When we think of the spring season, things that typically come to mind include warmer weather, birds chirping, spring cleaning, puddles of rain, and flowers blooming. For cemetery owners, Spring is also the perfect time to prepare your memorial buildings for the summer and upcoming holidays, such as Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.
Why is mausoleum and columbarium maintenance required? For areas of the country that experience colder climates, frigid temperatures, snow, ice and freeze-thaw cycles can all impact your buildings’ structures, particularly their roofs. Even in warmer parts of the country, freezing may be rare but can still occur. In addition, debris accumulated during the winter months can add significant stress to roof systems, so it’s important for cemeteries across the country to perform preventative maintenance as spring nears.
Consistently maintaining your cemetery buildings, both community and private buildings, reduces potentially costly problems down the road. Roof leaks, drainage issues and inadequate ventilation are just a few problems that, if not addressed, can significantly damage the structure. A roof leak, which is most commonly caused by deterioration in the joints and flashings, can lead to dark spots on the walls and floor, shifts in the structure and unpleasant odors. A cemetery can benefit greatly from regular maintenance by identifying and repairing leaks early, which will help you avoid costly updates to fix the building or having to replace it.
While granite is durable and mostly maintenance-free, other components that make up the building structure require regular preventive care. When considering the type of maintenance you should do on a cemetery building, Coldspring offers the following eight tips to help you prepare your cemetery as the weather warms up. These include:
Click on the image for a printable version.
- Get up on the roof and conduct an inspection of its penetrations and flashing to identify any cracks or gaps. In addition, inspect around the foundation for any cracks.
- Clean flat roofs of all dirt, debris, contaminants and moisture.
- Check for water leaks. Dark spots on the walls and floors are good indicators that water is getting into your structure.
- Inspect joints and repair any that are loose with non-bleeding (NB) caulking.
- Remove debris from drains, gutters and downspouts to eliminate blockage that could lead to drainage issues.
- Prune branches hanging above your buildings to reduce debris accumulation on your roof and in your gutters and downspouts.
- Examine the air vents to ensure they are clear and properly sealed.
- Clear the weep holes on the bottom of bronze doors and windows to prevent trapping in any condensation.
Consider conducting bi-annual maintenance inspections—once in the spring and again in the fall. Regular preventive care of your buildings will protect your buildings year-round. General cleaning of the granite, using a mild detergent and soft bristle brush, also ensures your buildings will continue looking presentable to families and visitors.
Coldspring is your trusted resource for high-quality memorial buildings. For questions about maintaining your memorial building or designing your next one, contact your local Coldspring representative.