WHAT “TO DO” AND WHAT “NOT TO DO”
- DO check out the stability of the stone to ensure it can withstand washing
- DO soak the stone thoroughly with water (after rainy weather is the best time)
- DO use a soft bristle brush
- DO rinse with water
- Do keep vegetation away from stones
- DO NOT sand blast as it causes irreparable damage to the stone
- DO NOT power wash as it can also cause extensive erosion of the stone
- DO NOT clean a stone that is already showing signs of damage such as spalling, flaking, etc.
- DO NOT use a wire or hard bristled brush to clean surface
- DO NOT use bleach as it can stain and cause spalling of the stone as chlorides attempt to resurface
- DO NOT use any herbicides/chemicals around monuments. The ground and then the monument soaks up the substance and it may result in staining
- DO NOT use paper and chalk or crayon to make a rubbing of historic stones as it can cause damage.
Remember: Not only can cleaning damage the stone; it also can remove the stone’s patina, acquired with age, thereby reducing the aesthetics of an historic cemetery.