Identify problem areas on the monument including rodent nests, insect nests, bird droppings, weather damage or physical deterioration. If parts of the stone monument deteriorate upon touching, do not attempt to restore it yourself. Leave the restoration to professionals. * 2
Scrub dirt, bird droppings and dust from the surface of the monument using a brush with bristles appropriate for the type of stone it is. Metal monuments or those made of hard stones like granite can be cleaned with tough bristles. Soft stones like limestone can degrade from the motion of hard bristles over the surface. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush on these monuments. * Sponsored Links
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Use distilled water with low water pressure from a squirt bottle when attempting to clean the monuments. Rain water and tap waters all have certain levels of ions which can deteriorate the surface. Never use a bucket of water in which to dip your brush as this will make the water supply dirty. Use a fresh spray of water each time. Use cleaners with a pH of 7 (neutral) to scrub away dirt. * 4
Apply a thin layer of consolidating agent to the surface of the stone. These chemicals will help bond the individual stone grains together to prevent deterioration. A common consolidating agent is known as Conservair. Products like it can be purchased online or from cemetery owners and maintenance companies. * 5
Secure chicken wire around crevices or perch areas on the monument where animals like to rest or nest. This will prevent them from making a home in the monument, and discourage birds from relieving themselves on it. This reduces the amount of clean-up work that needs to be done regularly as well as protects the monument from acidic excrement which can cause long-term damage. * 6
Seal off an area around the monument where people are not allowed to walk or sit. This will prevent the surrounding ground from becoming pressed and uneven, which would allow the monument to possibly tilt. Keep food off the grounds surrounding the monument; it could attract wildlife to nest in the monument.
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* RETURN TO HOME PAGE * Return to INDIA page * * Bhuj Earthquake of 26 January, 2001 * * UNESCO MISSION TO GUJARAT, INDIA, FOR THE CONSERVATION OF EARTHQUAKE-DAMAGED CULTURAL PROPERTIES * * Photographs © Randolph Langenbach / UNESCO, 2001 * * * BHUJ: Earthquake damage at the Chhatris, a monument under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India. * Background: * The magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck Gujarat, India at 8:46 AM on January 26, 2001 killed approximately 20,000 people and devastated a large number of villages and towns over a wide area of western Gujarat. Over 600,000 people were rendered homeless. The damage was particularly severe in the Kutch Region. Damage estimates in US dollars are estimated to be about $1.8 billion. * Unlike many recent earthquakes that have tended to more severely affect particular types of structures, this earthquake had a profound effect on structures of all types, from ancient to modern, from traditional masonry to contemporary reinforced concrete. In the city of Bhuj and in Kutch as a whole, the form of masonry bearing wall construction most commonly found in the region proved to be particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage. For those buildings which have survived, the level of damage is often extensive enough to make them particularly vulnerable to (1) being demolished hastily on the grounds that they pose life safety risks, or (2) being subject to further damage from...
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