The Right Materials

Choosing the Right Material For a Construction Project

Called Before You Dug? Why You Still Want to Use Ground-Penetrating Radar

by Frank Lynch

Any construction project that involves any amount of digging, even at shallow depths, needs to start with a phone call to the utility companies' "Dial Before You Dig" line. Construction companies already know this, but what a few may not have realised is that adding a few passes with ground-penetrating radar is extremely helpful. It might not be required in most cases, but both calling that information line and checking over the dig area with radar is really the safest way to dig without destroying a utility line.

Double-Checking Is Better Than Destroying

The "Dial Before You Dig" line should have up-to-date information about what lines might be running under the ground you want to dig up. However, very old lines, lines on abandoned property and property with lots of utility lines running through it may be harder to check accurately. Using underground-penetrating radar to double-check utility line locations is better than accidentally destroying a line. It's better to use the option and not need it than to not use it and find out you need it, to paraphrase the saying.

Utility Lines Aren't the Only Potential Problem

Another reason to add ground-penetrating radar to your list of tools is that the lines themselves aren't the only problem. The radar can locate rocks, gaps and other features, and if any of those are located near utility lines, you'll know you need to be careful digging where those features are. Not only can they interfere with digging, of course, but if you remove a rock from underground, for example, a utility line in the ground nearby could be destabilised if the resulting shift in soil affects where the line is. When you have a good picture of everything that's in the ground you want to dig up, you can develop a better strategy for removing soil.

If that sounds like something that should rarely be a problem, it's definitely not the most common issue. But if the ground isn't as stable as you think it is, then you do risk the removal of something in one area destabilising an adjacent area. Again, it is much better to be sure, rather than to guess that it won't happen this time.

Evaluating a dig site with ground-penetrating radar does not take that long, with the amount of ground to be covered determining how much time the radar operator will need. You can save yourself a lot of grief by adding this procedure to your pre-construction tasks. 

For more information about ground penetrating radar, contact a local company. 


About Me

Choosing the Right Material For a Construction Project

If you are planning to start a new construction project, you may be wondering about the best type of materials to use. About 6 months ago, I decided to carry out an extensive renovation of my home. This would involve demolishing one wall, extending the kitchen and the construction of a new patio area. I really wasn't sure which materials would be best. I consulted with a contractor and he explained the pros and cons of each material. In the end, I opted for wood and steel. I am really pleased with the end results. I hope this blog helps you to plan your construction project.