Perhaps OT? Cleaning a headstone


Hi and yes this could be construed as being ot as it is not a home repair thing.... Was just wanting to ask this group what YOU would use to clean this headstone as it has become overgrown. Perhaps a website suggestion on this?.... Below is the headstone photo link....thank you... Jim
http://www.flickr.com/photos/49017188@N06/4490860997 /
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When my dad as alive and still active he spent a day or so each month on the old family cemetery. Several of the markers predate the civil war.
Anyway, he would lightly "scrub" the markers with powered "dolimite limestone."
The markers were darkened by fungi and from leaves from hardwood trees. (My grandfather caused all the markers that weren't horizontal already to be set on the respective grave.)
The limestone did clean things up a bit and it also filled in the carvings with the white limestone and increased the contrast with the stains.
I'm not sure this will help you and I can't guarantee or recommend it. But my dad used the technique for about 10 years.
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Modern Polished Granite: Clean water, non-ionic solution, biocide solution, Acid based granite cleaning solution, include with links. It is most common in a dry crystal form and is mixed with water to form a solution. Its strength may be varied based on the amount of crystals added. Please be very careful, as eye protection and rubber gloves should be worn. Also it may kill grass or plantings in the area around the stone being cleaned.
http://www.gravestonepreservation.info/cleangr-1.asp
HTH...
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This article may help you: http://www.diylife.com/2008/05/26/headstone-cleaning-and-grave-maintenance /
I would use a wood construction shim as the initial scraper to remove the bulk of the growth. No way that can damage the stone.
Also I got a slew of hits on Google using the search term cleaning grave marker
Colbyt
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Jim wrote:

I wouldn't say it's off topic, it is your final home.
TDD
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wrote:

re: "it is your final home"
He's going to be sharing this resting place with the current occupant?
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

A friend of mine is about the only male family member left in his clan. He spends a lot of time caring for his relatives grave sites and the family plot that he and his mother will someday share. His father and brother are already interred there. I'm amazed at the work he puts into it.
Heck, Soylent Green, here I come!
TDD
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I use a nylon brush and water. The soap is optional but it might help remove some of that moss/lichens. Avoid using acids of any kind.
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The first step is to find out what kind of stone it is. Marble is common.
The next step is to find some place that sells headstones or counters made of that stone, and buy some cleaner from them.
Almost all stone scratches, so you need brushes (tooth brushes or bristle brushes) that won't scratch it. Household cleansers can contain abrasives, so avoid them, and even some detergents are not recommended, You can search for marble headstone cleaners, or marble counter cleaners, and find a lot of advice. I'm not going to give a link because I've never dealt with any of those sites, so I can't know about their credibility.
Jim wrote:

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Did you even look at the photo? It's *obviously* not marble. Can't say for sure what it is, but granite would be a good bet -- and if it's granite, not much short of battery acid or a sledgehammer is going to do it much harm.

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If I am reading the grave marker correctly I believe that the deceased was a member of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - PPCLI. In that case I would suggest that you have a quick look at the following sites. One offers some information on veterans benefits and the other some info on grave markers and the Last Post Fund. It seems that the grave marker may be Barre Grey Granite.
http://www.lastpostfund.ca/EN/funeral.php#markers http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/content/Services/benefits/services_benefits.pdf
Depending on who paid for the grave marker it may not even be yours.
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