Choosing a gravestone is an important part of honoring our loved one's legacy, but you'll want to take steps to care for the stone and the gravesite. Here are a few things you should know about caring for a headstone and keeping the cemetery plot looking great year-round.
How often you clean the gravestone will depend on the weather and how dirty it becomes over time. You may want to bring your cleaning supplies every time you visit the cemetery so you are prepared to do a little touch-up cleaning whenever it's needed. For a granite or marble headstone, use a simple solution of bleach and water along with a gentle cloth. You can also purchase cleaning kits for gravestones, which are designed for the different types of materials. Bring along a soft-bristled toothbrush as well, as this can be used to clean dirt out of the engravings on the stone.
Clear Away Debris
You may not be able to visit the cemetery every day to be sure it's free from debris, such as leaves and sticks, but you should clear away these items whenever you visit. This keeps the stone neatly visible, and it can help to keep away small animals that might want to nest near the stone. Be sure to ask the cemetery director how often the sites are cleared, as this can give you an idea of how often to visit the plot to clean it off.
Add A Personal Touch
Another way headstone looking great is to add a few personal touches. You can add a wreath to reflect the different seasons, or you can bring a fresh bouquet of flowers every week. Be sure to follow the cemetery's rules about items added to the grave area, as some may prohibit items of certain sizes. You may also want to ask how often the cemetery removes these items, as they do come in from time to time to clear off the gravesites before trimming the grass.
Report Troubling Conditions
Not all cemeteries are managed by on-site staff, so if you see something concerning about the state of your loved one's gravesite or the cemetery in general, consider giving the director of the cemetery a call. Issues you should report might include flooding at the cemetery, headstones that have been knocked over, or other signs of vandalism. Taking the extra time to care for your loved one's gravesite and headstone can ensure that all family and friends who visit can feel comforted and reassured. Work with your cemetery director to ensure you follow all cemetery rules, and use this guide to help keep the area looking beautiful for years to come.