Maintaining and restoring a gravesite shows respect to the deceased, and for those who visit the site, as they may be upset to see a grave that is unkempt and neglected. Most cemeteries will provide some type of maintenance service, but not all do, and not all such cemeteries will be very thorough with their work. You may also discover a grave for a relative or someone else at an abandoned cemetery! To ensure you properly restore and maintain a gravesite and keep it looking its best for as long as possible, note a few mistakes to avoid in cemetery restoration work.
Raise the stone rather than tilting it
If a headstone has sunk into the ground or is tilted at all, you will probably need to raise it out of the ground completely before you can secure it properly. To do this, you may need a pulley or heavy tripod that is meant for lifting similar items, and you need to lift the stone straight out of the ground. Leaning or tilting that stone can put undue pressure on it, causing it to crack. You also don't want to accidentally drop the stone, as this can also cause it to crack or crumble! Dig carefully around the stone as it's being lifted so that you can gently push it straight up, and avoid tilting, rocking or otherwise trying to force it from its space.
Tamp the ground
If you need to dig up the area around the headstone or on the grave itself, you need to remember to tamp the ground when your work is done. Loose soil around a headstone can allow it to rock and tilt, and grass seed, planted flowers and other features on the gravesite can wash away when placed in soft and loose dirt. Be sure you bring a tamping tool with you when you visit the gravesite, so you can keep the soil firm and able to support the headstone and any other features.
Know the soil
Don't assume all soil is the same, as knowing the soil of a cemetery will help you to properly maintain a gravesite. If the soil is very damp, add some clay or lime around the headstone, so that it stays secure. Plant turf that grows in damp soil, such as buffalo or St. Augustine's. If the soil is very dry, add some composting sheets or river rock around the gravesite, as these will hold moisture in the soil, and plant palmetto turf and landscaping plants meant for drier climates.