Traditionally, a cemetery is a place set apart from the local community for the burial or interment of the dead. Cemetery planners take into account geography, religious beliefs, social attitudes, and aesthetic and sanitary considerations. Cemeteries may be simple or elaborate—built with a grandeur that overshines the community of the living.
But cemeteries are much more than just a final resting place for loved ones. They are a place of beauty, preserving the memory of those passed. Each headstone or memorial signifies a human being that impacted history in some way. These gravesites are a quiet place to mourn and reflect. It’s important not to neglect headstones or memorials and to preserve their information and their beauty for the sake of every loved one who visits.
Headstones Or Memorials Need Care, Too
Like most things, though, over time, headstones or memorials become worn down, discolored, and even broken. These get caked in dirt, lichen, and other environmental debris. If headstones or memorials are left unmaintained, the lettering can become worn to the point where it’s no longer readable. To ensure that our upcoming generations can continue to pay respect to their ancestors, gravestones need to be regularly cleaned and restored.
Many cemeteries market themselves as a perpetual care facility. This term doesn’t mean that headstones will receive the maintenance they require. “Perpetual care” typically refers to landscaping, road maintenance, and some general headstone care, but it rarely includes headstone cleaning.
Most families choose headstones or memorials comprised of natural stones, such as sandstone, granite, and marble. For many years, the most popular materials used for crafting headstones or monuments were limestone and sandstone. Limestone and sandstone are softer materials to carve, and as a result, most headstones require extreme care when cleaning. Unfortunately, these headstones also wear away much faster and are liable to crack in extreme weather conditions.
While it is possible to clean a gravestone yourself, we do not recommend it. A professional works to ensure that a headstone does not get damaged during cleaning or restoration, using special tools and cleaning solutions, in addition to careful cleaning techniques. When cleaning a headstone or monument, it is of the utmost importance that you do not use any of these:
- Acidic cleaning agents
- Household cleaners, such as soap or detergent
- Pressure washers
- Wire bristled brushes
Hiring A Professional To Care For Your Loved One’s Monument Or Gravestone
Hiring a professional is the only proper way to ensure that a monument or gravestone will be appropriately cleaned and preserved. A professional will have access to the right tools and possess the knowledge required to care for such a delicate piece of history properly.
At Monument Solutions, we take pride in helping communities, families, churches, and cemeteries preserve their headstones’ structural integrity and beauty. Contact the experts at Monument Solutions for preservation assistance today.