Best time to renovate a Headstone

Over time, memorials can be severely affected by different external factors, such as the weather.

Natural Stones, especially those that are more porous, can become marked, weathered, and dirty. Inscriptions are also exposed to these conditions causing them to fade, and will require re-gilding, repainting, or re-cutting.

That’s why at Buckley Memorials, we offer the service to revitalise Headstones, Memorials and Gravestones completely.

As members of the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM), rest assured that all our work will be carried out tot he highest standard. The Before and After pictures on this page speaks for itself!

Many cemeteries face a significant long-term problem with unstable and unsteady memorial stones/headstones. With thousands of visitors each year, ensuring cemetery safety is of utmost importance. It not only ensures the well-being of those who visit but also maintains the sanctity of your loved one’s final resting place.

Every memorial stone/headstone represents a testament to our lives and communities. That is why it is crucial to approach all work with care, sensitivity, and above all, dignity.

How to know when it’s time to restore a headstone / gravestone?

Here are 5 clear signs that tell you it’s time to restore your memorial headstone / gravestone for a loved one.

1. Deterioration – difficult to read

Granite has proven to be incredibly durable, lasting for thousands of years with minimal deterioration. However, other stone materials used for memorials don’t hold up as well. In the past, softer stones like limestone or sandstone were commonly used for memorials due to their aesthetic appeal and ease of carving.

Unfortunately, these softer stones deteriorate more quickly due to their higher porosity, leading to cracked and chipped memorials over time. This is why granite has become a more popular choice for lasting tributes.

Memorial affected by weather erosion

2. Chipped Paint

Chipped paint on a loved one’s memorial can make it seem neglected and no longer as beautiful as it once was. Even small details like this can affect the experience of visiting the gravesite, serving as a constant reminder of the memorial’s decline. It is important for memorial masons to use high-quality paint specifically designed for granite when painting monumental memorials like headstones and cremation memorials.

However, colours will inevitably fade and chip over time, especially for memorials placed outdoors in cemeteries and church graveyards.

Factors that contribute to the deterioration of memorial paint include exposure to outdoor elements like rain and sunlight, the type of memorial (upright or flat), and the location of the memorial (under trees or in low-ground areas prone to water accumulation).

3. Grave Subsidence (Memorial Sinking)

While strolling through a cemetery, especially those with older graves, you might notice some headstones that seem to be tilting. Even a properly installed memorial can be impacted by grave subsidence, as the soil settles naturally and the buried coffin slowly collapses over time.

Other factors include foundations not being poured deep enough or backfilled correctly with appropriate soil. This can lead to frost and nearby vegetation getting under the foundation, causing the memorial to rise when frozen and then sink, tip, or lean once it thaws. Cemetery staff may address grave subsidence if notified, or they may conduct regular inspections, but some churchyards and cemeteries may not have enough personnel to adequately monitor for grave subsidence.

If your memorial has sunk and been neglected for an extended period, it might be wise to consider memorial restoration to clean and restore it to its former glory and have it professionally reinstalled in its original position.

4. Memorial Damage

Natural calamities, mishaps, and even deliberate acts of vandalism can result in harm to a memorial. For instance, a tree collapsing in a churchyard due to harsh weather, or a lawnmower accidentally damaging the memorial during routine maintenance of the area.

In many cases, the harm can be fixed by a trustworthy memorial restoration company – either on-site or by relocating the memorial for restoration and reinstallation, depending on the severity of the damage.

5. Substantial Build-up of Dirt

Most memorials are situated outdoors, which means they are constantly exposed to various outdoor elements like dirt, grass, moss, rain, and air pollutants.

Over time, these elements accumulate on the memorial, forming layers of debris. Once you notice this build-up, it’s a good idea to clean the memorial carefully. Alternatively, you have the option to purchase a memorial maintenance plan from expert memorial providers.

These plans ensure that your memorial and its surrounding area are well-maintained throughout the year. Neglecting regular cleaning of the memorial and allowing dirt to accumulate can result in spot damage such as scratches and chips.

In such cases, some level of restoration would be necessary to completely remove the damage.