Tombstones can be damaged in many different ways some of which are abandonment, decay, plants growing over the tombstone, and from vandals. An easy way to clean and reserve tombstones is by first removing any plants that might have grown over the stones, then wetting the stone with running water, next you cleanse the stone with a cloth in a light circular motion being careful not to rub too hard, last you rinse off the stone with a hose.

Some people believe that it is not good to clean off the tombstones because they think that it takes away the history of the tombstone. Others believe that all tombstones should look just like they did when they first were placed there. Which ever you believe the directions above will help preserve and clean your tombstone.

If you have ever been to an old cemetery you might have noticed that some tombstones have fallen over and broken into pieces. To fix this many cemeteries try to infill the tombstone or use special materials to glue the pieces together. Some also make a kind of stand to try and help hold up the sign.

Some cemeteries have trouble locating where graves without tombstones are. However some cemeteries’ records are so good that they can easily locate where every grave in the whole cemetery is. However some cemeteries have poor records and need to use a machine called a penetrometer to measure the ground impact and locate tombstones without markers.

Rubbing of tombstones is usually done either so you can have your own copy of the tombstone to take home or so you can read the tombstone easier. Rubbing is not to be done directly on the tombstone its self but either on a separate sheet of wax paper or on a piece of fabric called interfacing. It is also not to be done with side chalk because they are known to leave marks on the tombstones.

Citation:
"The Use of Chalk." Saving Graves. 2005. Saving Graves. 23 Jan 2007 <http://www.savinggraves.org/education/bookshelf/chalk.html>.

Citation:
Foundation, Chicora. "Cemetery Preservation." Chicora Home. June 29, 2006. Chicora Foundation, Inc. 23 Jan 2007 <http://chicora.org/cemetery_preservation.htm>.