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Geoscope are the experts at scanning and locating:

Geoscope Managing Director performing concrete slab scanning

Our core focus is keeping you and your team safe from damage and disruption on you work site.
We’ll help you stick to what you do best, safely, and efficiently by trusting us to do what we do best
There is no second chances when drilling and cutting into concrete with diamond tipped cutting equipment.
That is why you need to find out exactly where you can drill and cut through concrete slabs before you start cutting.

Concrete Slab Scanning service by Geoscope

Geoscope are the professional choice for concrete slab scanning

Whether you are

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Concrete scanning is the process of identifying the location of services, steel, rebar, post tension cables within a concrete structure prior to core drilling or cutting works or for design purposes.

Using the latest GPR and electromagnetic locating equipment, our technicians use thoroughly refined processes to carry out a comprehensive slab scan.

Metallic services such as electrical cables or water pipes are detected with electromagnetic locating equipment using a transmitter to induce a traceable current which travels through the pipe or cable.

If there are services within the slab, using various locating methods to induce a current into the line is the most efficient and effective method to detect any cables.

Once the traceable services have been identified, we can confirm these lines and signals with our concrete slab scanning ground penetrating radar.

Scanning the slab with GPR works by pushing the radar over the intended work area in a grid fashion to cover all angles of the proposed location.

The gpr sends out an electromagnetic energy which bounces off any embedded objects within the slab. By collecting the data in real time, we can make determine by differing radar profiles and data to whether a rebar or post tension cable was found to a non-metallic conduit.

Ground Penetrating Radar concrete scanning is best described like a fish finder on a fishing boat. Just like a school of fish passing under the fish finders’ radar. The image is reflected of the fish and displayed as a disturbance which can likely indicate the presence of fish. By seeing different types of reflection shapes, colours and depths, we can make educated

Geoscope uses the latest Ground Penetrating Radar and Electromagnetic locators on the market.

These are the 2 main pieces of equipment used to complete our concrete scans.

There are a bunch of little tips and tricks which we use to compliment the scanning process and speed up our efficiency to save time which will save you money at the end of the day.

Using various methods and techniques on site, we can identify:

– Post tension cables
– Pre-stressed cables
– Steel mesh
– Steel reinforcing bars
– Structural beams
– Electric lighting cables
– Mains cables
– Sub main electrical
– Abandoned cables
– Telstra copper
– Conduits
– Fire Hydrant pipes
– Sprinkler Systems
– Emergency Speakers
– Fire Control Circuits
– Copper water pipes
– Unknown services and anomalies

Concrete slab scanning ground penetrating radar is the ideal method to locate post tension cables.

Using a higher frequency of radar system than typically used in utility locating means we can focus our attention on targets within the first 0-400mm of concrete.

Yes. There are few methods depending on whether the conduit is accessible or not.

Concrete ground penetrating radar is a useful method to find conduits as the radar profile can be distinctly different to that of steel rebar and post tension.

Colour and clarity of the hyperbola GPR image can be lighter and alternate signal wave to that of a metallic target

Anyone looking to cut, core, or drill through a slab

There are many different reasons why slab scanning is required, although the number one reason is for trades to make a penetration for a provision of a new service through a suspended slab.

The list of reasons requiring slab scanning is endless although here is a few reasons why:

  • Electricians running new electrical cables through floor penetrations
  • Aircon ducting installation
  • Plumbing floor waste and water closet points for bathroom or restaurant fit outs
  • Carpentry and commercial kitchens
  • Fire hydrant upgrades for building compliance
  • Base plate fixing
  • Medical installations

Here are the top activities that require slab scanning:

  • Coring
  • Drilling
  • Saw cutting
  • Bolting and fixing
  • Chasing

At Geoscope, we’re all about being safe. Afterall, everyone deserves the right to go home safely and in one piece.

By completing a risk assessment of the works you are undertaking, proper precautions can be taken. You may find that the risk of cutting through an electricity cable or post tension tendon may be classed as a high-risk potential event.

High risk cutting and drilling works should include concrete slab scanning as part of the risk minimisati-on procedure.

Scanning a concrete slab to investigate its contents prior to any drilling, coring or saw cutting works is an excellent way to reduce risk of damaging services as well as the structural integrity of the slab itself.

To get started, we need the proposed area of works the activities or investigations are required to be identified. Once the required area has been established, we can make sure the slab and surrounding area is relatively clean so we’re not scanning over and around debris which can affect accuracy in the mark up.

We use a combination of electromagnetic locating methods and ground penetrating radar technology using various frequencies pulsed into the concrete to pinpoint embedded reinforcement and utilities.

By detecting targets with GPR inside the concrete slab, we can picture the consistent reflections and images typically gathered from rebar and steel mesh.

Geoscope can also differentiate size of GPR reflections and colour patterns which can be examples of post tension cables or power conduits.

Performing live frequency scans and induction sweeps as well as direct connecting to visible services in the area ensures all traceable services within the proposed concrete area to be scanned have been found.

Yes. Geoscope have the ability to estimate slab thickness with 10-20mm depending on the overall thickness of the slab and the ability to see features that resemble differences in the slab such as air or bond decking.

Ground penetrating radar has become commonplace in concrete scanning and investigations over the years as the hardware and software has become compact and refined.

This GPR slab scanning technology uses electromagnetic waves pulsed into the concrete at a nominated set frequency or multi-frequencies.

As these GPR waves are passing through the concrete, they are also contacting objects within the slab such as steel mesh and rebar or even electrical and post tension cables, they reflect off of these targets very well due to the contrasting dielectric constants.

This creates a clear disturbance in real-time which were able to interpret with years of experience as post tension cables or steel rebar.

The method of GPR slab scanning is preferred as it is relatively easy to setup without the need for bulky equipment, most of the time the gear is confined to a suitcase size pelican hard case and a shoulder bag.

The time it takes to scan an area of slab depends on a few factors

  • How large an area needs scanning
  • Access to the investigations area
  • Vertical horizontal or inverted scanning
  • What cutting or drilling is being carried out
  • If the concrete slab is on ground / sub-graded or suspended

Contact us and send through your plans and we can guide you through estimations

Depending on your requirements, you may request to have the steel and cables marked right on the slab as we scan.

We can mark the GPR targets using spot marking paint, chalk, crayon, masking tape, permanent marker depending on the surface type being scanned and we are able to adjust to suit the need for temporary or semi-permanent markings.

We find marking out the best for contractors doing fit outs and needing to place a penetration in a new plumbing

Yes. There is zero disturbance or damage to the slab during scanning.

There’s no need in our initial GPR concrete slab scanning investigations to cut open the slab to see what’s inside. The energy emitted by the ground penetrating radar does not stay in slab after the scanning is complete nor does it damage to the concrete or reinforcement.


You can be rest assured that personnel on site have nothing to worry about any harmful radiation with the concrete slab scanning.

Because ground penetrating radar emits electromagnetic energy at regulated amounts, it is no more harmful than electromagnetic energy fields found in day to day life.

Concrete scanning saves time, money, and prevents injuries and unnecessary damage.

By choosing to locate and map the position of post tension cables, voids, rebar and electrical conduits embedded in concrete you can be sure that any cutting or coring is carried out with very little consequence.

  • Emergency and Exit Signs
  • Mains power
  • Lighting
  • 240v
  • Outlets
  • Equipment power
  • Steel mesh
  • Steel rebar
  • Post tension cables
  • Conduits
  • Fire control cables
  • Smoke detector wiring
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Hearing aid loop
  • Thickened beams
  • fire detection and fire alarm system cabling / powered smoke alarms
  • Building services requirements (egress, safety, emergency lighting, fire detection, building security
  • Emergency and Exit Signs
  • Speakers and wiring
  • Lift shaft control wiring

Cutting or drilling through post tension cables or steel reinforcement has the potential to affect the structural integrity of the concrete structure and also cause injury to workers and damage to equipment.

Post tension cables are used in concrete slabs to provide strength while reducing the need for the amount of steel in a non-post tension slab. It’s for this reason damaging PT cables can reduce the strength of the slab.

PT cables are also under great tension meaning when severed, they have potential to fling back into the path of workers and operators cutting into the slab. Personal safety and equipment safety is also at risk in these situations.

Live electrical cables can cause serious injury to personnel if drilled or cut through. Even at the time when a cable is first damaged, it may appear or test out to have no voltage running through it.. As the need to power the cable through lights or machinery can be intermittent, the cable may become live at a later stage causing injury to post damage inspections.

Water pipes feeding bathrooms, water closets, kitchens and basins are known to be located within and underneath concrete slabs. Striking a water pipe with a drill bit or when concrete coring can cause water damage to stock

Smoke detectors can cause building evacuations and false alarms.

We have several options when it comes to reporting the findings from our concrete scanning.

With most of the scans we complete, a simple on-site mark up identifying and potential risks with the locating equipment suits best. We can mark up any traceable conduits, post tension as well as the steel and rebar.

This gives the client the option to plan his core hole or cut in the desired location with the best possible care taken.

Then there’s the digital copies of the site mark up we provide for the purposes of getting approvals for such things as permit to cut/drill or permit to excavate and engineering requirements.

We can provide the reports in the following forms:

  • PDF photo reports
  • CAD drawings
  • 3D scanning and slices imagery

We can also customise our reports to include additional information required to complete the scanning process.

Depth of concrete covering steel can be important to determine when completing works close to the slab surface. This especially true when chasing cables through a slab or for QA and quality assurance checks.

Understanding how much concrete stands between the slab and the steel can be the difference of cutting through a heap of top reinforcing steel that could be avoid by using alternative methods.

Once the indicated depth of steel has been established, further measures such as alternative cutting or coring methods or topping of the slab can be planned to avoid potential and costly structural damage.

If you are planning on cutting or drilling into a slab, the process of concrete scanning can help eliminate the risk of damaging something that could easily be avoided.

The small cost of having slab scanning done will be well and truly covered if the cost of a damaged service or post tension cable needs to be repaired.

Planning makes perfect! Make concrete scanning part of your plan.

Many large shopping complexes and buildings in Sydney require a slab scan report prior to penetrating or cutting through a slab. Knowing this prior to pricing a shop fit out or planning for new services to be brought through the slab means you can allow for the concrete scanning service prior to submitting a fixed price quote.

If you want to protect workers and fulfil your duty of care in eliminating risks in the workplace than scanning the concrete is the way to do it.

Electrical cables and conduits can be found inside concrete slabs to provide power to lighting, mains power from switchboards to apartments and units,

If we can send an active signal through the cable accessed from a switchboard or control box then the chance of tracing the cable location within the slab is greatly increased.

Depending on the radar frequency being pulsed into the slab, will depend on how deep we can get clear resolution to interpret the results.

Typically, GPR for concrete scanners use antennas that can measure down to about 40cm through the concrete.

This is ideal for getting the right images for 99% of concrete slabs needing scanning.

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Need to scan a concrete slab?

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