How We Detect Voids Under Concrete Slabs

Photo of Voids Under Concrete Slabs

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a recognized technique for detecting voids beneath the surface. It’s essential to discover these voids early before any potential collapse occurs. At Scan Plus Tech, we have the capability to detect concerns both deep down, and close to the surface. Our equipment offers a rough estimation of what lies below the ground.

In this article, we’ll examine three non-invasive techniques for identifying voids beneath concrete slabs. We’ll delve into Ground Penetrating Radar, Ultrasonic Pulse Echo, and Impact-Echo/Impulse-Response methods, to assess the position and size of voids under concrete structures and pavements.

Why and Where Do Voids Form?

Recognizing voids is beneficial for all sectors and kinds of properties, to avoid major complications or unforeseen problems. Scan Plus Tech can probe into potential areas of concern. Our GPR system can detect voids or separations in both concrete and asphalt surfaces. We frequently conduct assessments on both the inside and outside of existing structures. Our professional team at Scan Plus Tech has been detecting numerous commercial properties and private homes.

Voids in Concrete

Voids beneath concrete slabs can lead to complications. If not addressed, these can escalate to the point where the slab collapses, creating a hazardous pit on the surface. Such occurrences can pose threats, especially in industrial environments, where equipment or vehicles could plummet through the compromised surface.

The emergence of voids in concrete can be attributed to several causes, such as:

  • Soil settlement
  • Erosion
  • Wear and tear over time
  • Prolonged moisture exposure
  • Layers peeling apart (delamination)
  • Ruptures in water mains

If you notice troubling signs like surface cracks, depressions, or other irregularities, the Scan Plus Tech team is here to assist. With our GPR tool, we can inspect accessible regions and determine the potential risks beneath. Beyond just detecting voids, we can also provide an approximate volume calculation and assess the degree of damage, although this depends on the state of the surface. With this information, you’re better equipped to intervene before the problem escalates.

Voids Beneath Asphalt

The formation of voids under roads or frequently traversed concrete or pavements can result in their breakdown. Voids within asphalt usually arise due to erosion at the material’s foundation. Damaged storm or water drains, erosion from rainwater, and sinkholes, among other factors, can lead to such voids under asphalt.

When a void initiates, it continues to expand until its ability to bear weight is critically reduced. It’s imperative to spot potential voids in the concrete at the earliest. Walking or driving on compromised concrete poses significant risks. Employing GPR technology to examine the surface can assist in maintaining the safety of roads and other high-traffic areas.

Voids Underground

Before initiating construction on a parcel of land, inspecting for underground voids can prevent unnecessary delays and expensive mishaps.

For any new construction site, we advise enlisting our services to scan the terrain for potential voids or other uncertainties with our GPR technology. This provides a non-intrusive means to address potential challenges, before your project’s commencement.

How We Detect Voids Under Concrete Slabs

Three distinct NDT techniques can be employed to determine the position and scope of voids beneath concrete slabs. We will discuss the utilization of these NDT approaches in identifying possible voids:

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a frequently employed technique, to identify voids beneath concrete slabs. GPR offers an economical solution for quickly surveying expansive concrete surfaces. The procedure is typically swift, and demands little preparatory work. GPR yields valuable information regarding the position of potential voids, such as sinkholes, under concrete slabs or roadway structures. However, for accurate scans, it’s crucial to monitor and address specific factors, including surface moisture, irregularities in the concrete surface, and intense heat—particularly for outdoor scans during hotter seasons.

Impulse-Response Technique

The Impulse-Response technique is a swift, economical, and non-invasive approach for evaluating the condition of flat concrete structures. This test offers crucial insights into potential damages and aids in ensuring the quality of concrete restoration and refurbishment. The Impulse Response method employs stress waves to evaluate the health of concrete components, such as slabs, pavements, bridge decks, walls, and other similar structures. Additionally, it’s adept at pinpointing and gauging the scope of irregularities beneath the slab.

Ultrasonic Pulse Echo Imaging

Ultrasonic Pulse Echo is an advanced non-destructive testing (NDT) technique designed to probe targets below the surface of concrete components. Using acoustic stress waves, UPE assesses the characteristics of underlying layers, pinpointing defects by detecting variations in acoustical impedance, distinct from the concrete. UPE proves essential in evaluating the health of concrete slabs and pavements, especially when identifying subsurface voids or decay. It facilitates the measurement of damage magnitude, highlights potential vulnerabilities, and guides decisions about upkeep or restoration plans.

Reach Out to Scan Plus Tech for Void Detection Services

Should you have concerns regarding the surface where you reside or operate, get in touch with Scan Plus Tech. We’ll visit your location and deploy GPR to examine the matter at hand. Upon completing the scan, we’ll furnish a detailed report, complete with visuals of the voids, and a description of possible subsurface damages.