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Borate Rods For protection against insect damage and decay fungi, borate rods can be inserted into holes drilled into the wood where moisture penetration is likely. Borates are low-level toxicity preservatives that are used to improve the durability of both new and in-service wood products. Borates effectively control termites, carpenter ants, a variety of beetles, and other wood boring insects. Topical borate treatments (liquids) applied to the surface offer no protection to the more vulnerable interior of wooden artifacts and are not recommended. Although not ideal in all situations because installation requires limited invasive drilling to insert the rod, borate-rod installation is not complicated and can be completed by anyone with basic carpentry skills and appropriate tools. To install borate rods, holes are drilled on the bottom or below-grade lateral face of markers or enclosure posts, the rods are inserted, and the holes are filled with either a pressure-treated wood plug or a plastic threaded plug (to aid in inserting additional rods during future inspection cycles). These rods are typically effective for three to ten years, depending on environmental conditions, but they should be regularly inspected and used as part of a long-term maintenance program. Repairs Wooden artifacts in cemeteries, regardless of their condition, are valuable cultural and historic artifacts and that every effort should be made to preserve such artifacts without altering the original materials. However, when repairs need to be made in order to protect the artifact—such as when a wooden grave marker can no longer stand upright due to complete failure of the in-ground portion or in the case of a grave enclosure where the structure has collapsed due to failure of one or more of the corner posts—repairs to the original artifact are necessary to protect it from further deterioration. A professional carpenter or conservator should be used to make any repairs to the wood. Prior to any repair work, however, the conditions that led to the artifact’s failure should be mitigated to prevent repeat failure or further damage. When repairing a deteriorated marker, fence, enclosure, or other artifact, efforts should be made to retain as much original material as possible. Despite a variety of possible repairs for wooden markers and other wooden artifacts, typically, the wood that is below ground will degrade long before the rest of the element. In some cases, it may be desirable to repair the marker or post by removing the damaged portion and attaching a new below-ground piece. The repair should not impair the aesthetic effect of the

Profile for Chris Davis

Markers XXVII  

Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies

Markers XXVII  

Annual Journal of the Association for Gravestone Studies

Profile for cvdavis
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