Before beginning construction or remodeling any structure, you need to know what’s behind the walls. Pipes, rebar, electrical wiring, and structural supports all need to be mapped out before work can start in earnest. There are several ways to see what’s behind the walls, and while ground-penetrating radar and concrete scanning are the safest options, many contractors use concrete X-ray scans to map out potential hazards. Though effective, these types of scans are incredibly unsafe, especially for bystanders and occupants inside the building.

3 Hazards of Using Concrete X-Rays Instead of GPR Concrete Scanning

1. High Levels of Radiation

When you visit the doctor’s office and they take you to an X-ray machine, they cover you in a lead vest to protect your organs from unnecessary radiation exposure. Concrete X-ray machines use the same technology and thus emit the same harmful radiation throughout the building when in use. However, if you’re a bystander, you don’t have the protective vest you’d have at the doctor’s office, putting you at risk for health complications later on in life.

2. Minimal Regulations in Place

Concrete ScanningWhen contractors use a concrete X-ray device, they’re only encouraged to make sure the room is clear of people. That may help reduce unnecessary exposure, but it doesn’t protect the people behind the walls or beneath the floor. In a busy structure, you might be exposed to radiation without even knowing the X-ray is running. Under ideal circumstances, the work should be done after hours when employees, clients, and customers are away from the building. However, there’s always a chance that the scan will be done during the day, as the safety precautions are merely guidelines rather than hard and fast rules.

3. X-Rays Take a Long Time

The process of running a concrete X-ray instead of using GPR concrete scanning takes far longer. The average X-ray process for one room can take up to five hours. This means more people are exposed to radiation over a long period of time. With concrete scanning, the process is fast, emits no harmful radiation, and can be done any time of day or night without creating a safety hazard.


Concrete X-ray scans are effective, but dangerous. If you do see a concrete X-ray happening in a building you’re in, leave the area immediately. If you’re a building owner looking for a reliable scanning method that won’t put your team or your customers at risk, contact Haggith’s Structural Scan & Inspection LLC, serving Honolulu, HI. Their experienced concrete scanning team wants to keep you and everyone inside your building as safe as possible. They only use ground-penetrating radar technology, so you’ll never have to worry about exposure to radiation or shutting down your operation during the scan. Learn more about their services online and call (808) 239-4330 to schedule an appointment.