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Maintaining a Grave

Published: May 15, 2023
by Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory
funeral homes in Petaluma, CA

If you are the person who cares for a loved one's grave-site, one of the responsibilities you have is to keep it looking its best. Some cemeteries offer maintenance, but most require relatives to do the upkeep. If that is something that you would like to do but you are not sure how to maintain the grave-site, there are some tips that can help. Here are the things that directors of funeral homes in Petaluma, CA want you to remember.

The first thing you want to do is gather the right tools for cleaning the marker. You want to avoid hard brushes and power-washing equipment, since that can cause lots of damage to the marker. Instead, you want to use sponges and soft brushes. You also want to avoid any harsh chemicals like bleach. Bleach can leave stains and can even deteriorate some materials. You want to stick with water, soap, and detergent.

You want to wet the entire marker with clean water. You never want to clean it dry-on-dry, since that can be abrasive. You also do not want to use power-washing tools or brushes with very hard bristles. It is important to be delicate with the grave marker so that you do not stain it or damage it in any way. Remember to also avoid bleach, since that can turn the grave markers brown.

If your marker is made of marble, you want to begin the process of cleaning it by wetting it completely. Marble is porous and it will absorb the liquid you pour on it. By using water first, you are ensuring it does not absorb the cleaning solution you choose. You then want to take a closer look at the marker. If you see algae or other growths, you may want to add a bit of ammonia to the water. Use only a small amount. This should remove the biological matter.

For granite you can do the same process as you would with marble, but you do not want to use ammonia at all. Ammonia can severely damage granite. Instead, use an ounce of detergent in five gallons of water. You want to be sure that you rinse the marker thoroughly once you are done. Remember to never clean granite while it is dry. If you see any flaking at all, do not attempt a cleaning since that can make the flaking worse.

You only have to worry about cleaning the marker every two years or so unless you see serious damage or stains that need to be taken care of. Take the time to consider the kind of material the marker is made of, since that can have an impact on the cleaning strategies you use. If you are not sure, you can always ask the provider for some help and guidance. You can also reach out to a Petaluma, CA funeral home like us to learn more about how to manage a gravesite and how to make funerary arrangements. We are here to help you with all of the arrangements you need to make for your loved one so do not hesitate to reach out to us. Give us a call now or visit us today to speak with one of our experts.

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