"Show me your cemeteries and
I will tell you what kind of people you have"
They May Be Gone...But
They Don't Have to Look Forgotten!
Specialist in Gravestone Cleaning, Conservation, and Preservation
Lee Brown 4105 Chatham Hill Rd. Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Our Service - In Honor:
Reflecting great empathy, care and Christian diligence we provide professional: Headstone Cleaning, Gravestone Cleaning, Weeding, Marker or Foot-stone Cleaning, Bronze Marker Restoration, Lichen Removal, Inscription enhancement, Delivery or Planting of Flowers, & Historic
Marker Preservation. We NEVER power wash, sand-blast or use harsh chemicals on any gravestones. We are OSHA certified, fully insured and trained specialists in restoration &
preservation. We are not a franchise, but a family and veteran owned service based in Winston-Salem with family roots in Surry and Yadkin counties. Most importantly, we are honored to provide this service for you.
Newer Granite Headstones
Also Need Cleaning
“There should be in every life, a place . . . where
you can come and visit your past, and the past of your people, ...here timelessness lives. All of us need
a place like that — a place where we can have history close at hand,
where we can see it, touch it, learn from it.”
— Ann Rivers Siddons, Novelist
(Notice how good the edge trimming
of the grass makes the marker look)
OUR MISSION -- is to provide you
and your love ones with the most ReMarkable service experience ever.
We are dedicated to the cleaning, preservation and care of grave-sites with dignity, respect, knowledge and professionalism. We promise to
maintain each grave with the same
"care and respect" that you would.
(special care for bronze)
What Damages Gravestones, Markers and Monuments:
- Carbonaceous or sooty soiling
- red clay, dirt, grime, age;
- pollution in the air - acid rain.
- Organic--algae, mold, fungi, lichens, moss,
- Stains--metallic, oils, hard-water, fertilizer,
- grass, weeds, wind, rain, freeze / thaw, ice, snow, UV damage,
- Efflorescence (salts) some are naturally occurring in the stone, others come from irrigation systems.
Over time dirt, moss, lichen or other pollutants will attach
themselves to gravestones' surfaces. One can see a lot of this around Mount Airy, Dobson, and Elkin. Not only does this make it very difficult
to read inscriptions and see other details it can actually cause permanent
How Do We Clean a Gravestone?
There are only a couple of safe ways to clean a tombstone AND many that are harmful. We prefer to use D2 Biological Solution. A neutral PH
balance non-ionic product that has been widely endorsed & used by the National Battlefield
Park Systems including Arlington Cemetery and endorsed by the
Veterans Administration. It has also been used to clean the White House, The Alamo and the
Acropolis in Athens Greece as well as 3 ½ million tombstones. This is a safe
"time released" product that is very unobtrusive to the stone and the environment. Orvus soap is also often used for initial cleaning to remove heavier
soiling found in Surry, Stokes, Wilkes, Guilford and Forsyth counties. Orvus has a neutral PH and is gentle enough to use on antique quilts made of vegetable died
materials. Setup, breakdown and cleaning a polished granite headstone takes about 2+ hours.
We believe and stand by the
Conservationist's creed “To
Do No Harm”
When possible, we try to even use distilled water
because distilled water is soft, has no chemicals and will not affect the stone by adjoining additives such as salt or
mineral deposits. These deposits in tap-water can cause a break-down in the
synthesis of the stone. Gravestones in Yadkin, Guilford, Davie and Davidson county are especially damaged by hard water.
If You Are Going to Clean the Grave Yourself --Please:
Avoid cleaning with detergents
that contain compounds like sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, sodium
sulfate, ammonium carbonate, and trisodium phosphate (TSP or Calgon); they
contribute in the build-up of soluble salts beneath the surface of the stone. Do NOT use a household cleaner like soap,
borax, Spic and Span, salt, shaving cream, bleach, Fantastik, Formula 409, muriatic acid, phosphoric
acid, and other strong acids and bases because they tend to be corrosive and can hurt older head stones. Remember,
biocidal cleaning is needed for lichen growth on headstones, especially
in Surry County, which shows in the form of grey and orange
patches. You must use professional Non-ionic detergents - meaning they
do not ionize, contain salts or carry
any electric or magnetic charge when they are dissolved in water.
Why Do You Need Us?
While cemeteries may be maintained, individual graves
usually aren't. The maintenance crew doesn't clean off mud, dirt, moss, lichen, black mold or trim encroaching grass off
the flat stone grave markers. The condition of your monument, mausoleums or grave marker,
unless damaged by the cemetery, is the sole responsibility of the family.
These are our loved ones ... our personal links to the past. Gravestone Guardians preserve your family’s history
GRAVESTONE AT A TIME
Gravestone Guardians, is a family and Veteran owned and
operated service, specializing in cleaning, maintaining, and honoring the
gravesite of your loved ones with dignity, respect, knowledge and
professionalism. We were founded on the values of cherishing the memories of our loved
one – something I learned from my Father
in caring for family graves in Surry County. Such a transferable value is important for generations to come.
...for Your Confidence
My story is not unlike many of yours. It is not always possible to properly upkeep
your family’s gravesite, no matter how much we loved those who have passed. You may live too far…in another country,
state or city; time commitment prevents you from giving the attention you
desire; health issues, travel costs or military deployment may be
keeping you from maintaining the graves to a high standard; or you may simply
not know how to properly care for a monument and fear that you will do more
harm than good. The answer – we would
be honored to help you watch over your loved ones.
When Gravestones Are More
Than 60 Years Old!
There is a big difference between the old marble or sandstone tombstones & monuments found in historic cemeteries near Elkin, Dobson, Wilkesboro, East Bend, Yadkinville, Booneville and even Greensboro versus the
granite markers found in more modern cemetery. Our experience has
taught us that to restore & preserve the older markers; a specialized type
of care is needed. This care can only be given by a tombstone & cemetery
conservator who has the correct knowledge as explained below.
Conservation of Artifacts - Should Monuments be Sealed?
Older, weaken and friable marble and sandstone monuments need to be strengthen or "Conserve" in order to prevent injury, decay, or loss. In the field of historic
preservation this means to perform procedures that help
protect and stabilize an artifact (marker, gravestone, monument) through a technique called "Consolidate or Densify". Monuments also need to breath or they become brittle. Therefore, instead of sealing a stone completely, a consolidate penetrates deeply
beneath the surface and re-bonds the molecular structure on a cellular
level. It finds the voids and fills them. It is not a sealer as the
stone can still breath, but it will limit the absorption of moisture, acid rain and pollutants to
a slower rate. Gravestone Guardians is the only team in North Carolina or Southwest Virginia that uses this advance engineering technique.
NOTE: The experts at Gravestone Preservation explain, "If a
stone is sealed, it will trap moisture inside along with soluble salts.
When the moisture moves towards the surface during the evaporation
process it carries mineral and salts along." This
mineral migration causes in a softer stone a hardening or crust and a weaken interior. Further complication comes when the stone is sealed, the minerals and salts still migrate towards the surface. Unable to escape -- the stone will never dry out -- leading to a massive tension failure. "Tablet Stone " headstones are monolithic, meaning it is one piece. Usually as much underground as there is above ground. Consequently, these flat headstones that stick up in our older cemeteries will wick up what ever is in the ground water.
Contact by Clicking Picture Above
or call 336-575-8721
The ONLY Safe Way to Clean Monuments
Our Services are Sometimes
As Simple and Inexpensive
as Cleaning Away Grass
and Delivering Flowers For
a Loving Family That Can't Be There.
Contact us for special pricing for cleaning entire cemeteries or consultation for Volunteer Projects.
ASK how Cleaning Monuments can Fund Your Cemetery Upkeep Committee.
200% Guarantee:If we damage the gravestone with our nationally approved cleaning methods, then I will refund your money and pay for someone else to clean it.(30-day Option)
Also see 1-year stay-clean guarantee in #3 "Covenant Understandings" below.
Services and Cost
Grave Markers (Gravestones, Headstones, Monuments, Tombstones) are a symbol and a tribute of the love and memories of our loved
ones who have passed on. A tool by which we pass on our heritage to our children. Cleaning gravestones is a way to honor and remember the
people that we will never forget.
the manner in which a nation cares for its dead,
will measure with mathematical exactness the tender
mercies of its people their respect for the laws of the
and their loyalty to high deeds." - William
Gravestone Bio Deep-Clean
Approximate 3 to 4 hours of service for the FIRST extensive cleaning of both the headstone and marker to remove dirt, pollutants, bird
droppings, lichen, algae, and other biological growth. Multiple visits, at no charge to you, may be
required to achieve adequate removal of biological growth. We also remove debris, litter, leaves, plant matter and trim
edging, weeding, watering and pruning of
plants / bushes.
(SPECIAL: Add flower delivery for $10 plus cost of flowers)
$80 per grave-site for 1st site.
$60 per grave-site for 2rd and 3rd. site.
$50 per grave-site for 4 or more sites.
(these discounts promote cleaning of entire family or community plots on the same date)
Marker or Foot-stone (standard size) is $10.00 when combined with headstone.
Price is for normal size
(one person) headstone and marker. Additional space is plus 30% per space.
Bronze Marker Restoration
Bronze markers have a protective clear-coat that is
worn away with time and UV exposure. Then it dulls, the letters fade away and the
copper changes colors. We restore those properties. Special treatment includes cleaning, color restoration, conditioning and sealing.
Rough or Older Monument Cleaning
Same as Gravestone Bio Deep-Clean but application is on rough or unpolished Granite, Marble, Sandstone or other similar stone.
$10.00 and up added to Gravestone Bio Deep-Clean according to condition of headstone.
50 years and
may be rough
Takes more time and the use of more expensive product.
Seal, Protect, & Polish Granite
This service combined with Gravestone Bio Deep-Clean comes with a FREE 50% Refund Guarantee. Sealing against enviromental damage. Guarantee to remain free of fungus for 18 months.
May require a access to electricity and a
2nd visit at no additional mileage charge.
Special Treatment to Conserve Older Marble, Limestone, or Sandstone Monuments.
3 visit treatment of calcium carbonate based stones such as sandstone, limestone and marble. Limit the absorption of moisture, acid raid and subsequent decay to a slower rate. (see Conservation of Artifacts in article above) Takes multiply visits to assure absorption and all but stop decay.
$70 per visit for each treatment of a typical headstone or $15 per square foot of over-size monuments. Mileage from shop applies.
$170 if you desire that "tablet stone" be extracted plus treatments.
This amazing treatment
has been used
on the White House.
Your choice of real
or artificial arrangements.
$20.00 plus cost of flowers and mileage.
$40.00 plus materials / mileage.
Darken letters and engraving
$25.00+ per head-stone or marker
only on polished granite.
Arial Photo Shoot
Still and video photography from above.
A restful visual story to pass on to generations.
Resurfacing of Concrete Slab
Basic Plot Maintenance
Removal of debris, litter, leaves, and plant matter.
Grass edging, weeding, and pruning of plants / bushes, Light cleaning of
headstone / grave marker. Recommended every 3 to 6 months.
3 to 6 months
of Bio deep-cleaning. Often used as a follow-up visit. Mileage applies. Before & after photo sent.
Subscription of Basic Plot Maintenance
Removal of debris, litter, leaves, and plant matter
edging, weeding, and pruning of plants/bushes, Light cleaning of
headstone / grave marker. Service after initial cleaning. Includes delivery cost of
$29.00 on a monthly subscription for
Includes delivery of FRESH
flowers. Cost of flowers
to be added. Before & After photo sent. Mileage applies.
Restoration of Gravestones, Markers and Monuments.
Repair and Restoration of leaning, broken, fallen or damaged gravestones, markers and monuments.
$300.00 and up
$35 charge for
a written preservation
a Condition &
"The Grave Saver"
This unique frame keeps grass and weeds from covering the grave-marker and from the marker sinking.
This long-lasting marker frame isa made from polyethylene / HDPE, an environmentally safe and recycled material. It resists UV damage, will not stain, swell, splinter, or crack due to freezing weather.
$150.00 includes "The Grave Saver" and installation when combined with gravestone cleaning.
Normal price is $199.00 plus mileage.
Over time, a grave marker weighing up to 100 lbs starts to sink in the ground and become overgrown with grass. The Grave Saver™ has a patented design which prevents grave markers from
sinking into the ground and being overgrown with grass.
Veteran's Grave Cleaning has a 10% discount and
is honored with the placement of a small US Flag.
"Heritage Preservation is Good for All of Us"
must adhere to each cemetery's regulations. To avoid additional charges,
provide the name of the cemetery,the address, any contact info (as best you can)
details of the location of the grave
within the cemetery. We understand that you may not always know the
the gravesite, but any information is better than none. To avoid
please provide the correct spelling of the loved
one's name, date of birth and date of death, or within close proximity
of the date to help us locate the grave. Tell us how long approximately
the grave has been there and what the stone is made of (granite,
marble, sandstone, slate, limestone, etc.) No refunds if a different
grave is cleaned due to
incorrect or insufficient information provided by the customer. There
is also a trip charge of $30 if you direct us a cemetery in error.
2) First visits are usually priced higher because the initial
cleaning can take hours if a headstone hasn’t been cleaned for many years.
Rates drop for subscription plans that provide regular cleaning. Photos will be emailed each visit.
GUARANTEE: Please be realistic, as it may not be possible to clean the
monument to an "as new" appearance without damage to the stone. Unless,
the stone was previously damaged we offer a Guarantee when the combined
"cleaning and sealing" are purchased; that
the cleaning will be 80% effective for 1-year or we will provide a 50%
REFUND or do the job over again for FREE.
As professional conservators, we use only products and processes that
for this type of service and we can only be held liable for any misuse of
those products. We are not responsible for damage to the monument that
would have been the result of normal "wear & tear", an act outside
our control, events related to the environment or the condition / associated risk inherent of
the monument. We DO NOT pressure wash or "particle blast", but we may use a
$9,000 Soft-Washing low-pressure unit that contains its own water supply and
water-heater if needed.
PLANNING IS IMPORTANT: Our goal is to provide the service within
fourteen days of payment. Flower deliver is within 3 days of the
assigned date. Fees may apply for last minute expedite or delivery
requests; or requests 14-days (other than flower delivery) before a
holiday. Full payment is made before the service and is non-refundable except as described in #3.
A photo will be emailed to you of before and after of the service.
Printed photos may be mailed for an additional $5.00 fee.
Any Special trip (flower delivery / planting, weeding, snow removal,
and similar one service jobs) will be at 22 cents a mile from office ($5
minimum). Bundled services are charged outside of zip code 27104.
There is no mileage charge for return visits for the same job in service.
8) Especially large tomb-stones, foot-stones, grave markers, or benches, monuments, signs, vases, plaques, mausoleum, etc. will be priced accordingly.
Lee Brown 4105 Chatham Hill Rd. Winston-Salem, NC 27104
--Goliath Plus His 4 Brothers Makes 5--
Common Cemetery Concerns
Weeds often grow out of control, and overwhelm most, if not
all of a cemetery. Weeds ruin healthy grass by taking nutrients away from it
and turning the grass around a grave brown or killing it entirely. However,
getting rid of these unwanted weeds is not as easy as simply spraying a weed
killer. The chemicals present in the weed killer could potentially damage any
headstones and grave markers that are near the weeds.
2. Basic Cemetery Responsibilities
Cemeteries offer a wide range of services, of which grounds
and building maintenance is their top priority. The world’s largest cemetery spans 2.32 square miles! Therefore, its not hard to imagine that the large size of your cemetery or the age of it, makes it difficult to maintain...and especially individual graves. In the case of church cemeteries, they are often maintained by a volunteer committee; so funding / donations, health of caregivers, age of the volunteers and the number of volunteers determine how much can be done and when.
Harsh weather, such as unbearable hot days, rain, snow, ice or sleet, makes it hard to
properly tend to cemeteries. After such weather, the soil in cemeteries often
becomes waterlogged, and completely flooded. This drowns the grass and creates
the formation of layers on the surfaces of headstones. At the other end of the
spectrum, drought also suffocates the soil and grass in cemeteries, drying out
all of the plants and cracking the earth.
Not everyone has the time to visit a loved one’s grave to
give it the proper care and maintenance it requires. Sometimes, families move
away from their childhood homes and the cities their loved one’s are buried i n,
and are unable to travel back and forth regularly to tend to or to even place
flowers on the grave.
5. Aging Grave Markers and Headstones
Over the years, headstones and other grave markers can
gather dirt, stains and biological growths from weather, or even simply age.
These appear on headstones in the form of colored patches and can be harmful
for headstones because they trap moisture on, and under the surface of the
stone. These growths might also secrete acids that are corrosive to the stone,
causing it to crack. A cracked stone is often to fragile to clean, and the
cracks become a permanent part of the headstone. To prevent this, headstones
and grave markers need to be gently cleaned regularly.
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