After laying your loved one to rest, you may wonder how to keep his or her grave in pristine condition. Headstone maintenance is an important responsibility. Some cemeteries and funeral providers may claim that they are not responsible for headstone purchases elsewhere, but cleaning a headstone is not as difficult as it might seem. Adequate maintenance will depend on the type of headstone you choose and orientation. Horizontal headstones, for instance, are more susceptible to weathering. Keep reading to learn valuable maintenance tips, so you can honor your loved one’s memory with an immaculate memorial.
Tips for Maintaining Granite Headstones
Compared to marble and other stone materials, granite is extraordinarily durable and resistant to environmental wear. This igneous rock is practically impermeable to hail, rain, mildew, and mold. To clean a granite headstone, you will want to use a mix of water and nonionic cleaner. Use a sponge or soft microfiber cloth to softly polish the headstone from bottom to top. Remember to rinse your sponge often so you can minimize streaking. The headstone may require seasonal maintenance and inspection to identify signs of stains, scratches, or etches on the surface.
Tips for Maintaining Bronze Headstones
Bronze headstones may be less affordable than granite, but they boast the same resiliency and ease of maintenance. This metal alloy consists primarily of copper and tin, but it is also sometimes made with aluminum, manganese, zinc, or nickel. People began using bronze to make armor, tools, and weapons as early as the 4,500 BCE, in what was known as the Bronze Age. This metal alloy is one of the most popular choices for memorials and grave markers, but it will require headstone maintenance to keep in pristine condition for years to come.
Tips for Porcelain and Ceramic Care
Many headstones come with porcelain ceramic plaques that feature impenetrable glazes. Keep your engraving or epitaph in great condition with regular cleaning. All you need is a mild detergent and a sponge or cleaning cloth to remove dirt, grit, debris, or stains. Avoid wax, ammonia, cleaners that contain bleach, or any abrasive substances such as steel wool.
Invest in a Solid Foundation for the Headstone
Toppling is one of the greatest threats a headstone faces. If you notice any signs of soil erosion, cement cracking, or leaning, you should contact the cemetery owner or manager to ensure there is not a larger problem at play: shifting or underground water seepage. You can also fill in any eroded soil to the previous level to provide a more reliable foundation for your loved one's headstone.
Legacy Headstones provides a lifetime guarantee on all the memorial headstones and grave markers we offer. All our granite headstones are made from true granite and should resist wear and tear throughout the seasons. We pledge pristine condition for over 500 years. If you have any questions about headstone maintenance or choosing the right material for your loved one’s memorial, please do not hesitate to contact us. Call us toll-free at 800-611-1340 or complete our online form for further assistance.