loved one's headstone

How to Care for Your Loved One’s Headstone

A loved one’s headstone needs occasional care

Cemeteries are not just the final resting place of our loved ones. They are beautiful places that preserve the memories and legacy of the departed souls. A headstone is also much more than a burial marker. It is a way to ensure that the loved one remembered for years to come. It is important not to neglect headstones in order to preserve their beauty and sanctity. Here are some care tips for your loved one’s headstone:

Regular cleaning

Different headstones have specific care requirements depending on the material they are made of. Headstones are always exposed to dust and the elements, so keeping them clean is a challenge. You must clean the headstone at regular intervals to ensure that dirt or mold does not build up.

Before you decide to clean up our loved one’s headstone, make sure there are no signs of chipping, flaking, cracking or deterioration. If you see any signs of damage, do not clean up as you may end up damaging the headstone further. In this case, you might want to call the professionals for cleaning and maintenance, and depending on the extent of damage, you may have to consider professional restoration.

Keep the following cleaning items handy:

  • A soft brush to dust off the surface
  • A soft toothbrush to clean the smaller areas such as engravings
  • Sponge
  • Nylon (soft and undyed) brush to scrub away the moss
  • Water
  • Mild cleanser depending on the material of the headstone

Remember, most household cleansers are pretty harsh and can damage the headstone. Bleach can dissolve the stone and damage the texture and color. The safest bet is to use lots of water. If you must use a cleanser, make sure it is safe for use. Ideally, use a non-corrosive and organic cleanser.

Start with dusting the headstone with a soft brush and then pour a lot of water to wet the surface thoroughly. Then take a wet sponge and start rubbing along the headstone’s surface in a circular motion. Make sure you start at the bottom and keep rinsing the surface frequently with clean water. Once you are done, wipe the monument clean with a soft washcloth and make sure it dries up completely.

Remove mold and moss from your loved one’s headstone

It is important to not to let mold or moss deposit on your loved one’s headstone for a prolonged time as it can cause permanent damage. So, you must keep removing the mold and moss regularly. All you need to do is pour some water on it and use a gentle nylon brush or scraper to remove the growth. If required, you can use a mild organic biological solution to keep the growth in check. However, before you use any cleaning agent or solution on the monument, do not forget to do a patch test.

Repair and renovation

If you notice any signs of flaking or shipping, do not neglect them. Do not attempt to clean up a monument that is damaged and more importantly, do not attempt to repair it yourself. Call in the professionals for the repair and restoration work. Do not wait for too long to get the repairs done. Do it the moment you notice the first signs of deterioration.

In most cases, you should be able to clean the headstone with water only. However, if the dirt won’t come off, do not try too hard or use any harsh cleansing agents. Sometimes, long term exposure to the elements can cause significant damage and only professional headstone cleaning services can help. Professional cleaning will not only bring back the headstone to its original glory, but will also reduce future cleaning efforts and improve the longevity of the monument.