We always want the best for our loved ones, even after they have left this world and are resting peacefully. For many families it’s important to keep their loved ones graves and monuments well maintained and clean.
Maintenance of a memorial stone should always be carried out by a professional who knows what he or she is doing and has the appropriate level of knowledge and expertise. Here are some checkpoints which are important to note and follow for maintenance and cleaning of monuments and headstones.
Check For Any Damage
Before you dig into the tips of cleaning and maintaining headstones of your late relatives or loved ones, it is essential to ask yourself one question: what is the current condition of the monument?
If the monument shows any sign of deterioration, flaking, and chirping, then it may require restoration more so than cleaning. And in this case, you shouldn’t try to clean anything. This is because you may end up doing more harm than good. Cleaning in such conditions can aggravate the deterioration. Therefore you should consider getting a professional restoration done of the monument to preserve the memories of your loved ones for many years to come.
Which Products To Use
This is another essential thing to keep in mind. It’s important to make sure that you’re not using any harsh chemicals to clean the monument. There is a widely spread perception that since monuments are made up of granite and marble, they can be cleaned with potent chemical cleaning agents and wire brushes, whereas, sometimes the best practice is to clean them with just water and a soft cloth.
Headstones usually have a smooth polish over them, and hard bristles from wired brushes can easily scratch them. Similarly, chemical agents can leave permanent stains over the headstones. Household chemicals like bleach and other strong cleansers should never be used. Instead, use non-ionic soap or cleaners, which are more gentle than regular cleaners.
Check For Gravestone’s Material
It is important to know what kind of material you are dealing with while planning to clean a gravestone. Different memorial stones require different cleaning methods. The popular ones are granite and marble monuments. It is a good idea to talk to an expert before cleaning any other kind of gravestone.
Cleaning of Granite Monuments
Granite gravestones can be cleaned with soft sponges, scrubs, and delicate cleansers. Mix the cleaners with an adequate ratio of water. Dampen the sponge to remove the first layer of dirt, then scrub the stone gently with a wet brush to remove stubborn grime. In case you have fungi growth on the stone, use an ammonia mixture (one-part ammonia with four parts water). Scrub the affected areas and rinse with clean water.
Cleaning of Marble Monuments
Marble gravestones are very hard to clean, and they should be treated even more gently than granite gravestones. Marble gravestones usually require less cleaning and maintenance as well. Pre-wet the marble before starting the cleaning process. Use only non-ionic cleansers and use only soft cloth to remove any dirt. Use a wooden scraper to remove any kind of growth. You can use a household glass cleaner at the end to give it a clean finish look.
In most cases, gravestones can be cleaned with just water, but constant cleaning and exposure to various cleaning elements can damage them. Therefore, it’s best to hire experts to clean monuments and preserve their longevity.
At Summit Memorials, we provide monument cleaning services at reasonable prices. For any further details or consultation over monument cleaning throughout western Canada, feel free to contact us at 1-877-433-7109.