The Don'ts of Cleaning and Maintaining a Memorial Headstone

About Me
Sharing The Burden: Ideas For Funeral Arrangements

Hello, everybody. My name is Lois, and I am in my seventies. It might be hard to believe, but I attended my first funeral when I was sixty-five years old. Since then, I have suffered the loss of quite a few family members and close friends. In fact, I have now organised over a dozen funerals. As someone who had been so blessed, it really came as a shock when I first experienced the trauma of making funeral arrangements whilst still finding time to grieve. It really taught me the importance of having an empathetic and creative funeral director that can help share the burden and honour your loved one appropriately. Hopefully, this blog will help those who, like me, had no idea about the enormity of the task a funeral organiser faces. I trust that the ideas within will prove comforting and inspiring during this difficult time. Thank you.

The Don'ts of Cleaning and Maintaining a Memorial Headstone

27 August 2020
 Categories: , Blog

Memorial headstones are a commemoration of a loved one that has passed. As such, family members will often visit a grave just to feel close to a deceased. However, a headstone will remain in pristine condition for the first few months. After that, a headstone might start to deteriorate over time; therefore, you might be forced to hire memorial maintenance services to keep it in good condition. Often, you hear about what one should do when cleaning memorial headstones. What about what you should not do? You rarely read or hear about what one should avoid in the maintenance of memorial monuments. This article lays out the don'ts of cleaning and maintaining a memorial headstone.

Don't Go for an Immaculate Finish  

Memorial headstones are delivered in excellent conditions. The surface is characteristically smooth and free of dirt and staining. However, headstones begin to lose their lustre as time passes, and you can expect issues such as discolouration on the surface. It is crucial to understand that there comes a time when it is near impossible to restore a headstone's lustre. Unfortunately, most people do not realise this and scrub vigorously to remove staining that will not go away. Doing this only leads to further damage because every cleaning exercise progressively removes a little bit of surface material. Therefore, your objective should be to maintain a headstone's integrity rather than achieve an immaculate finish with every cleaning session.

Don't Clean More than Once Annually  

It is tempting to clean a memorial headstone thoroughly every time you see staining on the surface. It is common for newly erected monuments because stains are highly visible. Sadly, regular, thorough cleaning can be counterproductive since it interferes with the surface material's integrity. It is mainly the case if you use abrasive and harsh cleaning detergents such as ammonia. Ideally, it is advisable to schedule thorough cleaning at least once a year. The only other cleaning you can do is dusting and scraping bird droppings.

Avoid High-Pressure Cleaning  

Are you strapped for time? Why not use high-pressure cleaning techniques such as sandblasting and high-pressure hoses. This is where most people get it wrong because high-pressure cleaning techniques can cause irreparable damage to headstones. It is even worse of tombstones carrying graffiti writings. Although high-pressure cleaning might be a fast cleaning method for dirty stone surfaces, it progressively peels away a headstone's top surface. Gentle and manual cleaning of memorials goes a long way in keeping a headstone clean and maintaining its integrity over time.

For more information on cleaning memorials, reach out to a local funeral home.