4 Reasons to Call In Private Underground Utility Locating Services

utility locating service

You’re planning on building a new property. You were told to get help from a utility locating service. You’re not sure if you should. Is it worth the cost? Maybe you can just do the work yourself. This article will go through the reasons why you need help from a private utility locating service.

What is a Private Utility Locating Service?

Before we go through the reasons why you need help from a private utility locating company, we have to identify what this kind of provider is. It’s important to distinguish public utility lines from private utility lines.

Public utility lines are those provided and serviced by utility companies and include power, gas, sewers, communications, water, and other public utilities.

On the other hand, private utility lines are those that are installed privately by the owners of the property or someone else. For example, an electrical line going to a barn from the main house or a gas line going to a grill can be considered private utility lines.

Reasons to Get a Utility Locating Service

So, why should you get help from a utility locating service? Here are four of the reasons why:

They Specialize in Utility Location

You might suppose that it is best to go DIY with locating the conduit or the fiber lines under your property, but a mistake on your part can be costly. It can also be dangerous.

It is best to hire experts who are experienced at locating the buried lines under your property and have them mark those. Their experience and knowledge will ensure that building your structure is off to the right start.

They Have the Right Equipment

On top of the knowledge and experience, a team from a utility locating service will also have the right tools to do the job. For example, they can use Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to locate communication and sewer lines that might not be detected by other methods.

They also have access to other sophisticated tools that can be used to identify everything that is underground.

They Provide Fast Service

You know that there is an electric line under your property but you’re not sure where it is located. You can try tracing it but that will take time. It can take days for you to identify its path on the ground.

Unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury of time to get it done. This is why you should ask for help from a utility locating service. They can get the job done quickly, so you can move on with your project. 

They Ensure Safety

For any construction undertaking, safety should always be the priority and when you have unknown gas and electrical lines on the job site, there is the risk of those lines being struck. It’s better to stay safe and sure than take chances. The cost of having someone injured because of striking an electrical line is a serious risk.

Choose a Trusted Utility Locating Service for Your Next Project

Util-Locate is an industry leader and the top choice for utility locating. We have been providing damage prevention for more than 20 years with our high-quality services and cutting-edge tools. Our team is highly trained and can ensure safe utility locating service.

For more details on how to get the best utility locating service and to get the best deal for utility locating, contact us at 888-885-6228 at Util-Locate today!

Private Utility Locating: What Homeowners Need to Know

utility locating service

When do you need help from a utility locating service? Below, we’ll discuss what it is and what you need to know about it as a homeowner. Not all utilities are the same and it’s time for you to know the difference between private and public ones.

It’s also important that you learn about the value of private utility locating services. 

Private and Public Utilities: What are the Differences?

Public utility lines are provided by utility companies and they can define exactly where their lines start and end. By dialing 811, you can get information as to where public utility lines are located. Typical public utility lines include water, gas, sewer,  phone, cable, fiber, and others. Each state has its own guidelines regarding public utility lines.

On the other hand, there are private utility lines that have no state guidelines controlling them. In fact, there are more private utility lines than public ones. About 65% of all utility lines are private.

Examples of private utility lines include electrical lines going to a shed or a garage, a gas line connected to a grill, irrigation lines, and sewer laterals. Knowing where these lines are located is just as crucial to safety as knowing where public utility lines are. 

Utility lines, whether private or public, are all dangerous when they are struck during digging and can cause damage.

Private Utility Locating 101

If you are planning on digging around your property, then you need to call 811 or maybe visit the respective 811 website for your state and request that utility lines be marked properly so you don’t hit any line or pipe underground.

Keep in mind that 811 will only locate and mark public utility lines. For buried private utility lines, that would be your responsibility. And with that, you will need to get help from a utility locating service provider.

Technicians of utility locating service providers undergo extensive training to be sure that they can cover the entire ground and they can locate all lines, conduits, valves, pipes, and cables under your property.

They use Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to locate where hidden lines are. GPR uses radio waves to detect and identify objects that are hidden. It’s inevitable that some lines cannot be identified by traditional methods. Without GPR, these lines would not be identified at all.

Just relying on the traditional methods of looking for lines is not enough, especially when there is a good chance that private utility lines have been buried on the job site.

Get Help from a Trusted Utility Locating Service 

So, if you are digging in your property and you are unsure if there have been utility lines buried there, it would make sense to get help from a utility locating service provider. 

If you need assistance in locating utility lines under your property, you may fill out our online form to get help from a top-notch private utility locating service, or contact us at 888-885-6228 at Util-Locate today!

What Should You Do Before Concrete Drilling?

CCTV pipe inspection

You should always consider the first crucial steps before drilling into concrete, no matter the type of project you are working on, such as building or repairing a new shop or a residential neighborhood.

Concrete drilling is hindered by a lot of extraneous objects, like electrical conduits, steel rebar, and PVC or metal pipes and sewer lines. It’s dangerous to drill into these embedded things if they’re not identified beforehand.

Various methods can be used to determine the exact location and what is happening inside drains in order to keep them clean and clear. It is easy to neglect or forget about wastewater pipes and drains because they are hidden. In spite of this, the infrastructures we use every day play an extremely important role.

To maintain a healthy, hygienic environment, drains must be cleaned regularly. Inspecting drains and sewers has never been easier, thanks to modern closed-circuit television video (CCTV) drain survey technology. A CCTV drainage survey is an effective way to ensure no clogs are present in drains and no internal problems exist.

What is a CCTV Drainage Survey?

CCTV pipe inspection cameras mounted on wheels can be lowered and gain access into sewer line pipes instead of digging them or having engineers manually enter them; high-definition images are then displayed on the CCTV camera systems monitor.

From their mobile units, technicians can remotely identify possible problems with pipes using the CCTV video cameras from the CCTV pipe inspection. In addition to rodent infestations and displaced joints that let pests enter drainage systems, these issues can include fissures on sewer lines, worn sections, collapsed sections, pipe blockages, and hairline cracks.

During the analysis, a full drain survey report is provided, along with video footage of the drain system and recommendations as to how the project may be pursued. Suitable for both commercial and residential properties, CCTV sewer inspection can be performed on drains of all diameters.

What is Used in a CCTV Drain Inspection?

Getting a clear picture of the internal components of your drainage system requires various tools and equipment due to its highly technical nature. Tools and equipment for the exercise are typically provided by a leak technician or plumbing professionals. These tools include:

  • Waterproof CCTV Cameras
  • Sonar Units
  • Pipe Rods
  • Crawlers

Why Perform a CCTV Drain Inspection?

There are several reasons why pipe inspection and analysis should be performed every few months. In the case of a new home purchase, a CCTV drainage survey is usually required.

Homeowners can perform a CCTV sewer inspection to assess the drain system’s condition prior to purchasing a home. If a home needs to be repaired before it can be deemed habitable, the survey can help to identify those repairs.

The pipe inspection should always be conducted by homebuyers when buying residential properties so that they have a full understanding of what they are getting into.

Hire Professionals For Your CCTV Drainage Survey

A CCTV drainage survey can be helpful and cost-effective to homeowners and tenants when they encounter issues such as leaks and blockages on a regular basis.

Using the latest CCTV survey equipment, our engineers at Util-Locate are able to inspect pipes of all sizes and shapes, identifying any problems in one pass. Get in touch with us today to arrange a CCTV drain survey!

How Does Surface & Concrete Scanning Work?

concrete scanning

Ensuring that the concrete surrounding your construction site is safe is critical before you start your next big construction project. Since you might not be able to see underground utilities or confined areas that may be present as well, you may miss them. 

If there are things embedded in the concrete, this can be a potentially hazardous, complicated, and expensive project which may even result in accidents. When you can’t see through it, how can you tell if anything is inside? The solution to this problem lies in concrete scanning.

How Does Surface and Concrete Scanning Work

Before coring or drilling concrete slabs or columns, concrete surface scanning is used to inspect them. To provide quick and accurate concrete inspections, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is used.

In both a safe and noninvasive way, GPR can detect embedded objects in the subsurface, whereas X-ray is less accurate in assessing concrete columns, slabs, and walls. It analyzes the subsurface using transmitted waves and their reflected signals. 

Scanners can detect hidden objects such as rebar, electrical conduit, post-tension cables, and voids in concrete. As well as concrete slab measurements and rebar spacing, it can be used for structural integrity reviews. Concrete imaging reading can be used if the material is located and its type is determined by an experienced technician.

When to Use Surface and Concrete Scanning

In order to scan concrete, a survey must be completed first. This is something land surveyors typically conduct when discovering new land, but it is just as useful on contemporary job sites.

A survey will reveal the location of utility lines as well as other features beneath the surface that may be hidden. Identifying all uncovered areas allows specialists in ground-penetrating radar to focus their use of concrete scanners where necessary.

How Does Concrete Scanning Help

Surface and concrete scanning contributes to the welfare of the workforce as well as the efficiency of concrete construction, reinforcing steel, installation of utilities, the control of traffic, as well as the repair of underground utilities. Concrete structures are protected from damage when you identify embedded materials with markings in order to reduce the chance of invasive work in these areas.

In the event of a structural failure due to rebar and post-tension cable damage occurs, you risk endangering the lives of employees on site. Electrocution or death can occur if electrical conduits and services are damaged within concrete.

With scanning concrete integrated into your process, you can work more quickly and efficiently while guiding the project’s development. Before any of your workers begin work on their latest job site, you’ll stay under budget and meet the timetables outlined.

Hire Professionals in Your Next Concrete Scanning Project

It is definitely necessary to plan for GPR on the site if an existing concrete structure or utility features are involved, such as concrete floors. In areas with older construction, it’s particularly common to find unmarked utilities when planning the installation, inspection, or repair of subsurface utilities. With GPR onsite, you can avoid these unpleasant surprises.

The technicians at Util-Locate are well-trained, highly skilled, and experienced in handling all home or business service requests promptly and efficiently. We can assist you with concrete scanning services by giving us a call at 1 (888) 88 56228.

3 Different Ways for Concrete Imaging and Scanning

3 Different Ways for Concrete Imaging and Scanning

If you’re wondering about the safety of drilling into concrete slabs and other structures, what you need to get peace of mind is concrete scanning and imaging. This is a series of non-destructive tests (NDT) for detecting and measuring flaws or imperfections beneath concrete surfaces.

In the past few decades, numerous imaging and scanning technologies have emerged. Before hiring professionals for surface and concrete scanning solutions, you should first gain a deep understanding of those technologies, and the reason why concrete imaging and scanning are important.

Why is Concrete Scanning Important?

There is always the chance of damaging vital infrastructure while cutting, coring, drilling, or sawing existing concrete slabs. This includes embedded materials like communications and electrical conduits, post tension cables, reinforcing steel, void defections, and refrigerant and plumbing piping.

Skipping out on the scanning process could mean project delays, additional costs, and injuries on the job site. Project managers certainly don’t need any added stress, so scanning and imaging services are always a must before starting a construction project.

3 Methods of Concrete Scanning and Imaging

Now that you know how important scanning and utility locating services are, it’s time to dive in on the various methods and scanning equipment.

1. Ground Penetrating Radar

To scan concrete without causing any damage, ground penetrating radar (GPR) is commonly utilized.  To detect subsurface objects, the GPR sends out electromagnetic pulses or radar pulses with a very particular core frequency.

The antenna then picks up the waves that have been reflected from underground layers, revealing the buried objects.

Choose Ground Penetrating Radar if you need to:

  • Find a safe place to drill, cut, or demolish
  • Locate objects such as post tension cables, rebar, reinforcing steel, and metallic or non-metallic conduits
  • Measure concrete cover and thickness
  • Determine the concrete’s internal condition
  • Uncover defects or voids in concrete

2. Ultrasonic Tomography

This acoustic method efficiently identifies defects in concrete no matter how complex the concrete slab is. This also helps when assessing the thickness and overall strength of concrete structures. It does it through transmitters that send pulses into test objects.

Any reflected signals indicate the presence of defects or interfaces. Using a receiving transducer, technicians can keep a close eye on emitted impulses and reflected waves.

Choose Ultrasonic Tomography if you need to:

  • Precisely measure the thickness of concrete up to 3 feet
  • Detect any cracks or delamination between the Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) layers
  • Locate steel reinforcement
  • Determine deterioration, dowel position, and spalling at PCC joints
  • Learn about material properties like the diagnostics of PCC strengths and asphalt compaction levels

3. Radiography Via X-Ray

X-ray scanning may appear to be outdated technology. Nonetheless, it is dependable in terms of providing a clear picture of what lies beneath. Because X-rays provide less room for interpretation of results—including the status of rebars, corrosion zones, and other faults—they are sometimes even considered more precise compared to GPR.

Unfortunately, this can also emit harmful radiation, and the process is slower overall, with images having to be produced off-site.

Choose Radiography Via X-Ray if you need to:

  • Identify where rebars are situated.
  • Evaluate bar diameter and depth below the surface
  • Search for cracks, foreign materials, and voids
  • Locate variations in density or the presence or absence of grouting in post-tension construction
  • Check welds on pipelines
  • Inspect steelwork production
  • Determine the level of internal and external corrosion

Find Reliable Surface and Concrete Scanning Solutions Today!

Now that you fully understand the various techniques of concrete imaging and scanning, it’s time to hire a surface and concrete scanning solutions professional.

Ensure safety and be proactive with damage prevention when you work with us, contact us at 888-885-6228 at Util-Locate today!

What is Concrete Scanning and What Can It Find?

What is Concrete Scanning and What Can It Find?

Before a renovation or construction project begins, concrete scanning is essential. This is the process of evaluating concrete slabs or columns before core drilling. Typically, technology like Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is used to spot buried and embedded objects. However, this method is ideal because it’s completely safe and nondestructive.

If you think that you need surface and concrete scanning solutions, it’s best to learn about the ins and outs of the process first. Let’s start with what exactly happens during a typical inspection of a concrete slab.

What Happens During Concrete Scanning?

During a concrete scan, a professional will deliver high-frequency electromagnetic waves using GPR technology through your concrete floor or wall.

Another specialist will then come in to interpret the data provided by the scanner. From there, they’ll be able to show you what’s hidden underneath your concrete and where it is exactly.

Types of Concrete Structures that Need to be Scanned

Any concrete surface can and should be scanned before any cutting or drilling is done. Some samples of structures that need to be scanned are provided below.

  • Slab on grade
  • Roadways
  • Bridges
  • Beams
  • Decks
  • Pylons
  • Walls
  • Balconies
  • Encasements
  • Tunnels
  • Sidewalks
  • Columns
  • Floors
  • Ceilings

Common Objects Found During Concrete Scanning

A proper concrete scan can uncover a large variety of objects in your chosen area. Below are just a few examples:

  • Metal rebars and other reinforcing steel members
  • Post-tension cables
  • Electrical conduits
  • Piping
  • Plastic tubing
  • Water lines

The Importance of Concrete Inspection

Before you do any work on your concrete like drilling, cutting, or repairing, you must first determine where utilities and reinforcements are located. This will save you time since you won’t have to spend hours looking for a secure area where you can start working on.

Investing in concrete scanning can also guarantee that you’ll be able to cut and drill safely without harming your tools or the materials that are hidden underneath the concrete.

Additionally, the process can help ensure and maintain the structural integrity of a structure’s foundation.

Check out even more benefits of concrete scanning services:

  • Reduces the possibility of damage to utilities, rebar, post-tension cables, pipes, and conduits
  • Lowers the risk of personal injury
  • Prevents costly mid-project repairs
  • Simplifies drilling, cutting, and coring

How Much Does Concrete Scanning Cost?

Important factors to consider when determining the price of a concrete scan are the location, area size, and the complexity of embedded materials. That said, the cost varies widely from case to case.

Don’t let this discourage you though. Just think of the construction delays, additional costs, and other possible headaches that can be put to rest with a carefully planned and scheduled concrete scan.

Experience Reliable Surface and Concrete Scanning Solutions Today!

Our skilled professionals are prepared to provide you with reliable surface and concrete scanning solutions services. With over 13 years of industry experience coupled with cutting-edge technology, we can give you the results that you want.

If you want to learn more about our concrete scanning services, you may fill out our online form or contact us at 888-885-6228 at Util-Locate right away!