If you need to repair damaged pipes or sewers, then you will understand the conundrum of figuring out where to dig.
So much of our modern infrastructure is underground, and hitting mesh, wires, or pipes could cause a lot of damage to that infrastructure and to your digging equipment.
The good news is that there is modern technology available that can help us figure out where to dig by giving us an image of what is under the ground, without needing to disturb it.
Ground Penetrating Radar is a system that allows us to locate objects under the ground, by scanning the density of the ground and recording changes.
GPR uses high-frequency radar waves. It sends them into the ground then records the rate at which they ‘bounce back’.
This highlights differences in the density of the material underground so it is possible to spot voids as well as ‘dense’ spots.
Someone who is trained in reading GPR data will be able to make an educated guess as to what the anomalies on the radar might be.
In the ideal world, you would know exactly where everything was before you started digging.
With modern building structures, it is usually possible to get hold of plans that will show you where pipes and utilities should be.
However, those plans are not always accurate. Sometimes tradesmen make mistakes. Sometimes modifications are made but not reported.
Sometimes, you are working in an environment where a lot of work was done long ago, and plans have been lost or were not filed at the time.
There could be many reasons why plans are unavailable.
GPR is useful as an extra safeguard, and it is also useful for analysing the ground without damaging it.
GR is even used in natural studies, such as mapping subsurface pipes in peat areas that are now protected.
One area where GPR is particularly useful when it comes to conducting plumbing repairs is that it allows the tradesman to identify the extent of the issue before starting work.
GPR can be useful for assessing the condition of a buried pipe before digging up the ground.
The pipes do not have to be metal for this to work, as plastic and other materials can be picked up with suitable GPR equipment.
There are some factors which will affect the accuracy of GPR, including the moisture level in the ground and even the type and condition of the soil.
Experienced GPR technicians will be able to manage this and take the conditions into account when identifying anomalies.
In general, it is fair to say that objects which are more conductive are easier to locate than those which are plastic.
In fact, with PVC or plastic pipes, the technician does not see the pipe itself, since non-metallic objects do not show a signal.
PVC and plastic pipes can still be identified, but instead of the pipe itself showing on the scan, it is the contents of the pipe (air or water, for example) which are picked up.
The larger the diameter of the pipe, the easier it is to spot on the scan.
GPR can save plumbers and construction workers a lot of time and money by guiding them when it comes to determining where to dig, and how deep it is safe to dig.
This reduces wasted time and prevents damage to other utilities, pipes and lines in the area.
It is critical that you invest in GPR to plan your project before you start work.
If you have any construction or excavation projects on the go, it is vitally important to hire a concrete scanning company to scan the location first.
High Resolution Concrete Scanning is a company you can trust to provide you with the most accurate and detailed information when it comes to scanning your concrete structures.
They have years of experience and use the most advanced tools and equipment in the business.
At High Resolution Concrete Scanning, our specialisation in concrete scanning services has made us industry leaders. If you need to perform any type of concrete scanning, then look no further than us at High Resolution Concrete Scanning.
Please call us today on 0437 365 830 or contact us through our website www.high-res.com.au/contact-us/