Every project must start with a solid foundation, and the same is painfully true of buildings. One small issue in your foundations can lead to disastrous results in the long term, so having a firm understanding of the ground beneath your construction site is essential. What you can see cannot be taken for granted, as you may well have dug your foundations in to a strong piece of ground but this does not mean that all is well; lurking just beneath the ground you are building on could be any number of underground hazards that could cause your building to collapse as the weight builds. It is gathering this understanding that concrete scanning allows, as the same techniques can be applied to the earth as to concrete and if you need to dig through either then you had better be sure that nothing is hiding beneath.
How it works
The concrete scanning process itself is fairly simple, but before actually scanning anything it is important to have conducted a basic survey of the surface area in question. This will alert you to any obvious hazards or potential problems that you might encounter whilst also helping to keep you safe. The scanner itself utilises a ground penetrating radar to detect things beneath the surface by looking for the density of different areas. It does this by sending out an electromagnetic pulse in a very specific bandwidth which will reflect back from what is in the ground, but different materials will reflect it back in slightly different ways and the machine uses this to build a picture based on material and depth. Using this information, a concrete scanning specialist can determine more precisely what is represented by the scan data and use it to form a map.
Why this is important
Ground and concrete scanning may seem like a purely precautionary measure, and indeed it is, but not having this information can be far more serious than the minor inconvenience of having to remove large rocks. There are countless buried services all around us and digging into a water main or live electrical cable will be disastrous for you and your neighbours. Taking such risks is entirely unnecessary given the ability to scan under the ground is readily available. Bringing in the professionals from companies such as Australian Locating Services to scan an area for you, before you break ground, will provide all of the information you need to avoid anything buried there. Compare this to stumbling across a problem that you then have to either repair, remove or otherwise rectify, not only halting work on your project, but potentially costing you a significant amount of time and money in the process.
At the end of the day, concrete and ground scanning is akin to a form of insurance; hopefully it will be money spent on a what if, not a problem to solve. But lady luck is not fond of chancers, so you can bet your bottom dollar that if you try to proceed without a scan, she will catch up with you sooner or later.