Saturday, August 23, 2014

Broken Headstones Need A Little TLC

Visiting cemeteries before Memorial Day unfortunately revealed many broken tombstones.  Broken stones littered the grass as testaments to the rampage of a couple of bad egg teenage boys.  The reasons for brain-dead characterless young males is a theme for another discussion.  Unfortunately, others of that ilk had similarly devastated tombstones in the same cemeteries numerous times in previous years.

How do cemetery sextons and workers repair shattered sandstone markers?   Even when repaired, do they have any promise of a long life?  Possibly, but the loss of structural integrity will result in early failures in their projected life span.

It is hard to add just the right amount of epoxy glue to the broken seams of a tombstone.  The epoxy resin and hardening agent expand when mixed.  Only a little of mixture is needed between the faces of the broken stone. Misjudging the amount needed results in permanent waterfalls of adhesive on the faces of the stone.  A lot of experience with the adhesive product is needed by the person making the repairs if they are to minimize the adhesive overflow issue.   Hopefully that experience is missing in the life of the repair person because the headstones in their cemetery haven’t been damaged by vandals and equipment.

We appreciate the repairs of any broken headstone.  Without them, the pieces of the stone would be lost to us almost immediately.  With them, our ancestors still have a grave marker that will last for a decade or more if it was properly repaired giving us time to replace the broken marker.

Have the tombstones for your ancestral families been similarly broken or damaged?   If they were repaired are the repairs holding them together OK?  Did the adhesive overflow?  Were any of the pieces lost before the repairs were made?


Hoggard Jedidah headstone