Findings examination and material determination for damage analysis by ZRW Berlin

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Findings examination and material determination

Preventing and repairing damage to historical objects is part of the daily work of restorers and conservators. Damage analysis forms the basis for identifying damage causes on the one hand and deriving measures for preventive conservation on the other.

During damage analysis, these factors have emerged as the cause  for most types of damage to historical objects:

  • Poor climatic conditions
  • Improper handling
  • Overuse
  • Lack of care
  • Pest infestation
  • Microbial infestation

Typical damage to antique objects is often found in its gilding, which exhibits gaps due to wear and tear of the metal layer. Damage is often visible on monuments that are exposed to the weather. In addition to reconstruction, preventive measures must also be taken.

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The steps of a restoration damage analysis

At the beginning of damage analysis, the first question is the specific causes. If antique furniture, picture frames, sculptures, funerary hatchments, or paintings show inexplicable damage, experts for restoration and conservation are in demand to find out what may be the underlying cause.

In the case of vandalism, burglary, average, or other catastrophes, it is usually not necessary to investigate. Nevertheless, in such cases, a scientifically based expert opinion is often helpful so that you, as the injured party, can assert your claims against the insurance company or even the perpetrators.

The cause and the extent of the damage, as well as the overall condition, must be documented in a damage report. This may require further testing, for example, microscopic or technological analyses such as UV examinations.

As certified restorers at the Zentrale Restaurierungswerkstatt Berlin (Central Restoration Workshop Berlin), we are perfectly equipped to perform the necessary tests: Our state-of-the-art workshop offers the best working conditions for a comprehensive examination of findings. Our range of services includes:

Within the framework of such a comprehensive examination of findings, we will record the condition of historical-cultural property made of wood and design an adequate concept for restoration or sustainable conservation.

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Restoration examination:

Material determination and damage analysis

To find out more about what might have caused the damage, we also offer a material analysis. With the help of art techniques, we can determine the authenticity of materials or classify and assign changes caused by age or specific damage.

For example, by determining the type of wood, we as certified restorers can determine how old a wooden object is. If wooden furniture such as frames, tables, or cabinets are infested with pests, such as woodworms or microorganisms, professional countermeasures can be taken.

Based on the determination of the material and the documented damage, we develop a strategy including a catalog of measures for restoration and conservation.

Our Zentrale Restaurierungswerkstatt Berlin is perfectly equipped for professional examinations of historical furniture, wooden objects, and used wood. You can rely on the expertise and craftsmanship of our certified wood and furniture restorers to find out what is causing the damage and to effectively prevent it from happening again in the future!

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