The Albany Grave Digger can confidently clean, repair, and conserve the gravestones of your ancestors and loved ones. Only best practice methods approved by the Association for Gravestone Studies are used. Water, D2 Biological Solution, and light scrubbing is used to clean the gravestones. No harsh chemicals, bleach, abrasives, or sand blasting is ever used in our process.
Repairs made to gravestones use only the best materials available for historic preservation of your gravestone. Old world lime-based mortars such as St. Astier Natural Hydraulic Lime and Lithomex are utilized by us. Portland Cement is never used. German-based Akemi Akepox epoxy specific for repair of marble and granite is our go-to product for making repairs to broken stones.
For gravestone cleaning and restoration, please note that all gravestones are not created equal. All gravestones will “clean-up” in varying degrees. Some will clean spectacularly and then some others will simply look OK afterward. But, there will be a noticeable improvement.
Prices vary due to the scope of work that is necessary. Prospective work will require a free preliminary site visit to the burying ground to assess and inspect the gravestone/s that require attention. Analysis of the plot is necessary to formulate a safe plan to begin work. The safety of the gravestone and that of the conservator is Number One. While surveying the spot an inventory will be taken as to the materials and quantities needed to make repairs.
A picture says one thousand words. The following photographs detail before and after progress of various gravestone restoration projects undertaken by the Albany Grave Digger. Please contact us at AlbanyGraveDigger@gmail.com with any questions and to set up an appointment for a site visit so that your family plot can be fully assessed.
The gravestone for Casparus Pruyn was originally buried six inches below grade. His stone was broken into four pieces, epoxied together with Akemi Akepox 2030, and the infill completed with St. Astier Lithomex lime mortar. The stone is set into a newly fabricated hidden base and secured with NHL 3.5 lime mortar.
Colonel Nicholas van Rensselaer’s gravestone was leaning. The area surrounding the stone was excavated, leveled, backfilled with stone dust, and tamped throughout the process. D2 Biological Solution was applied to remove lichens, mold, mildew, and pollutants.
The marble tablet-style gravestone for Colonel Frederick Andes was broken. The lower fragment missing. The stone is set into a newly fabricated base and secured with NHL 3.5 lime mortar. D2 Biological Solution was applied to remove lichens, mold, mildew, and pollutants.
The mortise and tenon style gravestone for Anna Vonhof was broken from its base. The stone sunk below grade, was removed, and cleaned with D2. The base was removed, raised, and leveled. The broken mortise and tenon stone was rebuilt using Lithomex, set into its base, and secured with NHL 3.5 mortar.
The Bender Plot was a complete rebuild. Every gravestone was damaged. A video was created to detail the work involved in putting this plot back together. Click on the above link to view the video. The products used to return this plot were what was used in the earlier posts.
The granite monument and base for Henry F. Clas were crooked. Monument was moved from base. The base was removed from soil and leveled with a tamped base of stone dust. The granite monument was replaced onto the base. Both the monument and the base had D2 applied.
Peter and Julia Schamer’s granite gravestone was toppled due to its base sinking forward. Monument was moved away from its base. The base was removed from soil and leveled with a tamped base of stone dust. The granite monument was replaced onto the base. Both the monument and the base had D2 applied.
The Lauster obelisk was severely leaning and in danger of toppling over. Utilizing a tripod, chain hoist, and nylon straps the obelisk was dismantled. A new tamped stone dust foundation was installed. The obelisk was then reassembled.
Great grand uncle George James Eager’s granite grave marker with severe lichen growth in July. The marker was gently scrubbed with D2 to remove biological growth. Next photo was taken in October. The power of D2. Note, the lilies surrounding the marker were not harmed from use of D2.
Great great great great great great grandparents, Samuel and Mary Hitchcock tablet style gravestones were located, excavated, cleaned with D2, and set upon a raised tamped bed of stone dust.
The Plumb lot was completely rebuilt. All of the marble gravestones were cleaned with D2, the bases leveled and set upon a tamped bed of stone dust, repinned, and mortared to its accompanying base with NHL 3.5 lime mortar.
The van Rensselaer plot was a complete build. Most of the gravestones needed releveling and repair. All stones were cleaned with D2 Biological Solution.
The double gravestone Becker monument toppled and was unlevel. A new tamped crusher-run and stone dust foundation was installed. All pieces were cleaned with D2 Biological Solution. Original iron pins were removed and replaced with aluminum rod. All pieces were secured to each other with lime based Lithomex mortar.
This small cemetery was a complete rebuild. All of the marble table-style gravestones were toppled and three were broken. All gravestones were cleaned with D2 Biological Solution. Repairs were made with Akemi Akepox 2030 epoxy. Otterbein lime mortar was used to infill and fabricate missing stone. Gravestones were set in tamped crusher-run and stone dust to hold upright in place.
The marble mortis and tenon style gravestone for Frederick Stroebel was detached from its sunken and unlevel base. The stone was cleaned with D2 Biological Solution. The base was raised and leveled with crusher run and stone dust. Next the stone was reset into its base with NHL 3.5 mortar. Repairs to the gravestone were made with Otterbein Natural Hydralic Lime mortar.
The iron pinned marble gravestone for “Sophie High Dog” was detached from its sunken and unlevel base. The stone was cleaned with D2 Biological Solution. The base was raised and leveled with crusher run and stone dust. The iron pins were removed from the gravestone and base and replaced with new aluminum pins. The stone was reattached to its base with NHL 3.5 mortar.
The plot of Levi and Mary Johnson was a complete rebuild. All gravestones were cleaned with D2 Biological Solution. The large marble gravestone for Reverned Nathanial Pauls was buried six inches below the surface. The stone was broken in five pieces. After the lower fragment was uprighted and leveled into a new crusher run and stone dust foundation, the upper pieces were reattached with Akemi Akepox 2030 expoxy. The infill utilized was Otterbein lime mortar.
The small marble gravestone and base for Johann Meyer fell backwards and sunk flush with the earth. The stone was removed from the ground, cleaned with D2 Biological Solution and reset into a new leveled crusher run and stone dust foundation.
The Griesmann lot was a complete rebuild. All of the marble grave rails and small crescent shaped gravestones had sunk into the ground. All pieces were removed from the earth; cleaned with D2 Biological Solution, and reset and leveled on top of a compacted stone dust foundation. Some of the gravestone rails were missing and could not be located.
The Kearney monument was a complete rebuild. The foundation collapsed enabling the gravestone to fall. A new crusher run and stone dust foundation was installed. All stone pieces were cleaned with D2 Biological Solution. All iron pins were removed and replaced with fiberglass rebar pins.
The broken Bogart gravestone was cleaned with D2 Biological Solution and epoxied with Akemi Akepox 2030. The stone was secured into its slotted base with NHL 3.5 lime based mortar. The repair infill was Otterbein lime based mortar. The base sits upon a new tamped crusher run foundation.