concrete GPR testing basics

Concrete and GPR: Testing Basics and Insights Received

As anyone who has dealt with concrete damage and resulting repairs in the past is likely aware, many issues involved in concrete damage take place below the surface and away from the naked eye. For concrete repair experts dealing with these issues, how are problems that can’t be seen on the surface identified and diagnosed so the proper repair route can be taken?

At Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC, we’re happy to offer robust commercial and residential concrete lifting and leveling services for a variety of concrete problems, including those taking place below the surface. We utilize a few different forms of testing or evaluation to determine exactly what’s taking place within your concrete slab and even within the soil below it. One common technique that’s popular across much of the concrete world is known as ground penetrating radar (GPR) – what is GPR, what’s the broader category of testing it falls under, and why is it often valuable for diagnosing concrete damage issues? This two-part blog series will go over several basic factors.

Non-Destructive Testing

Before we dig deeper into GPR itself, let’s go over the broader category it’s part of: Non-destructive testing, or NDT, which is important across several industries. Consider the automotive industry, for instance, where crash tests and related forms of research must be done as part of the development of new vehicles – NDT practices are often used within this industry.

Over the last 15 years or so, major developments have been made in the development of NDT technology when it comes to concrete inspection and testing. While this field has existed for longer, and was being used in the late 1980s and early 1990s, equipment used and techniques performed have advanced in major ways in the last decade and a half, making the accuracy of such testing far greater. GPR is one of the major benefactors of these upgrades.

Our next several sections will go over what GPR is and how it’s utilized for concrete repair needs.

GPR Basics

Ground penetrating radar refers to an imaging technique using electromagnetic waves to produce images of materials below your concrete surface. GPR can generally penetrate up to about 33 feet (10 meters) deep into your soil, and will produce high-quality images to allow for concrete experts to examine the subsurface. This method is quick and simple, and involves no destruction of the soil or any other materials.

What GPR Offers

GPR may be done by itself, or may be combined with other methods like magnetics or acoustics. Here are some of the data areas GPR testing allows for:

  • Concrete component thickness and reinforcement cover thickness
  • Presence of features like pre-stressing cables, pipes or embedded conduits
  • Presence and details of embedded reinforcement
  • Issues of voiding or honeycombing within concrete, plus extent of concerns
  • Location and level of delamination or separation of concrete
  • Relevant moisture content below surface


For more on how ground penetrating radar works for concrete testing and repair, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift-Up Concrete Lifting, LLC today.