Six Common Headstone Issues

By October 13, 2022 No Comments
Granite tombstone with dirt and mossy growth on front surface

Most folks tend to think that once headstones are in place all that needs to be done is to tidy up around the grave from time to time. Unfortunately, such is not the case. There are a number of issues that can come up with a headstone, some of which can be easily managed and others that will take some effort. In this post, we’re going to take a close look at some of the most common headstone issues and what can and should be done about them.

A Comprehensive Look at Issues Affecting Headstones for Graves

The headstone is an important element in keeping the memory of our lost loved one alive. They should be respectful, tasteful, and timeless in their appearance and the message they convey about the deceased. But no matter how much thought, effort, and money we put into the selection of a headstone, issues can still arise that require our attention. The following are the most common issues affecting gravestones in Littleton.

Tipped or Fallen Headstone

If the headstone is not installed by a professional there is a good chance it will fall over – and sooner rather than later. But even if the headstone is professionally installed if the ground was not properly prepared by the cemetery and subsidence occurs after the stone is placed it may wind up falling over. Of course, there is also the unfortunate possibility that vandals may tip the gravestone over, although this is pretty rare in this part of the country. Nonetheless, it does sometimes happen. Should a headstone fall over it can be difficult to affix responsibility. But in most cases, unless negligence by the cemetery can be proved, responsibility for maintenance and repair falls on the family.

The Gravestone Becomes Dirty

One of the many great things about living in this part of the country is the outdoor experience. From the high sweeping plains of the Colorado Plateau to the breathtaking vistas that await hikers in the mountains, the Centennial State offers natural wonders few others can match. But the great outdoors can be tough on grave markers that are bombarded with rain, sleet, snow, blowing dust, and detritus from the mountains all year long. As a result, it doesn’t take too long for a headstone to become dirty and eventually covered with lichen and moss. Cleaning the gravestone is also something the family will need to take care of. There are also a number of gravestone cleaning services that will restore the headstone for you for a fee.

Undergrowth Encroaching on the Grave Marker

Flat grave markers are often overrun by grass, weeds, moss, and other types of plant life. To the point that it can be hard to find the marker after a few years. There are a couple of ways you can deal with this issue. Either you can make regular visits to the grave with the necessary tools to cut back any encroaching undergrowth. Or you can encase the flat marker in a cement border. This is a more permanent option, and while it’s not terribly expensive it will cost something. This type of border is typically two to three inches high and thick enough to withstand being run into by the cemetery’s lawn mower.

The Headstone Starts to Tilt

Not every headstone that starts to lean winds up falling over. Some just sit there at an odd angle begging to be straightened back out. There are several reasons why a monument might start leaning, including heavy rains undermining the ground beneath the headstone, premature placement of the stone before the earth around the gravesite had time to settle, and a stone that was placed by well-intentioned but inexperienced family members in an effort to save money. Should the headstone on your loved one’s grave take on a tilt, call the professional tombstone designers at Mile High Memorials. We’ll be happy to set things right for you.


Over time headstones in Colorado are worn down by wind, snow, acid rain, soot, and other factors. In time the inscription can become barely readable. Although that typically won’t start happening for at least 100 years there are circumstances when it could happen much sooner. If the grave marker is made of limestone, for instance, you can expect that it will start to smooth out after only a couple of decades of exposure. That’s because limestone is a very soft material. If a parent or grandparent’s headstone has become unreadable you can have it replaced with something harder, like granite or quartzite, or you can have the pros at Mile High Memorials re-carve the inscription for you.

The Customer Changes Their Mind

While uncommon, it is not unheard of for family members to change their minds about the stone on their loved one’s grave. Perhaps they were never happy with the tone of the inscription. Or maybe they feel the stone does not express the essence of the departed and they want to swap it out for something they feel is more appropriate. If you feel the time has come to replace the headstone on your loved one’s grave talk to the team at Mile High Memorials. We’ll help you select an ideal headstone and install it for you at a very reasonable rate.

Contact Our Memorial Design Team

If you have questions or concerns about a loved one’s headstone or you want a quote on headstones prices contact Mile High Memorials by searching for “headstones near me” or by simply calling us at 303-794-3443.