home improvement

Is a Concrete X-Ray Necessary to Safely Cut Into Concrete?

Do you have an upcoming construction project that will require you to cut, drill, or core into an existing concrete slab? Before you give the go ahead to your contractor, you might want to have your concrete scanned to make sure it’s safe. I take that back. You absolutely should have your concrete scanned prior to disturbing it! Hitting embedded items in your concrete, such as rebar or post-tension cables, can compromise the slab and endanger anyone in the area, and damaging other items, such as water or telecommunications lines, can lead to expensive repairs that can also set back the timeline of your project.

Here’s the good news: having your concrete examined does not necessarily have to be time-consuming or expensive!

Methods for Scanning Concrete

One of the ways to conduct a detailed concrete scan is to have a concrete X-ray completed. A concrete X-ray can deliver a very clear picture of what is embedded in the concrete. It can show exactly where it would be safe to disturb the concrete and where it would be dangerous to do so.

The downside to a concrete X-ray is that it involves a tedious process, that is therefore quite expensive to complee. It also requires that the space be emptied of all inhabitants, due to the radiation it emits in the process.

Fortunately, a concrete X-ray is not the only option for those who need to know where it is safe to cut into the concrete slab. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is a great alternative, and is almost always the go-to technology when a concrete scan is needed.

The experts at Enhanced Scanning in Southern California had this to say: “In 99% of cases, GPR is the technology we use for concrete scanning because it is quick, effective, and safe to use around humans. However, when we need to ‘thread the needle’ in a highly congested concrete slab, we may employ the use of X-ray. X-ray offers slightly higher resolution than GPR, but it’s also slower, more expensive, and people have to be cleared out of the area because of the radiation that is emitted.”

If you need to have your concrete scanned, your best option is to work with a scanning company that has the capability to employ various technologies to get you the results you need. As the quote above indicated, there are situations in which a GPR scan is not enough to be able to safely proceed with a construction project that involves disturbing a concrete slab. When this is the case, you want your concrete scanning company to be able to provide you with a more detailed look at what is inside your concrete, which may involved a concrete X-ray.


Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.