When Is GPR Preferable to X-Rays During Concrete Scanning?

One can use ground penetrating radar (GPR) or X-ray technology to scan concrete before any work, such as drilling holes for electrical wires, can be done. However, some situations make one technology to be a better choice than the other option. This article discusses some circumstances when the use of GPR scanning technology would be a better option than using X-ray imaging in case you would like some modifications to be done in a concrete structure.

In Congested Areas 

Ground penetrating radar is the best concrete scanning technology to use in case your location is congested, such as a busy commercial building. GPR scanning is the right choice because it does not require a large section of the building to be evacuated and sealed off as technicians scan the concrete. In fact, someone can walk around the target zone with a handheld scanner so that rebar and other obstructions can be mapped before cutting or drilling begins. This is unlike X-ray scanners that emit harmful radiation that requires you to cordon off a large section around the target zone so that building occupants can be kept far from that harmful radiation.

For Slab-On-Grade Situations

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) scanning is also appropriate in case it is not possible to access the other side of the concrete structure that you would like to be scanned. For instance, you may wish to cut a hole through a concrete slab that is on the ground. Such a slab cannot permit technicians to access its lower (sub-grade) side. GPR technology can work efficiently without the need to set up the equipment on both sides of the concrete. X-ray scanning, on the other hand, cannot be used if both sides of the concrete cannot be accessed. This is because the set up process involves placing equipment components on both sides of the slab. It would therefore be difficult to use X-ray scanning on a slab that is lying on the ground on your property.

When Time Is Limited

GPR concrete scanning may also be the scanning technology of choice in case you would like to complete a concrete coring project at short notice, such as laying emergency plumbing pipes. This is because many GPR scanners have screens that can display any obstructions that may be inside a slab of concrete instantly. This real-time information can enable the coring team to start working as soon as a section of the concrete has been scanned. X-ray scanners cannot provide this instant feedback. The images must be fed into machines before you can know what lies beneath or within the concrete. This analysis process can be so time-consuming that your project may not be completed within the limited time that you have available.

As you can see from the discussion above, GPR concrete scanning may be the best scanning technology for you. However, you need to consult an expert so that he or she confirms the suitability of GPR scanning for your particular project.