5 Tips for Business Graffiti Prevention & Removal

Brick Wall with Pac-Man Graffiti — Cleaning Equipment in Bellevue, WA

Whether you are a new or experienced business owner, you should learn how to prevent business graffiti and remove graffiti from your building exterior. Many business owners attempt to remove graffiti with substances or methods that damage the building surfaces or simply do not work. Then, they must pay for costly building repairs or pay to have a professional remove the graffiti.

Read on to learn five tips to prevent and remove business graffiti quickly and easily without damaging your building exterior.

1. Cover Exterior Surfaces With an Anti-Graffiti Coating

You can make future graffiti removal easier if you add an anti-graffiti coating to your building exterior surfaces now. While there several types of anti-graffiti coatings on the market today, all aim to prevent strong graffiti paint adherence so it can be rinsed away easily.

The two main types of anti-graffiti coatings include sacrificial and permanent coatings.

Sacrificial coatings are typically acrylic-, wax-, or polymer-based and prevent graffiti adherence well. However, you must remove this coating type from the building surface every time you remove graffiti. For this reason, you must reapply this coating type after every graffiti incident.

Permanent coatings vary in composition, but all formulas aim to keep graffiti paints and pigments from bonding to their surfaces. However, unlike sacrificial coatings, these coatings stay in place when you remove the graffiti, so they do not need frequent reapplication.

2. Try Pressure Washing the Surfaces

You can remove graffiti from many exterior building surfaces with a simple pressure washer, whether or not the surfaces are covered in anti-graffiti coatings. To do this, use a pressure washer to remove graffiti from metal; masonry, such as brick and stone; and wood surfaces.

Keep in mind, however, that you should not use a narrow pressure washer tip when removing graffiti because this can etch the masonry surfaces and damage other materials.

While a pressure washer can be an effective graffiti removal tool, this removal technique does not have a 100 percent success rate. Some graffiti types produce stains that are simply too stubborn to remove with this machine.

3. Keep Surface Type in Mind When Choosing a Graffiti Remover

Many graffiti removers on the market can break down dried paint and pigments to aid in easy graffiti removal. These removers are great options for almost all surfaces, including painted, metal, masonry, plastic, and wood surfaces.

However, you must choose a graffiti-removal solution designed for the specific surface you are removing graffiti from to ensure it does not damage the surface. While most graffiti removers have proprietary formulations, many contain chemicals known to break down paint and pigments, such as methylene chloride, ethyl acetate, and acetone.

If you’re using a graffiti remover designed for masonry, use a wire brush to work the solution into the stone, brick, or concrete pores, then rinse the remover and graffiti away with a garden hose or pressure washer set on a low psi.

Graffiti can typically be removed from smooth surfaces if you spray or wipe a coating of graffiti remover on the surface, leave the remover in place for several minutes (or as long as directed on the package), and then rinse the surface with water.

4. Remove Graffiti From Glass Carefully

If you find graffiti on your business windows, then do not attempt to use a pressure washer to remove it. Windows simply cannot handle the stress of a pressure washer psi setting powerful enough to remove paint.

Many business owners experience great success by simply scraping the dried paint off their windows with a simple razor blade. Then they can clean the windows as usual.

However, if you do not feel safe using a razor blade to remove graffiti from your windows or you find the paint too difficult to remove with this technique, you can instead apply a glass-safe graffiti remover. Then wipe the broken down paint and pigments away with a rag or other soft cloth.

5. Always Remove Graffiti Promptly

You should always remove graffiti as soon as possible after you discover it for several reasons. First, quick removal allows the graffiti paint less time to seep into the pores of porous surfaces and provides pigments less time to set and produce a stubborn stain.

In addition, quick graffiti removal can help prevent future vandalism. Graffiti artists typically like vandalizing locations where their markings will remain for an extended period of time and often hesitate to waste supplies and time vandalizing a building with an owner they know will remove the graffiti promptly.

Finally, when your patrons or clients see graffiti present on your building exterior for an extended period of time, they may think that you simply do not care about maintaining a professional image or that your business is an unsafe place, since graffiti is often rampant in crime-ridden areas.

Follow these five tips to help keep the exterior of your business graffiti-free. Contact the cleaning experts at Ben’s Cleaner Sales to purchase graffiti removal equipment, including pressure washers and biodegradable graffiti removers for all surfaces today.

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