Everything You Need to Know About Concrete Scanning

concrete scanning

Are you preparing for a commercial construction job that involves drilling into a concrete slab, wall, or floor? If so, you’re likely going to need to utilize some concrete scanning method. Scanning allows you to evaluate the internal integrity of a concrete structure prior to cutting, coring or drilling. Therefore ensuring construction teams are able to identify any embedded materials or utilities that cannot be seen from the outer surface. 

The importance of using concrete scanning services cannot be understated. The technology ensures engineers or concrete professionals have the information they need to make important decisions regarding how the concrete slab must be dealt with. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Concrete Scanning?

Concrete scanning is the process of using ground penetrating radar (GPR) that can view what’s behind the concrete before you cut it or drill it. It works similarly to a stud detector that would be used before you hang something heavy on the wall. The radar is non-invasive and is safe for use. This method of concrete scanning is more effective than using an X-ray.

The GPR, when used for concrete scanning, can find a number of different things. The scanner is used to search for rebar or other steel equipment. It can also find electrical conduits, water lines, gas pipes, cables, and other hazards. 

Why Is It Important?

Concrete scanning is important to the safety of the construction crew. Concrete scanning is also important because it keeps the timeline of the construction on track. If the construction crew drills or cuts into concrete that hasn’t been scanned and there’s a gas line or something similar below that they cut into, then it can cause serious injury and damage. Once the damage has already been done, then the crew will have to fix what was damaged. Also, the damage might be more than just what’s visible. It can undermine utilities and also jeopardize the safety of the public.

What Are the Benefits of Concrete Scanning?

As mentioned above, concrete scanning is an important process when it comes to any kind of construction. It keeps construction teams on track and safe while they work onsite. Furthermore, concrete scanning utilizes completely safe non x-ray technology. There are other benefits to concrete scanning too. Keep reading, and we’ll go into more detail about cost-saving and efficiency benefits.

Cost Savings

Concrete scanning reduces cost because it is a preventative measure. By scanning before you start any kind of construction, you’re ensuring that what you’re doing won’t add repair or damage costs to the project. GPR scanning is reliable and detailed enough that you can continue your work without the risk of injury or damage.


Because you’re using a concrete scanner, you’ll be able to move on to the next steps with confidence that your crew is safe, as well as the public. That way, you’re able to move through the construction process faster and more efficiently.

In addition to safety, concrete scanning also helps reduce costs and create a more efficient environment. If you’re getting ready to start a construction project, make sure to invest in a concrete scanner so you can safely move through the project from start to finish.

How Accurate Are Scanners?

It’s said that concrete scanning is almost 100% accurate. It’s the most effective way to test the concrete without damaging anything, but it isn’t perfect. Under ideal conditions, the scanner’s radio waves can be off from the center by a minuscule amount, such as one-fourth of an inch. There are also things inside the concrete that can sometimes mess with the accuracy of the scan, such as mesh wire, multiple layers of rebar, and pan decking (a metal slab that is used to help create a slab of concrete).

What Is Concrete Scanning Used For?

Concrete scanning can be used in a number of different situations and industries. The primary reason you would need concrete scanning is for the commercial construction industry. Those projects can vary depending on what type of construction you’ll be working on. The different types of situations would be utility engineering, utility locating (public or private), mapping utilities before construction, preparing CCTV video, pipe inspections, marking to avoid any safety hazards under the ground, and many more. 

Most commonly, concrete scanning is used to locate the following in embedded in concrete floors, reinforced concrete, walls, and ceilings: 

  • Reinforcing Steel
  • Embedded Conduits
  • Other Non-Metallic Items

By utilizing scanning services prior to work, you can avoid accidentally cutting expensive utilities or compromising the structural integrity of the concrete.

What Does JP Hogan Use Concrete Scanning For?

JP Hogan mainly uses concrete scanning for bridges, tunnels, and commercial retail buildings. We also use it for other construction jobs, but these are the main three that we’ll discuss today.


When we use a concrete scanner on bridges, we’re looking for rebar delaminations, asphalt overlays, patching and spalling, and concrete deterioration.


When it comes to tunnels, we’re looking for the same things that we look for in bridges. It’s important to ensure the tunnel is structurally sound so that no one gets hurt during the construction project or just from usual wear and tear.

Commercial Buildings

With commercial buildings, we’re checking to make sure that again that there is structural integrity. If we’re doing a repair or something similar, we have to make sure that there is nothing blocking the project’s progress.

JP Hogan can help you safely bring your project to life. Make sure to do your research before deciding what is right for you, your team, and the timeline of your project. At JP Hogan, we have more than 40 professional consultants that can help you get your project started. We have over 100 years of combined experience. Contact us today so you can get started!

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