GPR Scanning SOG Prior to Saw Cutting New Utility Trenches

If it were up to you to decide, would you choose to have a concrete slab scanned with GPR before saw cutting for new utility trenches or core drilling for new floor boxes? Would you assume that all the electrical, data and utility lines are most likely well below the surface and that you wouldn’t damage any lines while removing the existing concrete? Perhaps the plan is to just score the slab on grade with the saw just an inch or two for nice even lines in the floor and then you plan to bust out the rest of the concrete with a jackhammer. Or maybe to limit the dust in the area the plan is to use a sledgehammer by hand after scoring the floor with a wet saw? At Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, we see well-intentioned decisions like these cost contractors tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected damages and subsequent delays and repair costs. It doesn’t have to be that way. If only those contractors would have called GPRS before they chose to saw cut through a concrete slab, or core drill an elevated slab or trench cut a slab on grade.

You work hard to treat people right and to go that extra mile even when it means you might have to put forth more effort than the competitor that is taking shortcuts when the client’s back is turned. Don’t let that other company, the one that may have taken a shortcut on your project, long before it WAS your project, cost you money or tarnish your reputation. Without scanning first there really is no sure way to know what lies in the concrete or how deep the utilities were placed when the floor was poured. Perhaps the space has been remodeled previously. Can you trust the information you’ve received regarding another contractors work? Scan that slab before you cut or core. Get as clear of a picture as you can of what’s below the surface. Don’t take chances. If you are a property manager, require that all of your bids for upcoming projects include scanning any concrete surfaces before drilling or saw cutting takes place. Protect yourself, the structural integrity of the property and those who use your space from needless damages and expenses by utilizing the technology that is available through Ground Penetrating Radar Systems.

By utilizing GPR technology combined with our experienced technicians at Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, you can rest assured that you did all you could to limit the liability and uncertainty within the scope of your project. GPR technology in the hands of a skilled operator can tell you how thick the slab is, whether the slab is reinforced with wire mesh and/or rebar, whether voids are present, if there are conduits in or beneath the immediate surface of the concrete, what possible utilities might be in those conduits and help you to make educated determinations as to where to place your saw cuts and what methods might work better than others to meet your desired objectives.

In the below photos, GPRS  was called upon by an Electrical Contractor working in Maple Plain MN., to scan the slab on grade and map conduits prior to saw cutting the floor as part of a renovation project.  Project Manager Troy Bartlett used GPR and Radio Detection to locate live power and other trenches with multiple conduits crossing the proposed concrete saw cuts and informed the client of their depth and locations. Many of the conduits were either in or right at the bottom of the concrete surface and many of those same conduits also carried 480 volt electric lines.  The contractor was able to avoid cutting through important utilities with the information provided them by GPRS.

For GPRS applications in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, call 320.247.0451 or 507.884.0836, or email

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *