Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

I am looking into Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to offer another service including looking for underground oil tanks and utilities. The investment is very large (approx $11,000 USD) for base model.

Has anyone got into this business? In general, is there a large demand for this type of work? Thank you.

While I have no experience with radar locating devices, I can only speculate that the tool requires a fair amount of interpretation and training, like any diagnostic imager.

You want to devote that much time to an ancillary service? Are you going to start scanning a client’s yard looking for abandoned tanks? And then what do you do if you locate one? Are you going into the tank removal business too?

I’m sure your area has valid reasons to find and locate the underground fuel tanks for proper removal, but I can’t see that being an adjunct to home inspection, rather a stand alone venture that requires a large amount of resources such as time & money. (Which is fine if that’s a direction you want to go, but I’d focus on your core business first-home inspections.)


I can’t see the average home owner paying enough for such a service to recoup such a large investment.

Probably more likely to find a buried pet than anything else.
Let sleeping dogs lie.

There are lots of other ancillary services to offer before GPR.
How about CPR? :wink:

Are you a geologist?

You know you can’t just shoot that thing off any time/where you please.

Home Inspector and Construction Craft Worker but I am not a geologist. There is no laws regarding this technology in my area. I have had conversations with the reps. Reps state training course is required. There is a business doing this close by and they charge $275 plus travel per scan. That would make it approx 55 inspections to pay this unit off. Lots of buried oil tanks in pre 1970 construction in my area. Real estate agents are required to recommend a scan with older homes in one of my many jurisdictions. Just curious if others have jumped into this cart or not and what experiences are out there.

Save some money:

Unless you can talk Geologist, GPR is way too much for what you want to use it for. GPR is for contractors that do GPR. Not a Home Inspector looking for some tanks here and there.

Like anything that detects what you can’t see, talk with your Insurance Guy. If you send someone digging in the wrong direction you may be looking as some huge liability. PG’s carry this insurance, that’s why they get $250/scan. A large % of that goes to their Insurance and I’m sure you don’t have a $6M liability policy.

I had a business partner that was a PG. He had a hard time justifying getting into GPR for sinkholes and the like. You just looking for a tin can. There is a lot of good equipment that will go that for less.

As for regulations:

You can take down an aircraft or mess up boat navigation (the cruse ships at and around Vancover) with GPR.

Great information. Thank you very much.