To clean, or not to clean?
Sprucing up tombstones and funerary monuments has become quite a popular trend of late. You may have seen an ad in a magazine, online or on TV promising a miracle cleaning solution. One prime reason for the interest in washing slabs of marble and granite stems from the fact that genealogy has become the #1 hobby worldwide. Family historians and DNA kit recipients are making pilgrimages to cemeteries like never before.
Once here, curious travelers can visit, and more so, document grave markers and monuments of ancestors and distant relatives. Smartphones make it easy to take pictures of grave sites, and many images soon make their way onto the worldwide web and sites such as FaceBook, FindaGrave.com and Ancestry.com.
Just like anything else, you'd like the grave stone to be in a "camera-ready" condition when visiting or photographing. Grass, sap, algae, acid rain, bird droppings and weather erosion have been working against the stone the moment it was placed atop the grave in the natural environment. This happens to all rocks, boulders and stones, so why shouldn't it happen to grave monuments?
Another main driver for washing stones comes with the advent of better cleaning technologies, equipment and biological solutions. These allow many folks to make the decision to restore monuments to their original condition. Some worry that a sparkling gravestone will stick out among the rest. The truth is--
it will, but no different than a newly installed monument placed after a recent burial. Just give it time, and it will slowly succumb to the elements.
Some stones here in Mount Olivet carry the wear and tear of 150-160 years. Once cleaned, they may go another 150 before looking the way they did before treatment. Think for a minute-- if no washing occurs, its anybody's guess what these stones may look like after 300 years of constant weathering, et al.
Genealogical and history groups, loved ones, and tombstone tourists all have a stake in wanting grave markers and monuments to remain clean and legible. This serves not only as a means of respect and a source to gather historical documentation, but its a way to keep the cemetery looking beautiful.
Since stones are the property of our cemetery lot-holders, you certainly have the right to clean the monument on your own. However, there are plenty of ways to do more harm than good. That said, feel free to turn the job over to us. We work with gravestones each and everyday, and have been trained in proper cleaning techniques. We also know the correct materials and tools to use, having plenty of experience on our side. Most importantly, some gravestones, especially in the historic sections, may be damaged or unstable, and present the danger of falling on you, the "cleaner," or on neighboring monuments.
For the sake of the stone, and those others surrounding it, please leave the heavy lifting (cleaning) to us. We'd hate for you to inadvertently damage it further, or permanently. Call or email to garner an estimate.
With winter upon us, paid service orders will be performed starting in March, 2019. Spring showers will surely complement the cleaning process!
(Pricing as of November 2018)
NOTE: Pricing varies due to stone material, size and existing condition of monument. Larger and intricate monuments will require an inspection.
The prices below reflect power washing of granite and marble monuments. Depending on condition of some marble monuments, we may deem cleaning too severe to be done by power-washing or certain cleaning products. We only use methods and cleaning solutions that safely restore the original beauty of marble. Power-washing marble should only be done by experienced individuals who have received proper training in this arena. mistakes by novices can cause irreversible damage.
For standard-sized stones and markers, add $25.00 to cover the cost for cleaning agent chemical solution. For marble monuments up to and within a 5ft. base radius, add $100.00 to cover the chemical solution cost. For those monuments rising above a 5ft. base radius, add $200.00.
Standard size 2' x 1': $50.00
Oversized and above 2' x 1': $100.00
Standard size 4' and larger: $300.00
Small size under 4' $200.00
All granite markers/ledgers will be power-washed and scrubbed as necessary. Some marble markers/ledgers may require chemical solution methods in addition to power-washing.
Resurfacing (re-bronzing) Plaques:
Standard size: $200.00
Performance of this service will of course be dictated by weather and staff scheduling.