Why Clean Gravestones and Monuments:
Even though most gravestones and monuments are created with durable stone or metal, they should still receive proper care to pay respect to loved ones for many years to come. In addition the monument represents a loved one. By cleaning the monument, family and friends feel that their loved one is being taken care of.
Not only does it make the gravestones and monument look better, it will protect the stone from cracking, chipping or staining.
There are a several reasons why people should clean their monuments. Over time, hard water, bird droppings, mold, dirt and acid rain can damage a gravestone or monument. These elements will cause stones to weaken and begin to chip or stain.
When to Have Your Gravestone or Monument Cleaned:
When your gravestone or monument starts looking dirty and lose it’s shine and appeal - it is time to start the cleaning process.
How Often Should You Clean Your Gravestone or Monument:
When a gravestone or monument has not been regularly cleaned, it is extremely difficult to remove the dirt, mold, etc from the surface without the right cleaning techniques. We do recommend every 1 to 3 years (Depending on it’s location i.e. under a tree or in an open field) to keep the stone from cracking, shipping or staining and keeps it looking great.
We offer an annual plan and a semi-annual plan at reduced rates - Contact Us
What Are the Damaging Elements to Gravestones and Monuments:
- Carbonaceous or sooty soiling
- Urban grime; dirt
- Organic--algae, fungi, lichens, mosses
- Stains--metallic, oils, etc.
- Efflorescence (salts)
Why We Use the Products That We Use:
Researchers (NCPTT Study for Cleaning Government Headstones) studied five different cleaners on stones located in five different climates at locations across North America (from Fairbanks Alaska to Key West Florida). Microbiologists at Harvard University evaluated samples for regrowth of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, and algae. Our quaternary solution came out on top!
Why We Only Use Distilled Water:
Use distilled water instead of tap water (city water or well water), as they contain a lot of chemicals.
We find it is best to use distilled water because distilled water is soft, has no chemicals and will not affect the stone composed of minerals and salts by having additives such as deferent salt or mineral deposits. These deposits in tap-water can cause a break-down in the synthesis of the stone.
Distilled water has no chemicals in it that might affect the stone breaking down it’s composite, causing stains, attracting damaging elements and streaking.
Why We Do Not Use Commerical or Household Cleaners and Methods:
Wired brushes, metal tools and abrasive pads may give instant satisfaction but, if you use anything that is harder than the stone, it will scratch the face of the stone and cause damage.
The same goes for acidic cleaners, which includes most household cleaners.
Gravestones and Monuments are composed of minerals and salts. When adding chemicals to them can frequently cause chemical reactions that will erode gravestones and monuments faster. Damage is not immediately evident, as in the case with bleach being used on marble. The stone is exposed on all sides to the elements.
Using bleach will not only give you instant brightness but will cause the stone to change in pallor and most often become rough to the touch. This is because the sodium chloride in the bleach has dissolved the binding minerals and caused the quartz crystals to start to exfoliate. When this process is used on particularly soft marble and limestone, the lettering is the first to disappear.
Why We Do Not Use Power Washers:
Power Washers are also Not Recommended by either the NCPTT Study for Cleaning Government Headstones nor the Association of Cemetery Conservationists.
Each dirt particulate attaches it’s self to a stone particulate. When you remove the dirt particulate it usually removes the stone particulate that it is attached to.
Anything that puts out greater than 35 to 50 PSI (Normal city water pressure) is too much force to use on Marble, Sandstone, Limestone and especially older fragile stones. The pressure of a normal garden hose is sufficient with a gentle soaking spray is enough to clean and flush the exposed dirt particulates from the gravestone.
Facts about power-washers and the damage water can do:
- Your garden hose has a pressure of 35 to 50 PSI
- Most Residential pressure washers are 3,000 to 5,000 PSI
- Most Commercial pressure washers exceed 6,500 PSI
- You would think that stone and rock is tough, but it was water running over the rock and stone that made the Grand Canyon.
Just think about the damage a pressure washer
can do to your gravestone or monument !