In-situ and laboratory measurements: In order to understand material properties and how these affect damage and the choice of conservation measures we often supplement in-situ observations with simple tests of e.g. wettability and capillarity.
If laboratory tests are needed, sampling at the monument is done carefully and as “non-destructively” as possible. We use the samples to determine properties such as porosity and rate of capillary water uptake and drying as well as water vapour diffusivity and hygroscopicity. Such tests are particularly useful for comparing adjacent materials and how their properties have changed after direct conservation measures.
We also monitor indoor climate using electronic loggers as an aid in understanding how the climate contribute to damage of surfaces such a mural paintings. Climate monitoring is also used for controlling climate adjustments made in order to reduce the rate of damage.
Mesures XRF, Münster Bern, 2008