At Sarsfield Memorials we take pride in restoring existing memorials as well as supplying new ones. We do accept that our prices are higher than those charged by companies offering general grave cleaning and restoration services. However, there are reasons for this, which we will explain here.
In the last couple of years, we have received a lot of enquiries from customers who have paid to have their memorial cleaned and initially been happy with the job, only for problems to occur later.
A common mistake made by some cleaning companies is to use acidic chemicals on marble, which in time will yellow the stone. The same will happen when using a cleaner with a high alkaline content. The most appropriate way to clean marble is with warm soapy water and diamond abrasives. This method may take a little longer to yield the results, but the marble will not be damaged.
Lettering is another area of concern when it comes to cutting corners with grave restoration. Overpainting lead letters only provides a short term solution. Proper restoration of lettering involves re-cutting and leading them by hand and ideally should be done in the workshop. This does take time, it increases the cost, but it also guarantees lasting quality workmanship.
Restoring any memorial that is more than twenty years old often requires reinforcing it with a BS8415 anchor system. This was a national regulatory standard set down by the government in 2005 to regulate the industry when it comes to memorial safety. Local authorities periodically test all headstones and any that do not withstand a certain force are laid flat or have a stake put in place and it is the owner of the graves responsibility to have the memorial fixed to BS8415 standard. Only BRAMM or NAMM accredited fixers can work in cemeteries to install the anchoring.
Most local authorities do charge masons an annual registration fee to work in cemeteries, and we pay for our fixers to learn and get their BRAMM or NAMM accreditation. This is not about local authorities and masons looking after each other, it is about safety and ensuring only properly qualified people are working with memorials.
We must stress that cleaning and restoration of memorials is not an area which Sarsfield is reliant on to make ends meet. Our core business is assisting customers in providing a new and lasting memorial for their loved one. What we cannot ignore though, is the fact a number of companies have set themselves up as restoration service without investing in BRAMM or NAMM accreditation. We are more than happy to undertake such restoration work as we can guarantee all work will be done to full BRAMM standards, within the regulations and there will not be any cutting corners. That is why many customers who we have supplied memorials to over the last 76 years are approaching us to have their memorial refurbished and fixed inline with the British Standard which gives them peace of mind for future generations.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss a memorial restoration and in most circumstances we are able to provide a no obligation quote.