While there are alternatives to using ground penetrating radar services, they are not generally as thorough and non-invasive. When it comes to finding out what is under the surface of any tract of land that may be built on or dug up for whatever reason, this radar has the unique ability to find what other methods may miss.
Your Old Maps Are not Enough
What about old survey maps, building blueprints or schematics? Do not these show where everything is? Not always, since home owners, or owners of any building, may have done work that is not on the maps or blueprints. There is also the possibility that work had been done on the land before the records were kept. Things change, and not everyone records the changes, so there may be underground issues you will need to be aware of.
• Old septic and sewer lines no longer in use may exist without your knowledge. These were supposed to either be removed or filled with gravel to avoid a cave in as the tank corrodes. Not everyone followed those regulations and you will not want to lay a slab for any structure to have it collapse when something underground gives way.
• Abandoned wells were usually capped off, but there is no way to know where they are without someone recorded the location. These can be hazardous, not only to a potential building project but for anyone walking in the area that is not aware of the possible danger.
• Underground pipes and cables may not be accurately represented on maps and surveys. So before any digging commences, it is a good idea to use ground penetrating radar services to locate any potential dangers lurking under the surface.
• Caverns, voids, water tables, and even soil type can be seen using radar. And this information can be invaluable when it comes to commercial building projects. Different soil types can generally call for a modification in the building to be raised or the materials that will be used.
While X-ray is considered to be a good alternative to ground penetrating radar, the only way it can be as effective is if the X-ray is taken from both top and bottom, which really negates the whole point of using it. Radar uses high frequency sound waves, which can be read with specialized equipment. In layman's terms, the sound waves bounce off objects in the ground in a pattern to determine size and shape, and depending on the density of the soil, the sound travels at different rates. This is how the subsoil type can be determined, based on the information received.
The future of any construction project can depend very much on the type of sub soil that exists, since drain and stability are important factors. Major projects always test the sub soil for any potential problems, since excessive drainage can lead to erosion of the soil right out from under a poorly slab foundation, underlining the entire structure. This is yet another of the many reasons ground penetrating radar services are utilized before a project begins.