On the 12th of June 2021 Cris and I were invited over to the Adams County, Iowa to teach them a few things about headstones. We spent a few hours showing them how to clean headstone with highly diluted soap. But the most important thing they left with, is water will do 90% of the work. They learned the importance of always starting and finishing with pure water.
They now know that soap can help, but is not usually necessary. Between water and the sun, you can make a major difference. They learned the importance of pH neutrality. They learned that a stone in itself will retain water and that is the importance of water cleaning prior to anything else, with a couple exceptions. They saw many stone change from lichen covered to legible in a matter of minutes. They saw the dirt and grime come off with a little scrubbing.
As the Ames Middle School Cemetery Club states, WATER, WATER, WATER… Water can be the friend of a stone. They also learned how to use bond 2 sections of a monument back together. This is not 2 pieces of a broken stone, this is 2 sections that stack. I showed the join tight to help the slow the sliding of stones. This can be a big help until the stone can be reset. Once a stone has fallen, many times it is forgotten.
Prior to leaving we showed them what D/2 is. We sprayed a few stone for them so when we head back down there this fall, we will let them know about the change. All in all it was a fun time with a great group of people.