The Value of a Great GPR Expert

Written by SRI Online on . Posted in Ground Penetrating Radar, Training

Providing exceptional Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) imaging involves much more than the physical scanning. As with any service, the job starts the moment the conversation begins with a prospective client.

Setting the Scope of Work

Most projects begin with a phone call. During this call, it is essential for the GPR provider to gather as much detail as possible, to ensure the technicians are prepared even before arriving onsite, and to set client expectations. Helpful information prior to beginning any job includes (but is not limited to):

  1. Reason for scanning – Does the customer need to drill to a certain depth or core all the way through?
  2. Structure type/materials – Will the scanning be done on a post-tension deck or pan-deck? Are there known layers of insulation or weatherproofing?
  3. Potential obstructions – Are there any items blocking access to the areas that need to be imaged? Will the customer have the areas cleared before the planned scanning date?
  4. Age of concrete – Is the customer planning to cut through a relatively new pour? Is it possible that erosion may have occurred beneath the slab?
  5. Additional safety precautions – Does the GPR technician need fall protection? Are specific safety certifications and/or trainings required onsite?

The answers to each of these questions will help to determine the time, cost and degree of an accurate scan, and which subsurface items the GPR technicians will likely be able to identify. Clarifying scanning needs and expectations upfront helps to eliminate miscommunications and misunderstandings in the field, which may prove costly for both parties.

GPR Imaging in Action

Onsite, the GPR technician is responsible for connecting with the Project Manager or Superintendent to verify the area to be scanned and the customer’s needs. It is also recommended to confirm what marking materials are permitted.

Depending on the size and type of the job, the technician may also be required to provide progress updates at the end of each day, until the job is completed. It is imperative the GPR technician clearly lay out the results directly on the scanned surface, including locations and depths of all reinforced items, and safe areas for drilling or coring.

Communicating the Results

It is highly recommended that the customer remain on the jobsite until the scanning is completed. Immediate, on-site review with the GPR technician who performed the imaging will provide a degree of quality control when it comes to relaying the information to the worker(s) who will actually carry out the drilling and/or coring.

Along those same lines, it may also be helpful for the GPR technician to communicate their findings directly with the concrete cutters, to ensure a clear understanding of the marked items and safe zones/depths. Once an on-site review has been conducted, the GPR technician should provide the customer with a written summary of the findings, as well as contact information should any questions arise.

Why the Right Company Matters

In the right hands, GPR imaging can reveal rebar, conduit, post-tensioned cables and other structural features. Finding a company like Structural Radar Imaging that clearly identifies the category of each subsurface anomaly in addition to its location can mean the difference between success and set-backs.

SRI technicians are well-versed in clear customer communication, using an established color scheme and on-surface notes to clearly indicate their findings. In fact, as a result of SRI’s proven track-record for accuracy and clarity, we are an industry leader in providing an accuracy guarantee for all of our GPR imaging projects. Even as major construction companies begin to hire in-house GPR technicians, SRI’s customer base continues to expand, primarily via word-of-mouth. Long-standing customers are not only familiar with SRI’s leading service, but they appreciate their relationship with our team and continue to recommend us for some of the most prestigious projects in the region.

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