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.