For many, a cemetery means a lot more than a final resting place for their loved ones. It serves as a holy site to preserve the memories of their family members and friends who are no longer with them. Cemetery headstones are available in various materials, including granite, marble, bronze, and more. Due to the increased importance of cemetery grave markers and tombstones, it’s vital to invest enough time and resources to maintain these precious stones to preserve their natural beauty properly.
Granite headstones and tombstones require considerably less maintenance, thanks to their enhanced durability. Softer stones such as marble and limestone require more maintenance. With time, these intricate stones still get damaged or discolored due to negligence. If not properly cared for, these gravestones can become covered with a high amount of dirt, debris, lichen, and other contaminants.
In the absence of regular monument cleaning, the lettering done on these stones can also become worn to the extent that they might not remain readable. To make sure you and future generations can keep paying respect to your ancestors, you will need to regularly clean, maintain, and restore your granite monuments.
Cleaning and maintaining a memorial stone may seem like an ordinary task for many; however, there are various factors involved in routine cemetery stone maintenance. Often, a headstone will show deterioration signs, which can turn into chips and flakes over time. When you notice these signs, avoid scraping or brushing the natural stone while cleaning it.
Steps For Routine Granite Headstone Maintenance
When cleaning a cemetery monument, the first thing to keep in mind is to be as gentle with the stone as possible. To effectively clean a memorial of surface dirt, follow these general guidelines:
Things you will need to bring with you to the cemetery:
- A bucket
- Dishwashing liquid (do not use ammonia, vinegar, or lemon cleaners as this may damage the monument)
- Clean water (most cemeteries do not have water available)
- Multiple rags for cleaning
- A couple of microfibre cloths for drying (won’t leave “fuzzies”)
Follow these steps when cleaning and maintaining your granite monument:
- Remove excess debris on or around the headstone (leaves, branches, grass)
- Wash the headstone with soapy water. Soak a clean rag and wash over the monument’s surface. Wring out the rag and wipe the monument surface again, removing any excess dirt. You may have to repeat the process depending on how dirty the monument is.
- Wash the monument with clean water and a rag – do not reuse the soapy water as you want to remove the soapy film from the memorial.
- Dry the memorial stone with a microfibre cloth.
You may also use q-tips dipped in soapy water to clean the etchings/letterings/nooks. You may need several q-tips to clean these thoroughly. For mold or mildew, you can use a soft-bristled brush (not Metal) to scrape the mold or mildew away and then follow the above steps to complete the cleaning.
For badly stained or neglected memorials, the best way to ensure your granite or marble gravestone remains clean and legible is by hiring expert monument cleaning services. A professional memorial company will have adequate knowledge regarding monument cleaning methods and utilize the proper tools to maintain delicate grave markers.
Trust The Memorial Maintenance Professionals
The finest monument maintenance specialists will ensure your granite stone remains in its proper form and appearance using specialized memorial cleaning techniques and equipment. Marble and limestone can be damaged if cleaned with harsh chemicals. A professional memorial cleaner knows which chemicals are safe to remove dirt, moss, and other contaminants without damaging the stone. If the memorial’s engraving has faded, a professional company can re-hilite the letters to make them legible again.
About Summit Memorials
Summit Memorials helps its customers honor their loved ones with high-quality granite headstones throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. We offer expert monument cleaning and restoration services to our clients at affordable rates. Visit our website to learn more about us or contact us for personalized service.