Granite is undoubtedly the most common material for custom headstones, markers and other types of gravestone. Granite is popular for many reasons, not least it’s exceptional durability over other materials; but yes it does stain.
The polish protection illusion
Don’t fall for the illusion that a polished headstone means that it’s protected. Polished stones aren’t coated with a sealer to make them glossy – they’re buffed meticulously until they become shiny and reflective.
Some people are under the mistaken belief that “polished” stones are coated with a sealer to make them glossy, this is not the case. In fact sealing a granite headstone can do more harm than good; as Saving Graves says “Sealing, waterproofing or coating the stone with any sealing process will inhibit it’s natural ability to evaporate this moisture from inside the stone. This will result in new damage and expansion problems.“.
Most common granite headstone stains
- Water-based stains
- Mold and mildew stains
- Rust stains
In many cases, stains on the surface of granite memorials can be rubbed off with a simple cleaning technique. If the surface area has corroded then you will need a professional headstone repair and no amount of cleaning will restore it.
Stains with granite are unlikely
The good news at least is that grantie deteriorates far slower than most other types of the gravestone; however like most types of stone, grantie is porous. Contaminants can and do find their way into the surface levels of these headstones which is why a consistent cleaning schedule is important.
Cleaning granite headstone stains
It’s important always to use the least abrasive method first, and never any cleaning chemicals. Cold water and a non-abrasive cloth or brush should be all you need to get started with. For more problematic stains you may wish to seek the services of a professional headstone company to limit the risk of unintentional damage.