Developing appropriate and effective treatment procedures requires understanding an object’s physical conditions and the contributing deterioration mechanisms, either inherent to the object or influenced by the display environment. This often requires gathering information beyond normal visual inspection. Non-destructive investigation such as borescopy, x-ray photography, direct magnetic testing, subsurface metal detection, moisture meters, pH & salts strips, ground penetrating radar, and environmental data recorders all give specific information without damage to the object or site. Destructive material testing and analysis requires the extraction of samples from inconspicuous locations, using the least invasive means possible. Samples are taken from the object by scalpel, drill, core drill and, in the case of mortar, simple hammer and chisel. Analytical laboratories use the extracted samples to determine material composition, the identifications and quantification of salts, compressive strengths, water absorption rates, acid and water solubilities, coating layering sequences and color identification. Conserve ART has an in-house wet lab for basic identification of mortar binders and aggregates (more about treatments here).