It’s hard when a loved one passes away. Those left behind feel sad, hurt and confused, and sometimes take a long time to understand why it happened. Everyone grieves differently—some people want to be left alone with their thoughts, while others attend grief counseling, but what if friends and family members need a different outlet to turn to? When you need a quiet place to go to think about the loved ones you miss, you might visit the cemetery where they are buried.
Whether you are caring for someone’s headstone or gravesite plaque, you will quickly realize that exposure to the elements and wildlife takes a huge toll on its condition. Luckily, there are methods to preserve and restore grave markers. Below is a guide to help you clean and protect your loved ones’ granite burial headstones in Walterboro, SC.
It’s completely understandable that you want to wipe off cut grass, leaves, bird droppings, calcium deposits and other gunk from headstones as soon as you noticed it. No one wants anything other than engravings, etchings and/or sealed-in photographs on their loved one’s headstone, but there’s a right way to clean. Before you begin, here are some safety guidelines to follow.
First, inspect its condition. If you see fractures or other damage that can affect the stability of the headstone, contact a headstone repair professional. Look for signs of chipping, scaling, deterioration or flaking, and pause if you do see any of these issues. Avoid brushing or scrubbing headstone materials in this condition. Always be gentle, no matter the type of material. Once this is done, it’s time to begin getting ready to clean the granite headstone.
How to clean and wax granite headstones
A common position for granite headstones is lying parallel to the ground. This often exposes them to certain environmental conditions, and as such, they are susceptible to weathering. And while most granite headstones and grave markers come finished with protective coatings, it’s important to note that these do wear away over time. How long it will take for the coating to be diminished depends on the elements the marker is exposed to, how often and to what extent. Luckily, regular cleanings can keep granite headstones looking new for years while preventing damage from occurring.
Before you get started, you’ll need to stock up on clean cloths, a soft brush, a new toothbrush, an applicator brush, distilled water, non-ionic soap and paste wax.
Start by removing debris from the granite. Moisten the headstone with water, then take the soft brush and scrub gently to remove scum. Use the toothbrush on smaller, tighter spots of the granite, and use the soap to remove stubborn stains. Rinse the brushes frequently to loosen debris from bristles. Now that it’s clean, rinse it with clean water and dry completely with a dry cloth. Let it air dry thoroughly before adding a protective coating to the granite. Finally, apply a thin layer of paste wax, let it dry, then buff the surface with a dry cloth.
Maintaining granite burial headstones in Walterboro, SC ensures they will last a long time. For more information about caring for grave markers, call the experts at Steedley Monument Works today.