Headstone Repair

It can be difficult to keep the headstone of a loved one in like-new condition. Memorial markers are supposed to be sturdy, but they are not impervious. Due to age, corrosion, vandalism, or weathering, headstones can become brittle over time and susceptible to damage. However, you can correct many issues and prevent further damage. Headstone repair requires patience, skill, time, and the appropriate tools to complete the task at hand. It takes more than a day to repair a headstone – it may even take several weeks – so this is not a task to take lightly. In this article, we explain some of the basics of headstone repair and maintenance, so you can preserve the final resting place of your loved one.

Introduction to Headstone Repair Basics

Before you begin, you must carefully inspect the stone or material used to make the monument. Despite the durability of granite, marble, and other types of stone, headstones are still very fragile and should be handled with care. With time, stone's exposure to the elements can cause delamination and stress cracks. You should attempt to find all the broken pieces that you possibly can, no matter how small. Once the stone has been evaluated and deemed to have no serious evidence of delamination, you can proceed with excavation, cleaning, and preparation.

Most headstones are set in the ground, in a slotted base, or in concrete for additional stability. With time, the ground may shift or rodents may burrow beneath the base of the headstone. Depending on where you live or how secure your cemetery is, most headstones are susceptible to vandalism and theft. Every break, crack, and cause for repair is different. Although the methods may remain the same, the series of tasks will change depending on the degree of damage sustained. Once the stone is dry, you can apply an epoxy that is specially formulated for this type of preservation project. Apply a continuous line of epoxy down the center of the break, but stay away from the edges. Make sure that the epoxy is applied to all contact points. Next, you are ready to clamp the two broken pieces together.

If the headstone has broken into three or more pieces, you will require a stable work table and proper alignment to epoxy them together. Spread the pieces out on a flat surface. Fit the pieces together so you can easily determine where will be easiest to epoxy and where you will require infill. You must also clean each piece with a small brush. You can use an approved biocide to kill and remove any algae on the gravestone. Let the stone dry thoroughly before attempting to epoxy the various pieces back together.

Some preservationists believe that it is better to do nothing at all than to do something potentially harmful. You should never attempt to make repairs to a gravestone with caulking, glue, silicone, packaged concrete, and other adhesives. You should also refrain from using power tools to repair a headstone that is already brittle or fragile to the touch. You should never attempt to clean granite with ammonia, vinegar, or lemon-based liquids. Just use a little dishwashing detergent, water, and a couple clean cloths to clean and dry the headstone. Bronze and marble memorials require water, non-ionic soap, and soft cloths for adequate cleaning.

With regular care and routine maintenance, you can preserve the headstone of a loved one for many years to come. We hope that his article provides you with an educational opportunity to learn about headstone repair and cleaning recommendations. If you have any questions about this article, please contact Legacy Headstones today to speak with an experienced and friendly customer service associate.

Create Your Loved One’s Customized Headstone

At Legacy Headstones it is our goal to provide you with the tools you need in order to create the perfect headstones for graves that honor your loved one. Legacy Headstones has been a family run business for almost 100 years so we understand the importance of a legacy. Creation and design of headstones may have changed over the years but one thing has not, our family tradition. We are proud to have our two sons Shane and Dustyn to carry on the craft of providing people with quality headstones at affordable prices.

We understand that it is always hard to lose a loved one, and we hope that Legacy Headstones can make choosing the right memorial as easy as possible. Our free memorial designer is easy to use and helps to ensure they you are able to create the perfect headstone for the departed. It really is simple, just choose the style of headstone you wish to customize, then use the designer to add anything you wish such as a family name, favorite quote, or even an image. Our designer gives you the opportunity to continue your loved one’s legacy and pass it on to future generations!

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