Information

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Preparing for your scans

  • Check with the building engineers or other representatives to find out the type of reinforcement used within the floor slab.  It would be helpful to know if the floor was constructed using rebar, tension cables, wire mesh etc..  Also if the building is newer determine if the concrete mix used consists of recycled concrete which interfere with the scan radar.  
  • If you are drilling into a floor slab with another floor below (suspended slab) be sure to check under your desired location for obstructions under where the hole will be drilled.  Items like duct work, pipes, cables, VAV units, wall framing or other items may be in the way of your hole.  
  • Remove any objects such as materials or furniture from the scan location and assure that they are far enough away to provide adequate room to perform the scan.  More room allows the scanner technician to scan a wider area so he/she can get a better pattern of items making it easier to identify.
  • Sweep the scan location and remove any debris from floor.  We will do a final sweep of the location before scanning.
  • Remove any nails from surface.
  • Be sure there is no glues or adhesives on the floor that would keep the scanner antenna from rolling.
  • Make sure the surface is smooth and does not have imperfections that would keep the antenna from rolling. If you need to scan a location that has chipped up concrete or other imperfections you can put down masonite, cardboard or something similar to cover the area.  The radar will go through these materials with no problem. Just be sure to tape it down so it doesn’t shift which will move your marks and make the scan incorrect.  
  • Make sure the surface is not wet.  Water interferes with the radio signal and makes it difficult to pick up objects.
  • If your project is outside be sure it is not going to rain or has had rain in the past 24 hours.  Water interferes with radars capability to penetrate concrete.  Damp or wet concrete will slow down the signal limiting the scan results.

Things to know

  • There is a 3-1/2” to 4” border around the scan area when scanning against a wall or other obstructions such as pipes or other items that can not be taken out of the way.  This is a limitation of all GPR devices due to the way the antenna is designed.  
  • When scanning floors or walls they may not be level causing the scanner to pick up objects that are not squared with the surface.  This will cause the objects to be marked off of their actual location.  In this case objects will not be off by much but something to keep in mind.  It is recommended by the scanner manufacturer and we typically mark all items a minimum of 2” wide to accommodate a safe buffer. 
  • GPR is able to scan up to an average of 24” deep.  There are many factors that could cause this be less.  Such as the surface being wet, heavily congested with rebar or other obstructions, a bad pour where there is a lot of air pockets or slabs containing recycled concrete which contains an abundance of metal shavings in the mix that interferes with the results.
  • GPR is not able to scan floors that consist of recycled concrete.  This type of concrete is made of construction debris from a building that has been demolished.  There is a lot of metal mixed in with the pulverized stone and remains when being re-mixed.  The radar will scatter the results rendering the scan useless.

See our FAQ section for more helpful information on GPR Scanning.


Below are a few diagrams created to provide a visual aid when explaining how GPR scanning is performed.




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