At the Headstone Centre we undertake all forms of cleaning and restoration of headstones. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to prevent degradation and damage to a headstone in an open cemetery. Vandalism is one thing that can cause damage, but quite often tree limbs can fall from a height and smash marble headstones, and there are cases where a car has crashed through a fence and demolished a row of them. Heavy lawnmowers are another cause, smashing into the base of a headstone every time the grass is cut.
The question with a damaged gravestone is always can it be repaired? Sometimes the damage is so severe that it cannot, but modern epoxies that have evolved mean that we can now repair and restore many headstones. However, we need to inspect the broken parts and where they are broken, together with identifying the type of stone before headstone restoration can be carried out.
We can also reset gravestones. Sometimes the ground settles, and the gravestone can tilt backwards or forwards. This actually puts the stone under constant pressure, and if it is thin it may well snap. Resetting the stone will solve this particular problem. In older graveyards you will find gravestones that have been pinned together with ferrous metal pinning. Unfortunately, ferrous metal rusts and expands as it does so, and this can actually cause the stone to split. When resetting a stone with ferrous metal pins they should always be extracted if possible but sometimes it is more difficult than it sounds. It may be necessary to cut them off and seal the end with a rust inhibitor.
Of course, depending on the particular type of stone, some headstones can simply wear away over the years as a result of weather. The lettering can fade away over time, but at the Headstone Centre we can undertake headstone restoration for you.
As you would expect with anything out in the open, the stones can get dirty. We can clean them for you with headstone cleaner which will restore the beauty of an old stone and make lettering readable again. The first rule of cleaning the stone is to be as gentle as possible. It may also take longer than you think, because some moulds and lichens may have been there for decades. A biological headstone cleaner can help, but restoring headstones is something that cannot and must not be rushed.