Memorial and Masonry Preservation

Carl Hughes of Meadowlark Memorials has had unique training in the preservation of historic gravestones and masonry structures. The combined skill and extensive experience in preservation has given Carl the opportunity to work in nearly every aspect of Monumental Preservation. Our Services include;

  • Re-erecting Fallen or broken memorials structures.
  • Structural repair of lost stone or stone elements and custom mortars.
  • Re-leveling of small or large memorials or masonry structures
  • Cemetery assessment with individual stone evaluation.
  • Replacement of damaged foundations
  • Moss and lichen removal and prevention
  • Stain removal
  • Replacing lost or broken lead lettering
  • Deeper engraving of unreadable inscriptions
  • Risk evaluation (detect unsafe gravestones) for cemetery insurance.

For more information about our gravestone preservation services, please contact us.

For examples of gravestone cleaning and preservation work, please view our preservation portfolio below.

Marble Preservation

Marble Preservation

Illustrated above is the before and after cleaning process of a historic marble memorial.

The cleaning process we use has proven to be the most effective and safest way to clean and preserve historic memorials. This technique has the longest lasting results and causes no damage to memorials. Improper cleaning methods are usually the main cause of damage to cemetery memorials.

Preservation of Memorials

Although some modern monument companies claim to offer monument restoration and preservation. Most use Inappropriate cleaning methods. Some will even sandblast historic stones to quickly make an old weathered marble stone look white again.

Sandblasting removes a protective layer opening the pores of the stone. This is usually detrimental to the stone.

Many old marble headstones have very lightly engraved inscriptions. Sandblasting over these inscriptions will ruin the design, making an old weathered stone even more weathered.

The desire to make things look like new is common but not realistic. Making a historic memorial look new again is not what we are trying to achieve.

The principle of Headstone preservation is to do no harm. Our aim is to Leave the grave site improved but not a Micky mouse version of what it once was.

Reasons and Methods

The memorials within Shaded areas of cemeteries are likely to have higher fungal growth than that of the memorials within the sunnier parts.

Growth effects on memorials

Micro organisms

  • Bacteria Can cause stone loss
  • Fungi can change the visual appearance of the stone
  • Algae’s provide the most visual changes

Other types of Damage

  • Salt Damage
  • Freeze and thaw cycles
  • Improper cleaning
  • Vandalism

Preservation Methods

  • Use the gentlest least invasive method
  • Consider long term effects
  • Minimize cleaning methods
  • DO NOT remove original surface

Cleaning known to damage stone

  • Bleach and bleach like products
  • Strong acids or bases
  • Power tools
  • Pressure washing