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How to Protect a Headstone This Winter

Winter weather can take a toll on nearly any structure—and even though headstones are made of stone, bronze or other heavy-duty materials, they’re not impervious to cold temperatures, snow, sleet and other winter weather.

The good news is that, with a little preparation, you can preserve your loved one’s memorial throughout the season. Read on to learn more about memorial winter maintenance:

  • Keep it clean: Keeping a monument clean goes a long way in preserving it throughout the winter season. We recommend washing the headstone once a year with distilled water and a soft cloth. Avoid using bleach or other cleaners, as these can permanently tarnish the stone. Be sure to cover any bronze features on the stone to protect them during your cleaning routine.
  • Use sealers with caution: Using a sealing agent to protect the stone from winter weather seems like a good idea at first; however, these sealants can actually do more harm than good because they lock in minerals and moisture. If the stone isn’t allowed to breathe, it deteriorates faster. If you do want to use a sealer, consult with a memorial restoration company to see which product is the best for your stone.
  • Consider a canopy: One of the best ways to protect a monument from snow, sleet and cold winds is by placing a canopy over the top of it throughout the season. That said, not all cemeteries allow canopy construction—make sure you get the go-ahead from the cemetery owners before erecting any protective structure.
  • Make repairs now: A great way to maintain headstones in winter without needing any prior approval is by making repairs right away. Those chips, cracks or other flaws in the stone will only get worse as temperatures get colder, so contact a restoration company right away to make those repairs.

How is your family member’s headstone looking?

Performing this memorial winter maintenance goes a long way in ensuring your loved one’s grave marker lasts for as long as possible, but damage can still occur throughout the year, necessitating repairs. Here are a few signs that it’s time to repair the grave marker:

  • Poor foundation: A monument’s foundation can start to give way over time due to erosion. The only way to address this issue is by hiring a repair company to fix it. A restoration team can repair the foundation and reset the stone, so it stands upright for the foreseeable future.
  • Cracks or chips: Even though they’re designed to last for ages, stone monuments can crack or chip over time. That damage won’t go away on its own, so contact a restoration company to make repairs as soon as you notice them.
  • Tarnishing: Bronze plaques, pictures or other features can tarnish over time. Luckily, a restoration company can use specialized cleaners to reverse this tarnishing if it’s caught early enough.

We can restore any headstone

If your loved one’s memorial has seen better days, hire our team at Harsha Monument Co. for monument repair. We’re experts in restoring all types of memorials to like-new condition. Contact us today to schedule our services or to learn some more tips on how to maintain headstones in winter.