Identification of accretions on object surfaces is vital tounderstand their deterioration processes. The presenceof certain species can give a strong indication of thecause of that deterioration. T he increasing availabilityof high spatial resolution vibrational spectroscopyallows analysis of the ver y small scale accretions foundon certain object types. This paper discusses the utilityand advantages of such an approach through a series ofcase studies. In each instance such techniques havebeen instrumental in elucidating the deterioration mechanismsand slowing the process down.