The article discusses problems associated with the use of laser ablation in the removal of secondary build-up from the surface of works of art and monuments of architecture as well as the removal of micro-particles from the surface of industrial elements. The prime problem connected with mechanical methods o f cleaning is the erosion of the original surface located immediately underneath the build-up, which sometimes causes irrecoverable losses and gaps in the details (e.g. reliefs, traces of the instruments used by the sculptor, or traces of polychromy). For several years now, the laser method has been successfully applied for the removal of secondary build-up, also in Poland, by resorting to laser impulse radiation. A laser impulse with suitable energy (power) density is capable of removing, for instance, black crusts from assorted surfaces without damaging the base, which at times can be more fragile and delicate than the build-up itself. The main purpose of the article is to acquaint the reader with a new technology of removing build-up with the assistance of laser impulse radiation. The author discusses physical mechanisms leading to the removal of particles and b uild-up from the surfaces of assorted material in the course of the impact of long (100-1000) gs and short (5-100) ns laser impulses. The article also considers other effects accompanying the process of ablation, and presents select research results. The summary mentions joint features linked with the laser ablation of different material and the assets and faults of the application of laser technique in conservation; it also p re sents the basic principles of safety while working with laser equipment. Finally, the au th o r proposes general conclusions associated with the removal of b u ild -u p with the help of laser radiation.