Technical Services

NCPTT offers a range of services to help the National Park Service and other agencies in the cultural heritage sector achieve their mission. The following is a list of technical services that we are currently able to offer.

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Historic Building
APT Non Destructive Evaluation Workshop - Charleston, SC
APT and NCPTT partnered to present nondestructive evaluation methods for historic structures. The workshop provided guidance for professionals and students in the use of diagnostic nondestructive testing for historic structures.

NPS Photo

Field Services:

Historic Structure Evaluations

Deterioration issues with historic structures are identified and diagnosed by an historic preservation professional who can/will provide recommendations for appropriate interventions.

Non-destructive Evaluations

Non-destructive test methods for diagnosis of historic building materials and structures utilize a suite of inspection tools and techniques to validate structural details, and identify deterioration without damaging sensitive historic fabric.

Mortar Sampling and Analysis

An historic preservation professional can/will come out and take a mortar sample for analysis completed at the NCPTT labs. This is often done in preparation for repointing historic masonry structures in order to recreate the mortar recipe and match the hardness, permeability and pigmentation of the historic mortar.

Cemetery/Monument Evaluation

An historic preservation professional can/will assess the condition of a cemetery or monument site and make recommendations for treatment, conservation, or training of local personnel.

Pesticide Survey

Non-distructive/non-invasive analytical methods are used by a conservation professional to determine the presence/absence of heavy metal pesticides (e.g. arsenic, lead, mercury) on organic objects in natural history, ethnographic, or archaeological collections. The professional can recommend precautions for care and handling of contaminated objects.

Jason Church looking at sample under microscope
Jason Church is focusing the Leica DMRX Microscope with Digital Spot Camera on his sample.

NPS Photo

Analytical Services:

Materials Analysis

Materials analysis utilizes a host of scientific equipment and methods to identify unknown materials (such as coatings), and characterize historical and architectural materials (such as brick, metals, mortar, or paint) as well as identify their composition and compatibility with other products. Some techniques, such as paint analysis, can also be used to determine the approximate age of various building elements. Recommendations are provided to guide field work; in some cases a preservation professional can come out to collect samples for analysis.

Laboratory Testing

Laboratory testing can be used to evaluate the compatibility and performance of products and treatments for use with historic materials. Methods such as accelerated weathering allow technicians to evaluate the performance of a material or product over time. Recommendations based of this testing are provided to guide field work.

Last updated: February 9, 2021