Cemetery monument installation is an important part of our work here at HGH and a specialised procedure that we’re often asked about.
From traditional memorials to benches and multi-piece monuments, the scope of work we carry out varies greatly. So let’s get started with some of our most frequently asked questions.
Is there a typical installation process?
Good question. Before we dive in, we should start by saying there’s no such thing as a typical installation process. It will vary depending on geographical location and the cemetery where the monument is being installed.
How is the headstone transported to the cemetery?
Our granite headstones are loaded onto a crane truck. If the cemetery in question is accessible and it is permitted, the crane truck will drive in and install the piece directly – taking great care to protect the grass being driven on.
If the monument plot is in an inconvenient location, or the cemetery is old and inaccessible, then the piece will be transported to its destination in a hand-cart.
How many pieces makes up a monument?
Upright Granite monuments are usually constructed from two pieces of granite. The upper headstone section, or die, which sits on a stone base. The die and base are joined together with a monument setting compound.
Is this how the monument stays in place?
Yes, the setting compound is a sealant – like putty – and it goes around the perimeter of the joint. Spacers – made from little pieces of lead – are then placed in each corner. The lead leaves a gap so the setting compound fills the void to create the necessary seal – this also stops the monument from rocking and prevents chipping.
Once the setting compound and lead are in place, the monument itself is placed on top of the base. We leave it to sit for a few minutes and then trim the perimeter with a knife to clean away the setting compound – before giving the monument a final wash and wipe down.
Do you need to follow a set of industry-wide Health & Safety regulations? If so, what are they and why are they important?
Every company has its own H&S methods, developed through experience. The health and safety of our team is of huge importance to us, so naturally, we do all we can to ensure our staff feel confident during the process of installation. From making sure there’s always at least a couple of team members on site at the same time, to ensuring the team has the correct work gear and safety equipment.
We recently acquired a new piece of equipment to help our team carry out their installations even more efficiently and safely. Watch this space for the first picture!
How do people look after the memorials once installed?
The great thing about granite memorials is that they’re nearly maintenance-free. In the event of a headstone getting dirty, a light mix of dish soap and water can be used to clean them up. If the memorial has a steeled surface and moss has begun to develop on it, it can be removed with white vinegar and water, along with a gentle scrub brush.
Is installing memorials an emotionally rewarding process?
Absolutely. It’s humbling – and rewarding – to know we’ve played a part in providing a place people can visit and reflect and remember their loved ones.
Got a question about sourcing granite? A new project you’d like to discuss?
We’ve been providing granite services in Canada and the USA for the last 90 years and our loyal customers come back time and again for our experience, knowledge and artistry. We’d love to help you build your artistic vision today, too. Contact us today and the conversation can begin!