Memorial Day is right around the corner, and the long weekend that marks the unofficial start of summer is also a time when we pay our respects to those who are no longer with us. Unfortunately, growths such as lichen, moss and algae can make a mess of the most beautiful headstone, and even make the writing completely unreadable. Wet & Forget Outdoor eliminates even the toughest growths and makes your loved one’s memorial stone beautiful again with no scrubbing, and is gentle enough to use on any type of headstone. Read on to discover why Wet & Forget Outdoor is your top option for cleaning headstones, and to see more amazing before and after photos.
The Problem: Ugly Growths
Any type of headstone can fall victim to ugly growths such as lichen, moss, algae, or mold and mildew. All that’s necessary for these disfiguring stains to take hold is some moisture and the right amount of sunlight. Here are the most common culprits that can mar your loved one’s monument:
- Lichen. Lichen is a complex growth that can be just about any color, from green, to yellow, or even reddish. Lichen is extremely hardy: It can grow on almost any surface, even glass, and has been found on all of Earth’s continents, including Antarctica.
- Lichen is one of the most severe growths for headstones. This scaly growth can become thick enough to completely fill in carvings and make burial markers completely unreadable (see photos 1 and 2 above). Lichen forms a tight hold on the headstone that makes it stubborn and difficult to clean. Worse yet, if left unchecked, lichen’s grip can cause permanent pitting on some surfaces.
- Moss. Moss is a green, carpet-like simple plant that can grow on and around tombstones. Just like lichen, moss growth can fill in the writing on a tombstone and make it illegible. Moss’s root-like structures hold tightly to the tombstone’s surface, and can cause pitting on some surfaces. Moss also likes to grow in cracks and crevices, and can worsen any cracking or crumbling on a tombstone.
- Algae. Algae is a simple plant-like growth that can appear on many surfaces, including gravestones. Green algae is a smooth or slippery green growth that thrives where there is moisture and partial sunlight (click here to see a photo of green algae on vinyl siding). Black algae is a black or gray growth that also thrives where there is moisture and sunlight. Black algae’s protective dark capsule makes it able to grow even under the brightest direct sunlight, which is why it often invades rooftops and sidewalks. Black algae can make a gravestone look as though it’s been rubbed with soot, severely affecting its appearance (click here to see a photo of a cemetery that has fallen victim to black algae).
- Mold and mildew. “Mold and mildew” is a term we use to talk about a slippery, smelly fungal growth. Mold is usually black, gray or white, but it can also be other colors. Mold grows well in shady, damp areas, so gravestones in shaded parts of the cemetery are most susceptible to this musty-smelling growth.
“Enclosed please find my pictures of a very old family cemetery marker in Wisconsin. This marker was laden with moss and lichens and most of the names were hardly readable.
After only 2 applications of Wet & Forget last summer (2013) this is what the marker looks like now (spring 2014). We are so happy that your product makes such easy work of helping things look new again and keeping them that way with very little effort. Thank you for developing such a great product!”
— Joye D., WI
The Solution: Wet & Forget Outdoor
Lichen, moss, algae, mold and mildew can really ruin the appearance of any type of headstone. If you use caustic chemicals such as bleach to remove these growths, you risk damaging the surface of some types of tombstones. Bleaching also requires scrubbing, which can leave you with bleach-stained clothes and chapped hands, and can kill the grass surrounding the stone. And, after all that hassle, bleach does nothing to prevent growths from starting to re-form almost immediately.
Wet & Forget Outdoor Cleaner eliminates lichen, moss, algae, and mold and mildew with no scrubbing necessary. Just spray and leave to zap ugly growths and restore headstones to a clean, beautiful state. Wet & Forget Outdoor’s gentle, non-caustic formula is safe to use on any type of headstone, and it won’t kill the grass around the stone. Better still, Wet & Forget Outdoor continues working with the wind and rain over time to keep ugly growths away for a year or more in most cases. Just one simple treatment a year can keep headstones growth-free for good!
How to Clean a Headstone with Wet & Forget Outdoor
Cleaning headstones with Wet & Forget Outdoor couldn’t be easier! Simply:
- Mix one part Wet & Forget Outdoor with 5 parts water in a pump-up garden sprayer.
- Spray the affected area with the diluted Wet & Forget Outdoor. Allow at least 4 to 5 hours’ drying time before the threat of rain.
- Walk away, and let Wet & Forget outdoor do the work for you!
- Treat once a year, or at the first sign of re-growth.
*To remove moss, be sure to saturate the moss completely in order to allow the solution to reach the moss’s root-like structures. To remove lichen, follow these special instructions.