Headstone Repair is like restoring an old car. Some take alot of work while others just need very little done. Over the years people have come up with good & bad ideas on how to mend their families headstone. I have seen in person and on the internet some of both. The picture below show example of both and are picture I found on the internet so they dont belong to me or represents my work, just some examples. Without seeing the stone in person it wouldnt be right for me to give the proper instruction on how to fix each stone but I will point out the good or bad of each repair as it appears in the photo. I always love seeing photos of stone repair you have found so feel free to share them with me. Sharing ideas and seeing what others have done, good and bad, helps us all grow in our knowledge of stone repair. Before you do any repair consult myself or someone with the experience to make sure you dont harm the stone.
Here we have a stone with two different breaks that seem to have extreme wear at the breaks. If you look behind this stone you will see another one fixed in the same maner. Its obvious that this fix will only hold up until the wire rust apart leaving the stone vulnerable to fall and create new breaks.
Here we have a stone with what appears to be a center break and possibly a bottom break. This stone appears to have little wear at the center break and should have been a simple fix. I have no idea what the concrete at the bottom of the stone is for but I'm sure it shouldnt have been used. The galvanized steel frame would have been a good idea for a more permanant fix but was sloppy exacuted and wasnt used to help stand the stone back in place which would have been its intended purpose.
Here we have a stone with a simple lower to mid break. Its very obvious that they drilled through the stone and bolted this iron flat metal for support. As you can see in the picture, the iron is rusting and staining the stone but the most harm was done with the drill by creating a week spot in the stone where it is now drilled.
Not everyone in the Headstone preservation work would agree with me here but this is a great example of how metal can be used to give a more permanant fix. The metal used here is aluminum channel and was used properly so that it doesnt cover the face of the stone and is welded with braces in the back. The stone itself was nicely repaired and the metal was used to help support the stone to stand. This addition should last many years to come.
Here is another repair that some headstone preservationist might get ill over. I dont believe that this stone needed the addition of the concrete frame but it will provide extra protection. The mid break in the stone seems to be a simple one and would have required basic repair but the person who did the work on this wanted the added protection and did so in a neat and clean way that doesnt obstruct the face of the stone or damage the stone in any way.
My name is John Maxwell and I am a Co-Founder of Headstone Healers of Indiana and a Find-A-Grave Volunteer who enjoys working with old headstones. Many tell a story of days past and the people who lived then.