As the weather’s getting colder, your thoughts may have turned to your loved one’s memorial which is exposed to the winter elements.
Though most headstones and memorials generally stand up well to year-round weather, it’s understandable to be concerned about protecting your loved one’s marker.
Safest method for cleaning headstones
The safest method to clean most memorial headstones is always clean or distilled water. Do not use household cleaning products, soaps or chemicals. Always use a soft, non-abrasive brush or cloth and start from the bottom upwards to avoid dirty water from dripping down.
If the clean water solution is not sufficient then you may wish to speak to a professional headstone cleaning provider for a more substantial, but safe solution that doesn’t harm the stone.
Should you apply a consolidator?
Consolidator is a chemical compound that can help to fill empty voids in your stone that could otherwise fill with water, expand and crack or flake.
Consolidator is only effective on sandstone, marble and limestone, not bronze or granite. It should also only be applied prior to installation, and not retrospectively as this can have adverse effects.
Should you apply a sealer?
Memorial sealant is not often recommended as it can not only keep moisture out but lock it in as well, this stops the stone from being able to breathe leading to adverse affects. While it can be very tempting to use a sealer, the stone will probably be safer without it. If in doubt, speak to a local memorial professional about the best options for your type of stone.
What about shaving foam?
You may have heard that shaving cream can work as a cleaner for headstones. It’s a topic of debate that has gone on for many years but it can actually do more harm than good over the long term.
The typical pH balance of shaving cream is around 5, making it more acidic than acid rain. Shaving foam can in fact cause irreparable damage and should not be used or touted as a cleaning solution for headstones.
Be careful of overcleaning
Overcleaning risks damaging the stone. With any memorial it’s always best to go slow and cautiously. Many stones do not require more than a yearly clean. People often coincide this with an anniversary date each year, bringing flowers to honor their loved one’s memory and giving a gentle clean and check-over of the memorial.
Choosing the best material
If you are yet to purchase a memorial headstone then you have greater control about protecting it from future winter weather. Softer stones such as marble limestone and sandstone don’t hold up as well as harder choices such as bronze and granite. Marble can crumble and limestone can begin to dissolve in inclement weather.
Bronze can hold up well against adverse weather. But when it comes to longevity there is no better stone than granite.
Granite can hold up against rain, hail, mold and mildew and can last for many centuries. It’s why it is one of the stones of choice here at Buzzi Memorials.
Speak to a professional
If you’re in doubt about the condition of a stone memorial or how best to protect it then speak to Buzzi Memorials, located in Stonington, CT: 860-599-5909.