What Happens to a Headstone if It Isn’t Cleaned Regularly?

Proper headstone maintenance can be a difficult topic to navigate. Of course, the purpose of a headstone is to help celebrate the memory of your loved one for years and years to come. Though there are numerous available resources about choosing a headstone, not much information exists with details about headstone maintenance. The frequency with which your headstone should be cleaned can depend on a variety of factors. With this in mind, we’ve compiled this short, easy-to-follow guide to answer questions like, “what happens to a headstone if it isn’t cleaned regularly?” and other uncertainties regarding proper headstone maintenance. Keep on reading to find out what you need to know.

Since the majority of headstones are made of granite, that is the reference point we will be using throughout this post. With that said, consistent maintenance and professional cleaning are effective ways to preserve headstones and memorial structures made of any material.

Preventive Measures

Maintaining your headstone for the long term starts with taking the right precautions in order to prevent decay. Before your headstone is cleaned, ensure that it is stable and won’t fall over when a small or moderate amount of pressure is applied to it. This includes making sure all of its components are intact, without significant chips or cracks. Make sure the ground is level and stable.

Temperature Matters

This is an important factor to consider in Florida: avoid getting your headstone cleaned in the middle of the summer when temperatures are scalding. This is because applying cold water to granite can be devastating to its structure, causing chips and breakages. Instead, opt for springtime, fall, or early winter as times to take care of headstone cleaning. That said, if going outside requires more than a light sweater, you might not want to call in professional cleaners, either: freezing temperatures can cause water to freeze on the stone. Because water expands when it freezes, this can be particularly damaging when it enters the stone’s cracks.

Frequency of Cleaning

It is completely natural for a headstone to develop grime when it goes too long without cleaning. This can include mold, mildew, lichens, algae, or plain old dirt and environmental debris. When left unchecked, this debris – though initially harmless – can lead a headstone to crack or chip from stress.

The longer these materials accumulate on a headstone without being removed, the harder it’ll be to permeate them with cleaning. That said, professional cleaning services can generally take care of this natural buildup at any stage. However, it’s highly recommended that a headstone be professionally cleaned regularly – every couple of years is ideal, or anytime you notice a film of natural debris accumulating on it.

Getting a headstone cleaned regularly is an important part of maintaining its structural form, preventing unsightly or damaging cracks and breaks over time. Be sure to consult with the cemetery to determine the best time for a professional service provider to come in for headstone cleaning. To learn more about our professional cleaning services, including our commitment to completing headstone maintenance with the utmost professionalism and respect, click here to contact us.

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About A+ SoftWash

A+ SoftWash & Pressure Washing was founded with our consumers’ best interest at heart. We found homeowners were being advised to replace roofs, stucco, and siding only because they were dirty, not old and damaged. Contractors often recommend expensive remodeling projects, although your building materials still have remaining life. Maintaining clean surfaces with SoftWash will extend the life of your exterior facades for a fraction of the cost of replacing them.

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