Measures for Preventing Property Damage at Cemeteries

May 28, 2019

Over a period of time, gravestones, headstones, and cemetery grounds fall victim to a number of exposures and elements that can affect their overall quality. With factors such as weather, climate, time, and vandalism, protecting the overall integrity of a cemetery and all that rests inside it becomes a regular top priority for those who look over them.

It’s important for cemeteries to be aware of exposures and factors that can alter the overall state of the grounds. Being proactive in preventing vandalism and further damage to gravestones and headstones by way of climate should be in the foundation of regular on-site operations. Here are some things to look out for and how to prevent further property damage.

Preventing Vandalism at a Cemetery

Cemeteries across the country have fallen victim to vandalism in many forms for centuries. Unfortunately, this is something that continues to this day, like earlier this year when a Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts saw 59 of its gravestones vandalized. While not every violation like this can be stopped, there are a number of measures that can be taken to slow it down and keep awareness high.

One way to do this is through more security and technology resources to literally keep an eye on all corners and hidden spaces of a cemetery. Motion-detection cameras and lights can be installed to shine a light on any infiltration onto cemetery grounds. While this kind of solution isn’t exactly cheap, it can definitely help to curb the amount of money it costs to clean up after the fact.

By choosing high-quality monitoring systems, there is a good chance that criminals see their plans foiled before execution.

Also, cemeteries, if financially able, should look into additional security stations and security professionals monitoring the entire grounds around the clock. Having a physical presence overlooking the grounds can help deter vandals from entering onto the property at all times of day.

Preventing Weather and Climate Damage

Rainstorms, floods, heat, humidity, sunlight, mist, etc.–these and more are all the different weather and climate factors that lead to damage to cemeteries. Weather effects can be as subtle as ice cutting away at monuments after years of winter, cumulative like acid rain causing melting to occur on headstones, or drastic like with flooding as we’ve seen in places like New Orleans. While there can only be so much done to protect against major disasters, protecting against natural everyday occurrences can be possible.

Cemeteries can invest in tarp coverage to hang overhead and protect gravestones from sunlight and rain. Also, it should be regular maintenance, but making sure to keep headstones cleaned with non-acidic cleaners can help to limit deterioration that can settle in over time, especially with different acidic elements that can take a toll.

While not every risk can be protected against, there are simple measures that can be taken to keep damage low and integrity high at cemeteries.

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