How to Avoid Hazards Before Cutting with GPR Equipment


Stop before you cut that concrete! There is a better way to check for rebar, utility lines and other hidden hazards underground. You don’t have to cut the concrete and disrupt the construction site. Use GPR equipment instead. It is the fast, easy way to see just what lies underground with no need for the laborious chore of cutting, drilling or coring.

GPR Equipment Explained

GPR stands for ground penetrating radar. This radar is housed in a unit that is pushed over the ground using the machine’s handles or moved over surfaces using a portable, compact hand-held unit. The radar is emitted from the antenna on the unit in the form of electromagnetic waves. These waves reach any items that are beneath a surface including rebar or utility lines. The unit will display feedback via a hard disk drive or by a monitor or other display.

Essentially, the equipment consists of a control unit, an antenna, and a power supply. You can choose different models of equipment to suit your needs. A quality GPR manufacturer can guide you as you select a model that will work best.

The control unit is where the electromagnetic waves come from. The antenna transmits those waves beneath the surface you are checking for hidden hazards and sends data to an onboard computer. Different machines make use of varying frequencies. Machines that emit high frequencies check hazards that are right under the surface. Low-frequency antennas find items that are located well below the surface.

You may be able to see the displayed results on the machine’s monitor or you may be able to remove the hard disk that comes with it and view the results on another computer. A machine will operate as long as the battery is charged. Some machines have internal battery power and others have removable, rechargeable batteries. You can recharge these as needed using the adapters that come with the unit.

How to Find and Avoid Hazards

Take the machine and run it over the surface you are checking for hazards. Be certain to follow any specific guidelines with your GPR unit to get accurate results. Your machine will display the results of the scan for you to interpret. Things like rebar or utility lines are discernable and you can make adjustments to any cutting you do need to do. If necessary, you can also move your construction to a different section of the job site in order to avoid cutting utility lines.

The biggest benefit is that you will not have to cut and find out where these hazards lie in the first place. Simply run the GPR over the ground or other surface and see whether you are free to begin working there or if you need to move your work to a different area so as to avoid cutting or coring important items.

GPR has been helpful in finding things like burial sites which were not known about prior to the construction of major shopping complexes. It can save you thousands of dollars in labor and construction delays.

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