Many large-scale construction projects require an element of concrete sawing and drilling. However, have you ever wondered how this process is carried out?

Before concrete cutting and drilling is carried out, many contractors perform concrete scanning, a process that uses non-destructive technology to detect underground debris that could potentially be damaged or cause damage in the process of concrete cutting.

As such, if you plan to carry out a construction project that involves locating structures such as drainpipes, you should perform concrete scanning beforehand. 

What Is Concrete Scanning?

As previously mentioned, concrete scanning makes use of non-destructive technology such as ground-penetrating radar (GPR), a ferroscan instrument, a cover meter, or ultrasonic scanning equipment to scan concrete in various depth ranges and conditions. 

Ideally, you should always scan concrete if you are planning to perform drilling, coring, cutting, and other types of destructive work. Concrete scanning can be especially useful and helpful if you plan to perform the following:

  • Subsurface utility engineering
  • Underground utility locating
  • Private utility locating
  • Utility location within the existing concrete
  • Planning and preparing for CCTV, video, or other pipe inspections
  • Preconstruction utility mapping
  • Safety hazard recognition, marking, and avoidance

How Locate Drain Pipe Concrete Before Cutting 2

However, detecting anomalies is not where concrete scanning stops. Once these anomalies have been detected they will be interpreted by highly experienced engineers who will advise the construction project on how to appropriately move forward.

From here, you’ll be able to make markings of dangerous spots to perform destructive action, saving you both time, money, and of course, resources in your intended construction project.

What Can Concrete Scanning Locate?

Concrete scanning is capable of detecting the following:

  • Drain pipes
  • Post-tension cables
  • Voids
  • Electrical conduits
  • Gas pipes
  • Water lines
  • Various PVC conduits
  • Leaks
  • Other hidden objects 

They can also be used to conduct a structural review that includes rebar spacing and concrete slab measurements. The best part is that results can be produced on-site and in real-time, which leads to both minimal disruption and costs.

Is Concrete Scanning A Safety Measure?

The short answer: yes. Concrete scanning is not only designed to help you visualise underground anomalies you may not be able to see before performing destructive work, but it is an imperative safety measure to take.

For example, damage to post-tension cables and rebar can pose extremely dangerous safety hazards that can lead to structural failure, injury, and even death on site. Damage to electrical components within the concrete can also cause electrocution and death. 

As such, concrete scanning is not only helpful for your construction project but will keep your workers safe from possible hazards, while also providing you with a safe plan to move forward.

How Locate Drain Pipe Concrete Before Cutting

What Else Can Concrete Scanning Do?

Did you know that you can scan vertical surfaces? That’s right! You can even detect drain pipes in ceilings or vertical walls because GPR equipment is capable of locating rebar in concrete walls and columns. 

Concrete scanning can even be used to scan underneath floors and mark reinforcing steel or other embedded conduits. 

Concrete scanning can also help differentiate between rebar and a conduit. Generally, these two can produce the same GPR readings; however, there are subtle differences particularly in the pattern and spacing of rebar. If the rebar has a break, more often than not this means that there is a conduit.

However, it is also important to remember that concrete scanning cannot see through concrete! GPR can only detect embedded materials or voids. 

Final Thoughts

If your original plan was to just locate a drain pipe in concrete before cutting the concrete, then you’ll be surprised to know that the latest technology today can do much more than just detecting drain pipes!

Concrete scanning can be used to locate all sorts of sites and spaces unseen to the human eye, such as post-tension cables, voids, electrical conduits, and others that can potentially cause structural damage and pose disastrous safety hazards.

So, while concrete scanning will allow you to have a better idea of where to safely cut concrete, concrete scanning can also protect your workers and prevent you from wasting time, money, and resources!

If you need concrete sawing performed safely and reliably, be it commercial or residential, please call us at MEGASAW. We have over 20 years of experience providing quality concrete cutting services all over Melbourne. Our experience is your guarantee!

Please call us today on 1300 920 419 or contact us through our website.