A memorial garden bench is one of the few places where a deceased’s loved ones can grieve, find peace, remember their loved one, and feel closer to them. Being such a special, significant place, it cannot bear signs of degradation.
However, time takes its toll on all objects, including memorial benches. To avoid or at least delay degradation, it is important to choose a durable, practical memorial bench and ensure its proper maintenance.
There are two popular materials for memorial garden benches: hardwood and concrete. Each type has different maintenance requirements. If you have not yet bought the bench, the following information can help you choose a durable and practical model. If you have already bought it, this is your chance to find out how to keep it in good condition for a long time.
How to Maintain a Memorial Garden Bench Made of Hardwood
To prevent time and weather from leaving their mark on a memorial hardwood bench, you need to take several simple but effective measures:
- Secure the bench to a concrete platform using I-shaped brackets and anchor bolts to avoid theft and storm damage.
- Wipe the bench clean regularly, to remove dead leaves and surface debris. They could lead to stains, or retain moisture and damage the surface coating.
- If the bench is installed in a private memorial garden, consider acquiring a weatherproof cover to protect it during the harsh weather periods.
- Recoat regularly with varnish or oil to nourish the wood and protect it against the scorching sun and the rain.
Varnishing or Treating a Wooden Memorial Bench
Before applying varnish, you will need to remove the old coating. This is best done with a varnish or paint stripper. Look for one that does not require rinsing or allows rinsing with water only, to avoid stains or residues.
When applying the stripper, follow the instructions on the label. You’ll probably have to let it work for a few minutes and then scrape the old varnish or paint with a plastic scraper or a round putty knife. Rinse the surface thoroughly, and then let it dry naturally for a few days.
Once it is dry, sand it lightly with medium-grit sandpaper, to allow the new varnish to adhere to it. After sanding, use a damp cloth to remove any dust and residues. For best results, use exterior varnish, applied over an epoxy coating. Apply the epoxy in three thin layers and sand it lightly with fine grit paper to ensure proper adherence of the varnish.
If your memorial garden bench is made of teak or was never varnished, you may want to preserve its natural appearance by coating it with exterior oil. Teak oil does a great job nourishing the wood and preventing drying and weathering.
Before applying it, scrub the bench thoroughly with a brush and warm soapy water, to remove surface vegetation and debris. Let the bench dry naturally. Then, apply the oil with a cloth or a soft brush. Let it dry off for a few minutes before finishing the surface with fine grit sandpaper. You can apply up to four layers of oil but spread it thoroughly to avoid stains.
How to Maintain a Memorial Garden Bench Made of Concrete
Concrete memorial benches require far less maintenance than wooden ones, and they preserve their appearance for longer. All you need to do in order to keep them looking neat throughout the years is to:
- Sweep out any dirt, debris, grass or leaves with a soft broom.
- Scrub the bench thoroughly using an abrasive sponge or a wire brush and plenty of warm, soapy water (no solvents or bleaches, as they may stain the surface).
- Rinse the soap and residues thoroughly with clean water (you can even use your garden hose).
- Use a towel or cloth to dry the bench.
Stone Cast Concrete for Long-Lasting, Easy Maintenance Memorial Garden Benches
As you can see, concrete benches are far easier to maintain than their wooden counterparts. At The Comfort Company, we know how important it is for you to have the bench honoring the memory of your loved one looking as new all the time.
That is why we use stone cast concrete for our memorial garden benches. They look, feel, weigh, and withstand time and weather just like true stone. Check out our newest memorial garden bench offers here!