Welsh slate maintenance – little and often
One of the best qualities of Welsh slate is that it requires very little maintenance – it’s why the material has been famously used worldwide for roofing ever since the Roman period.
Welsh slate is unique in that it is 500 million years old and will maintain its beautiful colour even when left outside for hundreds of years.
The safest way to clean your Welsh slate memorials
Naturally, if you choose to place your marker or plaque in a flower bed or under a tree then you must consider that the pet memorial is likely to become dirty over time.
If you wish to clean your welsh slate markers and plaques ensure you follow these 3 easy steps:
- Splash some clean water over the memorial.
- Using a clean (preferably new) soft, lint free cloth and warm water, gently wipe away any dirt or patches of dirt. It is important to not use a dirty or old cloth as this may scratch the memorial slate.
- Finally, splash some clean water over the memorial once again ensuring all suds are washed from the memorial and especially out from the engraved lettering.
Laying a memorial flat in the garden
If you have a pet memorial plaque that’s laid flat on grass or in a flower bed, you may find that more regular maintenance is required for the lettering.
This is because when a plaque is resting at an angle or in an upright position (like the memorial markers) rain will naturally wash away a lot of the dirt which may collect in the engraved letters.
When a commemorative plaque is laid flat, the rain will easily gather in the letters and dirt will sit in the engraving – over time this may affect any infill on the lettering.
With regular maintenance you can keep the letters clean and this will help prevents any problems.
Dealing with fingerprints on your slate memorial
You may find that people can accidentally leave fingerprints on your slate memorials if they pick them up or touch them – do not worry, simply use a clean, soft, lint free cloth and gently wipe away any fingerprints.
You can also apply a small amount of baby oil or linseed oil to the whole memorial which will be temporarily absorbed into the slate making the material appear a little darker.
Dealing with scratches on your slate memorial
If you accidentally scratch your slate memorial do not panic, slate is a soft stone and scratches can occur – fortunately, scratches on slate material is also an easy to fix.
You just need to purchase 400 grit wet & dry paper which is very cheap, and carry out the following instructions:
- Use clean water to wash any dirt or grit from the memorial.
- Whilst the memorial is still wet use the 400 grit wet & dry paper and gently begin polishing the affected area – depending on how large the scratch is you may wish to re-polish the whole memorial.
- Wash the memorial again and leave it to dry. Once dry, assess the scratch and repeat the process if necessary.
- To finish you may wish to apply a small amount of baby oil or linseed oil when the plaque is dry. Ensure this is done with a clean, soft, lint free cloth.
- Do not use household cleaning products on slate especially bleach or acidic cleaners.
- Ensure your cleaning cloth is soft, lint free and clean otherwise you may scratch the memorial.
- Avoid using pesticides or other garden treatments with chemicals close to the memorial – if possible, remove the memorial prior to gardening and then replace after use.