How Concrete Scanning and Coring Help with Building Inspections

by Tendon, on Dec 1, 2022 7:00:00 AM

Any renovation or new construction project that involves concrete is going to involve an inspection of existing concrete slabs. This is an important step meant to assess the integrity and quality of the concrete, as well as where it will be safe to drill should any drilling be required.

How do construction and renovation professionals actually inspect existing concrete, though? Those who want to avoid problems with the project and possible injuries for workers use concrete scanning. After the concrete scan, they use a technology called concrete coring to drill any necessary holes or to pull samples from the slab.  

Concrete scanning and coring are essential parts of countless construction projects. In this post, we examine these techniques and how they can help with inspections of buildings before the work begins.

Tendon Systems offers high-quality scanning and coring services to help with any concrete construction project. Contact us to learn more about our services.

Concrete Scanning and Coring: the Basics

The basic concept behind concrete scanning is to get an idea of what is inside the concrete slab before any work is done. This is critical knowledge because what is embedded in the concrete and where it is will determine where crews can cut, drill and build.

There are a few concrete scanning technologies, but the most accurate is ground penetrating radar (GPR). A GPR scanner sends radar pulses into a concrete slab. Those waves reflect off of elements embedded inside the concrete, and that disruption in the wave pattern informs the image that the scanner generates.

Concrete coring is what comes after scanning. Once the GPR professional has obtained images and mapped out the inside of the concrete slab, workers can use that information to plan where they can safely cut holes in the concrete. 

Using a diamond cutting tool, the concrete driller cuts a perfectly round hole in the concrete. With the cores removed, crews then have a hole they can use to add plumbing and electrical elements, phone lines and internet cables.

Where Concrete Scanning and Coring Can Be Used?

Scanning and coring have wide applications in concrete construction. Here are a few examples of items that professionals can scan and core for construction purposes:

  • Any concrete slab
  • Foundations
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Sidewalks and walkways
  • Decks
  • Columns
  • Ceilings and roofs

What Can Concrete Scanning and Coring Find?

When scanning the above items during an inspection, what are concrete professionals looking for? In short, they are looking for a wide variety of embedded objects that could create problems for crews as they build, restore or drill in, on or around the concrete. GPR scanning can locate a wide variety of metal and non-metal objects, some of which we discuss below.

Rebar and Cables

Rebar, pre-tension cables and post-tension cables are some of the most common items you can find embedded in concrete slabs. These reinforcing steel bands — their presence, spacing, thickness and other qualities — can tell you a lot about the integrity of the concrete, as well as where it’s safe to core.

Cutting into a piece of rebar or any reinforcing cable can not only compromise the integrity of the slab, but also cause severe injuries for the worker. Scanning helps workers avoid these problems.

Plumbing and Other Utilities

The last thing you want when embarking on a concrete construction or renovation project is to cause problems where there weren’t problems before. But cutting through a pipe or electrical line will do exactly that. 

Without scanning before coring, even the most seasoned professionals can accidentally sever plumbing, electrical and other utility lines. This can cause problems throughout the structure and require expensive repairs.

Slab Voids and Thickness

Sometimes, scanning is less about finding something inside the concrete and more about finding out more information about the concrete. GPR scanning can provide a wealth of information about the overall integrity of a concrete slab by detecting voids inside the slab and determining the thickness of the slab.

Some concrete voids can affect the load-bearing capacity of an entire concrete slab, and overloading these slabs can cause them to fail. The same is true of overloading a slab that is too thin.

Inspect Any Concrete Slab with Scanning and Coring

In construction and renovation projects, concrete scanning and coring are likely to be essential steps to getting the job done. Mistakes during these processes can lead to costly construction errors, devastating injuries and delayed project timelines. That’s why so many people rely on scanning and coring professionals to do this important work.

At Tendon Systems we offer scanning and coring services that meet and exceed the highest standards of quality, safety and efficiency. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide detailed maps of embedded elements in concrete slabs and core those slabs perfectly. Further, we put concrete coring and scanning to use in a wide variety of our other services, including concrete restoration, construction and engineering.

Interested in working with us? All you have to do is get in touch. Give us a call at 678-835-1100 or contact us online.