Care Gravers Projects
The photo above is a perfect example of the kind of deterioration that occurs with just the right circumstances. This stone is located in a shady area under a tree and shows only minor moss build-up in the first photo. In the second photo, taken six years later, the moss has obliterated the child's name. To quote one comment: A life rediscovered!
Same Cemetery Plot, different angle. Serious damage to this plot. Dangerous condition to allow it to be in. The family has no descendants, so a cousin approved the work. We volunteered our time on this one, as it is in one of our favorite cemeteries in Mecklenburg county. The ground was leveled; Cleaned the stone makers, coping (coping still drying in after picture!) and vases. Removed broken vase. Refreshed stone. Perhaps not the most stunning grave plot, but now it looks 'normal' and not hazardous.
Another unique progression of before and after photos that we fortunately had an image from October 2009. The middle photo shows how quickly moss can take over in just six years. The final photo is after cleaning, not entirely dried yet, though.
The photo to the left is the same stone prior to cleaning, but showing how the moss actually looks after a soaking rain. The moss is much more rampant than it looks under dry conditions.
The technique used on this stone was a soft brushing with water; then an application of water and a non-toxic biological solution; careful picking away of moss from stubborn areas like inside letters, with a soft wooden tool; more rinsing, more soft brushing. This project took about an hour and a half, without allowing for drying time. Top, sides, back and base cleaned. Not just the front letter portion.
The headstone to the right side of this page shows a terrific amount of growth covering almost the entire surface. This job took a matter of weeks to improve to the level in the photo, but we are periodically visiting this grave and will continue to apply biological solution over time.
I believe the growth here is called black fungi, although the general treatment is the same as for moss and lichen.
We always start with a gentle washing with water and a soft bristle brush. The second efforts added more brushing and soaking with a biological solution. Although that was very effective the growth was embedded into the stone so deeply we determined that a more aggressive cleaning was required. Step three introduced soft wood tools gently to clean the design, letters and numbers as well as gently rub the entire surface of the stone.
It is important to remember, no matter how tempting, never use metal tools on a grave marker. Also, we do not use the product called Wet and Forget, as it is too toxic for humans and the environment.
Only projects worked on after August 2015 will be uploaded to this page.