Good Evidence of the Value of Cleaning Cemetery Headstones

Cross-posted from The Hanneman Archive

Over the past several years, I’ve done restoration and cleaningof many grave monuments across Wisconsin. Since the special chemicals used to clean the monuments can take a month or more to  take full effect, I don’t often see the final, final product. So I was very impressed with a photograph of the monument of my great-grandmother, Mary Helen (Ladick) Treutel, sent by a dear cousin, Shirley (Ladick) Oleson.

I treated and cleaned this stone at St. James Catholic Cemetery in Vesper, Wis., in the summer of 2017. Mary Treutel’s monument was badly stained by black mold,which was even more apparent on the white stone surface. During the cleaning process, this became apparent with the many color changes caused by the cleaning chemicals.Many people don’t realize that mold, lichens and other growths are very harmful to the often-delicate headstones.

Before cleaning: black mold deeply stained this monument.

When I last saw this headstone in August 2017, it still had a bit of an orange glow. TheD/2 cleaning chemical(the only one approved for use at Arlington National Cemetery) continues to work with rain and sun for three to four weeks. You can see the progression in the photo gallery below:

The video below shows how this monument looked as it was given a final rinse:

 

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