Whether in new construction or as part of renovation work, floor flatness surveying and testing is vital for safety and the integrity of a construction project, especially when working with concrete. When you are working at New York City scale, just a small deviation from level can mean critical issues down the line, and a lack of flatness can lead to any number of expensive on-site alterations and dangerous situations.

Is there anything worse than finding the glass for your demising wall doesn’t fit when you go to place it on site, because the floor isn’t as flat as you thought it was? And pre-fabricated walls certainly provide less efficiency when you have to spend time shimming them.

Whether in a warehouse setting, where machinery needs free movement and flat ground over concrete, or in a renovation project where out-of-level can mean costly bespoke solutions, flatness and levelness are key to any project. Especially with the increasing use of autonomous vehicles and robots, levelness and flatness can mean the difference between efficiency and an expensive piece of equipment being out of commission when a concrete joint goes bad.

Luckily, testing floor flatness and levelness surveying is a perfect application for 3D laser scanning. While single-point surveying and testing, or working with a so-called “dipstick,” can be time-consuming and miss important deviations, especially in flatness, laser scanning collects millions of points in mere minutes and allows for analysis of flatness and levelness in far greater detail.

With a flatness or levelness assessment derived from laser scanning, you know you won’t be in for a surprise when you get on site.

Conducting a Floor Flatness Assessment

With today’s technology, floor flatness can be mapped to incredibly fine detail, allowing for adjustments to achieve whichever level of deviation is appropriate for the project.

By setting the necessary control, professional laser scanning technicians can quickly scan an area, import the point cloud information into software packages, and produce color-coded maps that can be easily understood by every project stakeholder. These maps provide millimeter-level accuracy and reveal even the smallest deviations from flat on any surface, floor or otherwise.

If you’re concerned about free movement, or potential stumbling points, you’ll be able to see them immediately with the naked eye. If you want to make sure your pre-fabricated walls or glass partitions and windows will fit perfectly when they arrive on site, a flatness assessment is vital.

Floor Flatness Testing

Unlike other methods of surface and floor flatness testing, which necessarily involve sampling — and sometimes still involve the use of 2’x4’s and measuring tape! — laser scanning doesn’t need anyone to do math or averaging. While F-numbers may be standard practice in the concrete world, it’s no longer necessary to take all those measurements in 2’x2’ boxes.

With 3D laser scanning, what may have taken hours can now be accomplished with relative surveying ease. In fact, if you’re using 3D laser scanning for your existing conditions survey, it’s likely a floor flatness assessment can be pulled right from the larger survey project without any necessary re-scanning.

Also, thanks to the rapidity with which laser scanning can be conducted, you may want to take repeated tests to make sure that mitigation efforts have worked or that new portions of the project meet requirements along the way.

Floor Surveys: Levelness and Beyond

With single-point surveying, you can determine floors are out of level. You can even determine by how much. But can you determine whether the slope is linear? Whether it bows and ripples? Whether the joints are starting to fail? With 3D laser scanning, you can.

Rather than simply determine the floor is out of level (or the wall is out of plumb), laser scanning provides you with a millimeter-accurate representation of the floor as it is in reality. And you can do much more with that information than determine levelness or flatness of floors.

The same survey can provide square footage, can be used to populate a digital design model, or can be used to check as-built conditions against original plans and designs. That’s why they say, “scan once, use many times.”

As you go to order glass or pre-fabricated walls, you can order them to size with confidence and know that an issue with flatness or levelness won’t be a problem on site.

Call us to ensure Flatness and Levelness

If flatness and levelness of floors and surfaces are vital to your project, don’t leave the measurements to averaging or analog methodology. Call us to get a quote on how to efficiently determine levelness and flatness for your project and get a clear and accurate picture of as-built conditions or the status of your in-progress project.

Our experienced professionals can quickly be on site for a reasonable estimate and plug right into your project’s schedule.