What causes gravestone weathering?

Physical erosion is the natural degradation of the rock through wind, rain, etc, as well as through freeze/thaw cycles. Biological erosion details the effects of trees, shrubs, lichens, and vines of the rock, which can lead to damage to the surface and body of the gravestones.

Why do gravestones turn black?

The reason is most likely algae, lichen, moss, mold, or mildew growth and stains. These growths develop on the surface, making headstones and memorials look dark and dirty. The majority of monuments sit outside and are constantly subjected to moist, humid conditions.

Why do gravestones fall over?

All ground moves, but the main reason headstones lean is the coffin. This gradually collapses and the ground sinks. In older burial grounds where monolith headstones have been installed, if they lean it is usually forwards, towards the grave because of the coffin collapse.

How do you clean a weathered gravestone?

Cleaning Gravestones

  1. Ask yourself if it really needs cleaning. …
  2. Always use the gentlest method possible first. …
  3. Never use a wire or abrasive bristle brush. …
  4. Use lots of water and a soft plastic scraper, rinsing all the time, and using clean water each time.
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How do gravestones tell us weathering rates?

“The weathering rates of gravestones are an indication of changes in the acidity of rainfall between locations and over time,” Guertin said. … Calcite is a carbonate mineral, and so it reacts with any acid, including the weak rainfall acids, and dissolves.

What are examples of weathering?

Weathering is the wearing away of the surface of rock, soil, and minerals into smaller pieces. Example of weathering: Wind and water cause small pieces of rock to break off at the side of a mountain. Weathering can occur due to chemical and mechanical processes.

What are the 3 factors that affect the rate of weathering?

Rocks that are fully exposed to the atmosphere and environmental elements, such as wind, water and temperature fluctuations, will weather more rapidly than those covered by ground. Another factor that affects the rate of weathering is the composition of rock.

What types of weathering would act on a gravestone?

Chemical Weathering

Oxidation is caused by iron in the stone oxidizing, or rusting, when water and air are present. This causes stains to the gravestone, and can often be seen as the orange/yellow/brown patina on sandstones, due to their mineral content.

How do I keep my headstone from sinking?

One way to prevent this issue is by hiring a contractor to lay down a cement base around the grave marker. However, this can be an expensive process. This brings us to the next option for sinking gravestone repair. That option is the Grave Saver™.

How are headstones secured to the ground?

A ground anchor system is used to secure an upright headstone so that it will not fall or cause danger at some point in the future. … Memorials with a height of 20 or more inches should only be erected by using a ground anchor support system to prevent the risk of failure or damage.

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Can you use Dawn to clean a headstone?

Use a soft scrub brush to help remove dirt or moss. 3. A gentle cleaner like DAWN dishsoap along with lots of water will safely clean any type of headstone.

Can you use vinegar to clean headstones?

Do not use any ammonia, vinegar, or lemon cleaners, as their acidic formulas will eat away at the granite’s surface! Soak a clean rag or cloth in the soapy water, allowing the cleaning fluid to permeate it. … Then wipe the granite headstone thoroughly.

Can you use Simple Green to clean headstones?

Avoid using household dish soap or products like Simple Green since they can damage the surface of the stone.

How long should lettering on a headstone last?

Marble was one of the first types of stone to be imported for use as memorials and for sculpture. But it tends to erode when exposed, especially in salty air or acidic rain. However, provided lettering is carved into the marble materials properly, it should still be readable for many years.

What is dissolution weathering?

Types (Processes) of Chemical Weathering

1- Dissolution: Dissolution is the process whereby a mineral dissolves in a solvent as a result of the freeing up of its ions (i.e. transformation of the compound into free ions).

Which of the following can cause physical weathering?

Pressure, warm temperatures, water, and ice are common causes of physical weathering.