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Title: Exploratory Study of Condition and Factors of Decay of Architectural Surfaces Carried Out by Conservators/Restorers
Author(s): HAMMER, Ivo
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Interieurgeschiedenis en Design
Volume: 38    Date: 2012-2013   
Pages: 177-194
DOI: 10.2143/GBI.38.0.3139363

Abstract :
Investigation of the weathering factors that cause alteration and damage is one of the prime areas of research carried out by conservators. However, in practice it is not always – or even only rarely – possible to introduce a professional exploration of physical data. Conservators are often forced to rely on their own resources. Some of the methods are well known and widely used, such as examining the temperature of interior and exterior spaces and of wall surfaces, relative humidity, dew point, humidity of material, etc. Other methods of measuring are not so commonly used. For approx. 30 years our examinations have included measuring the electric conductivity of wall surfaces, the electric capacity near the surface, and the humidity of materials of the wall in situ at different depths by means of the calcium carbide method. These methods are not scientific in any strict sense, but they provide valuable statistic data. The data can be interpreted as indications for the source of humidity and the distinction between infiltration, condensation or hygroscopy. Visualisation of the data may be helpful towards identifying and understanding endangered areas and thus towards planning further maintenance and conservation.

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