Cemeteries are more than just a final resting place for our loved ones. They are a place of beauty, where the memory of those passed are preserved. Cemetery markers recognize human beings that impacted history. It’s important not to neglect markers in order to preserve their beauty for the sake of everyone who visits.

The staff at cemeteries typically provide landscaping, road maintenance and some general marker and headstone care. However, they usually do not provide cleaning services for the markers.

Over time, markers become worn and discolored. They can get covered in dirt, lichen, and other debris. If left unmaintained, the lettering can become worn to the point where it’s no longer legible. In order to ensure that future generations can pay respect to their ancestors, markers need to be regularly cleaned and restored.  Soiling agents include:

  • Dirt, soil, and mud can lead to dark staining and an overall sullied appearance.
  • Air pollution
  • Biological organisms, such as mold, mildew, moss, lichen, or bacteria can alter the appearance of the stone.
  • Bird droppings or other animal secretions
  • Plant or tree sap
  • Salt damage

While it’s possible to clean a marker yourself, it’s not recommended. In order to ensure that a headstone incurs minimal damage, special tools and cleaning solutions are required, in addition to careful cleaning techniques. When cleaning a marker, it is of the utmost importance that none of the following are used:

  • Wire bristled brushes
  • Pressure washers
  • Sand blasters
  • Bleach
  • Acidic cleaning agents
  • Household cleaners, such as soap or detergent
  • Sealant

The only way to ensure that a marker will be properly cleaned and restored is to hire a professional. An experienced cleaning and restoration contractor will have access to the proper tools and knowledge of the various techniques required to properly clean and care for such a fragile piece of history.

A cemetery marker, headstone, or monument is an important part of any family’s grieving process and represents an extremely valuable, if unsung, part of our society. Besides their significant emotional value, headstones and markers are important for historians to assure that lives can be documented centuries after death.  You can trust the professionals at KC Restoration to preserve the beauty of your priceless, irreplaceable piece of history. Feel free to contact us today for more information.