The following photos are examples of some of the work that can be done. At the far bottom are examples of items found for sale that were most likely taken from a cemetery.
The above stone had been sitting outside of its slotted base for a while. The top, front portion of the red limestone base had broken off. The grave marker was gently cleaned, as the bottom had been sitting in clay. The broken portion of the base was reattached with injection mortar and the stone reset in the slotted base with mason’s sand. This took one hour from start to finish. Pinning and more extensive breaks will take longer. If a job is to be done, let it be done well. You can’t hurry a quality repair.
This monument is over 9 ft tall. Because of a burrowing animal, the monument was listing at almost a 40 degree angle and was in danger of falling….not only on visitors but on other gravestones. It is solid granite and was dismantled into 4 large pieces. These pieces are not secured to each other as was custom. There in lies the danger.
The marker had to be disassembled. This took about 1 hour with the help of a monument company. Because of its size, larger equipment had to be used. The foundations was dug out and rebuilt. The monument company then returned to reassemble the monument. Total time on this project was approximately 4 hours. Extra cost for assistance of the monument company was incurred ($300.00)
Because some cemeteries use non potable water for their grounds and lawns, the chemicals and contaminants adhere themselves to the stone, especially visible on polished granites, and create a foggy or cloudy look to the stone. Companies sell many products to eliminate this condition, called efflorescence. Caution must be employed before buying a product and applying it. Many companies just want to sell a product and they have not actually tested it or evaluated it for cemetery use. This is particularly seen with pressure washer companies and chemical companies. It takes time, but these deposits can be cleaned off the surface. To allow the contaminants to remain could result in the surface of the granite to flake off.
The first picture was taken earlier in the Fall while the second was after the stone cleaning in the following Spring. The stone is Limestone. Debris from trees and airborne materials had adhered to the surface. The stone was cleaned within one hour. There may be instances when a stone should be poulticed (agent to draw out a deep stain, paint, etc).
Some things go unnoticed on older grave sites…..to honorable people. Thieves however take advantage of anything not tacked down.