This blog post was initially published on October 27th, 2014, and has been updated for clarity and to include additional suggestions.
The reality that a loved one’s headstone has faded over time can be upsetting. While purchasing a durable cemetery monument material like granite will prevent it from fading for a period of time, this fading is inevitable. Sometimes, a headstone can be the only tangible reminder of a loved one. Memorials also allow distant (or close) relatives a way to trace their lineage. Fortunately, talented monument artists can repair older headstones to restore their original beauty, and even enhance it with new features. Read on to learn about making these improvements can keep your loved one’s monument in pristine condition for years.
What if My Headstone’s Lettering has Faded?
The inscription or lettering on a headstone is generally the focal point, and for good reason. This element distinguishes the monument from others in the cemetery. Additionally, the lettering on a headstone is also the most direct way to identify it. Often, the inscription includes the name, birth and death dates, and important life details that describe their legacy. At the time of creation, headstone lettering is sharp, fully detailed and clearly legible. Unfortunately, this headstone inscription lettering can be sensitive, and fade due to the weather, grass clippings, and other reasons.
Repairing Headstone Text
Restoring the headstone inscription can be quite an improvement for text that has faded over the years. Thoroughly cleaning the monument is the first step toward a restored appearance. Going about this process the wrong way can result in a damaged headstone. Many common cleaning agents can chemically erode and wear away a memorial further. Leaving this monument cleaning process to professionals ensures the job is done correctly, and that the monument will last. Routine cleaning also washes away grass clippings or other debris.
As a full-service monument design company, our staff is capable of performing all repairs on site. We take pride in our specialized ability to restore your monuments without removing them, and disrupting the burial site.
My Headstone Has Sunk into the Ground
While it may be less obvious than faded text, monuments can also sink into the ground. The pace of this slow process depends on the soil conditions and the height of the headstone. The headstone may eventually sink to a certain point where the text is obscured, though it can take a long time. Headstones sink naturally, because as it erodes, the ground beneath it does as well.
Add a Base to a Sinking Headstone
Increasing the headstone’s height by adding a base is the simplest way to prevent it from sinking. Adding a base raises the memorial above its initial height. This additional stone material secures the headstone, while also adding a nice embellishment. Raising the monument with a base enhances the overall appearance of the headstone.
My Headstone is Chipped, Cracked, or Broken
While not as common as sinking or fading, headstones can also be damaged. This can result from ice damage, falling tree limbs, contact with a car, or other circumstances. Discovering that a loved one’s headstone is cracked can be upsetting. However, our monument artists can restore the headstone to near-original condition.
Restoring a Cracked Headstone
Often, damaged headstones do not require a full replacement. Instead, monument artists skilled in working with granite and other materials can restore them to the original condition. By using granite epoxies, we can repair the crack without leaving visible marks.
Adding New Symbols, Dates or Names to the Headstone
In addition to repairing broken headstones, monument artists can also add additional details to existing monuments. This is a common choice for families who purchase a dual headstone, and must add new details later on. Families who want to add a boat, cross or other symbol may also choose to have the headstone inscribed later on as well.
Without removing it from the ground, monument artists can add new symbols or lettering.
Enhance Your Loved One’s Existing Headstone
At St. Charles Monuments, we understand how special a memorial can be for your family. We are dedicated to ensuring that the memorial commemorates your loved one for years to come. Contact our office to speak with a representative about enhancing your loved one’s headstone.