Laser etching for headstones has been around a long time. However, our customers in Walterboro, SC are often concerned about granite headstones wearing down and all that effort being rendered unrecognizable due to the effects of weather and time. Can granite headstones wear down? Yes. Eventually they will show their age and the wear and tear that goes with that. But current techniques ensure that this will not happen for a very long time, if at all.
The long lifespan of laser etching
The concern about worn monuments arises from the neglected graves many of us see at older cemeteries. Current technology reduces this possibility and allows for stronger, longer-lasting headstones.
The longer lifespan of laser etching starts with materials. If etching is applied to cheap stone or granite, the stone’s components wear down over time and the etching can fade. This is why you see older Victorian graves falling apart—the stone and their carvings are more susceptible to weather, and they did not have the sealants that are available to us now. So, if you hope the monument and its laser etching last a lifetime, choose a memorial material carefully.
Once you choose the material, we apply laser etching directly on the surface of the headstone or monument. Then, we add a sealant to preserve the etching further. Once these steps are completed, the etching will last as long as the monument and will not show any fading or weathering.
Preserving laser etching
As mentioned above, the first step to laser etching preservation is choosing good granite. You can tell the difference between lower- and higher-quality stone by looking for fine grains of white or gold.
The best material for etching is fine, high-quality black granite. Black provides a dramatic background and makes the etching easier to see and read. If you are looking for an embellished gravestone, black gives artists more flexibility to apply special effects and colors. You can tell the difference between black granite and dyed black stone by finding small specks of other colors. Just like other variations of granite, black granite is not a solid color.
Also, you need to consider vandalism—cemetery markers are unfortunately vulnerable to these incidents. When this occurs, graffiti is removed using chemical cleaners, which can strip stone and untreated granite. Sealants applied to granite and stone can help preserve markers even when they are exposed to harsh cleaners. Granite, though, proves the most resilient when it comes to vandalism removal.
It can be difficult to make informed decisions when you are grieving a loved one while also navigating an endless to-do list of funeral plans. That’s why it’s important to find a skilled grave marker designer who knows how to prevent granite headstones from wearing down.
While it is possible for granite headstones to wear down, at Steedley Monument Works, we make grave markers that can stand the test of time. Located in Walterboro, SC, we have been family owned since 1968 and offer several options for strong granite headstones. Contact us today to learn more and start the design process.