Abstract A polymerized vinyl/vinylidene chloride additive, used in brick mortar during the 60s and 70s, is detected at the building site by the field method, which employs a commercially available chloride test strip. The field test results can then be verified by the laboratory methods. In one method, total chlorine in the mortar is determined by an oxygen-bomb method and the additive chloride is determined by difference after water-soluble chlorides have been determined on a separate sample. In the second method, the polymerized additive is extracted directly from the mortar with tetrahydrofuran (THF). The difference in weight before and after extraction of the additive gives the weight of additive in the mortar. Evaporation of the THF from the extract leaves a thin film of the polymer, which gives an infrared “fingerprint” spectrum characteristic of the additive polymer.