With a gentle, careful hand and a little elbow grease, you are able to transform the grave marker or headstone making it easier to read, as well as restore some of the beauty of the stone’s surface as originally created by the craft stonemason.
Because of the natural aging and the process of weathering, you will not be able to restore the granite or marble back to its original beauty However cleaning gravestones is a great way to get rid of dirt as well as bird droppings, mold, or other organic growth. A gravestone made of granite that has been around for 50 years likely will not be restored to the original condition, and if you don’t wish to. However, you should be aware that certain aspects of the stone’s elegance are a result of the aging process.
If your gravestone has indications of scaling, chipping, or flaking, do not attempt cleaning the stones as it could cause further damage. Instead, you should contact a specialist in stone restoration to make expert repairs to the stone. Cleaning in this manner could damage the stone more. So In this article, we show you how To Clean A Tombstone.
Types of Headstones
The majority of headstones are composed of natural stones composed of salts and minerals. The most popular kinds of headstones that are in use today are made from marble, granite, sandstone, and limestone. Because of its simplicity in maintaining in a cemetery, the flat bronze marker stones are getting more common in cemeteries, particularly memorial parks.
Natural stone tombstones are able to endure varying levels of cleaning, with the earlier ones being able to take only a little. Limestone and sandstone are soft stones that were utilized extensively in the early cemeteries due to their ease of cutting. (The Mohs hardness scale rates it as hard as 3-4.)
Unfortunately, gravestones constructed from such stones tend to become less durable and some extremely old ones become not readable anymore. This is due to the numerous environments they’re exposed to. In addition, for many markers made of sandstone that is used, moisture or water would build up in the cracks of the stone and, when temperatures drop the freezing temperatures could make the stones break or crack.
The primary use of marble was to make monuments and headstones before the 1920s. The hardness of the stone is between 4-7. It is essentially an unrecrystallized version of limestone. It was preferred by some due to its ability to withstand the elements more than sandstone or limestone however it was still quite easy to cut. The stunning veining design was an excellent draw. Unfortunately, environmental elements can influence marble and, as a result, certain cemeteries do not allow marble headstones to be used as markers outside.
The hardest natural stone type of monument you’ll find in the cemetery is granite, which is still extensively used to this day. Granite has a hardness around 7-9 and is able to be able to withstand a bit more frequent cleaning than other natural stone types but it should be treated with a delicate cleaning. The majority of upright stones that are made nowadays are made of granite.
Keep in mind that it’s not just the stone that we have to protect, but also the engravings onto the stone. That’s how we’ll be able to tell who is under the stone.
How To Clean A Tombstone?
The process of weathering is an integral part of their appeal and beauty. However, there are occasions when stones may need cleaning. Here are some helpful tips for cleaning a tombstone.
Step 1. If you scrub the headstone, regardless of how gentle, you will take a tiny amount from the stones. If you scrub stones in a graveyard that is old, might appear out of place? Cleaning a stone may create more harm than good, therefore when in doubt, I suggest you put it aside since there is always the risk of causing damage on the stones. If a stone is situated in the shade of the tree, for instance cleaning it is likely to cause it to reappear within a few months in the future, and to keep an unclean stone, you will be required to clean it more often than once per year, which could cause damage to the stone.
Do not try the task of cleaning gravestones that are chipped, flaking, or have a stone that is loose on them.
Step 2. This can be done with good old-fashioned drinking water, a gentle, soft brush, or even a kitchen roll.
Step3. Always start with the softest brush you can, and if it doesn’t work, then try a grittier brush. Make sure to use a variety of different sizes to allow you to get inside small areas. Make sure all hard or metal surfaces on the brush are completely covered.
Step 4. Use plenty of water and a plastic scraper that is soft making sure to rinse the area regularly and use clean water every time
A hosepipe is the most effective method of keeping the stone moist, however, the best way to do this is using pumps instead of the bucket. It is crucial to make use of plenty of pure water and keep the brush hydrated throughout the day. I love using kitchen roll because it is extremely soft and absorbs lots of water. Make sure you keep rinsing it and scraping away the water every time you brush and do not allow the stone unattended to dry, without thoroughly washing.
Step 5. Brush with a gentle circular motion and work in a systematic manner so that you aren’t missing anything
Clean the entire surface of the stone after you’ve started. It is recommended to begin with the bottom and then work upwards so that any water that is dirty will not leave marks on the area of the stone that has been cleaned.
Step 5. Do not try to clean hard or to expect an unclean stone. Being gentle is best!
Step 6. Never employ household cleaners
There are a variety of cleaners available which are likely to provide a rapid and effective cleaning however, they can be costly in terms of harm to the stone. And they should be avoided. Avoid any cleaners that contain acid or bleach and any household cleaner! These can cause damage to the composition that makes up the stone. This can alter its surface. This will cause faster aging and make the lettering less legible.
Step 7. If it’s still not enough clean, Try a mild bio-cleansing solution known as D2.
I would not suggest anything more powerful than water. However, if you’re keen to try it, I would suggest trying D2 that has been widely reported to be safe and eliminates the lichen underneath the stone’s surface, and will allow it to improve its appearance after cleaning it. For more details on D2, visit their website. It’s always an excellent idea to test an area of stone and wait for a couple of days before working on the entire stone. Be sure to make sure you have plenty of water available and also to wash the stone first.
Step 8. It is not recommended to clean your headstone more than twice per year.
Even the mildest of cleanings will only remove a little off the stones’ surface.