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Our Headstone Restoration Guide to Preserving Your Loved One's Memorial Marker

It can be difficult to keep the headstone of a loved one in pristine condition. While memorial markers are sturdy, they are not impervious. Due to age, corrosion, vandalism, or weathering, headstones can become brittle over time and susceptible to damage. Fortunately, you can correct many issues and prevent further damage with headstone restoration. We examine some of the basics of this practice so you can preserve your loved one's final resting place for years to come.

Headstone Repair Basics

Before you start the headstone restoration process, make sure to inspect the stone or material used to make the monument. Despite the durable materials like granite and marble in their makeup, headstones are still very fragile and need to be handled with care.

One thing to look out for during this initial step is delamination. Caused by the elements, delamination's effects are broken pieces and stress cracks occurring on the headstone. 

If you spot any signs of this, 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.

Early Stages of the Headstone Restoration Process

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 the location or how secure the cemetery is, most headstones are susceptible to vandalism and theft. 

Before you start with the gravestone repair process, it's important to clean the pieces. When cleaning a headstone, use a small brush and an approved biocide to kill and remove any moss, mold or anything else that tends to grow on the surface. Wait for the headstone to dry before taking the next steps. 

Headstone Repair Involving Two Broken Pieces

Once the stone is dry, apply an epoxy that is specially formulated for headstone restoration. Next, 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 of the contact points on the headstone. After that, you are ready to clamp the two broken pieces together.

Headstone Repair for Three or More Broken Pieces

If the headstone has broken into three or more pieces, you will require a stable work table and proper alignment to epoxy them together. First, spread the pieces out on a flat surface. After that, put the pieces together so you can easily determine the easiest spot to epoxy. 

Important Headstone Repair Reminders

Some preservationists believe it is better to do nothing at all than to do something potentially harmful. When considering repairing a damaged gravestone, keep the following tips in mind:

  • - Never attempt gravestone repair with caulking, glue, silicone, packaged concrete, and other adhesives. 
  • - Refrain from using power tools to repair a gravestone that is already brittle or fragile to the touch. 
  • - Never attempt to clean granite with ammonia, vinegar, or lemon-based liquids. Instead, use a little dishwashing detergent, water, and a couple of clean cloths to clean and dry the headstone. Bronze and marble memorials require water, non-ionic soap, and soft cloths for adequate cleaning.

Choose Legacy Headstones for Your Customized Headstone & Receive a Gravestone Repair Warranty

The practice of headstone restoration takes time, precision, and skill. If you're not careful, a precious memorial can be damaged beyond repair. Leave it to the experts at Legacy Headstones. When you purchase one of our customized headstones, you'll also receive a lifetime guarantee that it will withstand natural deterioration, cracking, and discoloration. We offer flatupright, and premium customized headstones and a variety of memorial accessories to pair along with them. If you have any questions about our selection or would like more information, contact us today.