used to test the integrity of new and aged concrete foundations.

Additionally, concrete scanning should be carefully performed before each and every alteration to your concrete. Scanning will show you where critical utility lines and rebar are so that you don’t accidentally hit them during cutting or drilling. A scan will also save you time and money before concrete alteration or repair, as it allows you to be accurate with your cuts.

Before cutting or drilling into your concrete, contact our concrete scanning experts today for a professional scan that will save you time and money and keep you and your workers safe.


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