Graffiti is a form of street art that can add an interesting visual element to a landscape and typically uses materials like spray paint, permanent markers, and other types of paint. However, graffiti vandalism is a crime that occurs in many regions. When the unwanted illustrations deface your property, it can be a nuisance you can’t ignore.
Wall graffiti can lower your property value and make your property look unkempt. Fortunately, there are steps to cleaning graffiti you can use to ensure the removal process is as quick and painless as possible. Read on for a short guide on graffiti removal.
A Guide to the Graffiti Removal Process
Graffiti can be an eyesore for property owners, but if you act immediately, you can limit the damage it causes. When you spot graffiti on walls, it’s best to remove it quickly before it bonds with the surface; adhering to the surface can make removal more difficult. It’s also important to use proven methods to clean graffiti, like power washing or a safe paint stripper, so the original wall surface isn’t tarnished.
Determine the Type of Surface
It’s important to know the type of surface you are dealing with when trying to remove spray paint and other materials from your property’s walls. Concrete, metal surfaces, glass, and masonry surfaces like marble or granite require specific methods to remove graffiti, so you don’t damage them.
For example, if your walls are brick, you may use an acid-based cleaner to dissolve the graffiti without harming the brick material below. However, if your walls are wood or vinyl, consider using an alkaline-based cleaner that can cut through any dirt buildup or discolorations left by spray paints and magic markers without worrying about harming your walls. Be sure to identify the surface type before removing spray paint for maximum effectiveness and safety.
Use Paint Remover
Graffiti removal products, like paint strippers, common paint thinner, lacquer thinner, light penetrating oil, and chemical removers, are designed to remove spray paint and magic marker ink from various surfaces. Before using any paint remover, read the instructions carefully and follow them closely. Most graffiti remover products and paint thinners may require the use of protective gloves and safety glasses, as they might contain toxic chemicals. You should also test the graffiti remover on a small, inconspicuous area of your property’s walls to ensure it does not damage the surface.
Pressure washing, also known as power washing, is another effective way to remove unwanted paint from your property’s walls. A pressure washer uses high-speed water to remove dirt, grime, and other materials from surfaces. Adjust the nozzle and pressure level for your working surface when you use a pressure washer. Too high can damage the surface, and too low won’t effectively remove any marks.
Use Baking Soda and Hot Water
A baking soda-based product can be a practical way to remove graffiti. You can also concoct your solution at the property by mixing baking soda and warm water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected areas and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, use a scrub brush to rub the affected surface gently. Rinse the area with water when you’re finished.
Paint Over the Graffiti
Tried everything to no avail? When all else fails, and you’re still having trouble removing the graffiti entirely, you can opt for a convenient solution: paint over the graffiti. This method may be helpful if the graffiti has bonded with more porous surfaces or if the material is damaged. First, clean the surface using one of the methods listed above. Then, paint over the remaining paint using a colour that matches the surrounding area.
Call a Professional
When the vandalism is extensive, or you’re unsure how to remove it safely, consider calling a professional property restoration company to help. Professional cleaning services may have access to higher-grade materials that the general public cannot buy, which might be more effective in removing graffiti and excess paint. They have the experience and tools necessary to safely and effectively remove graffiti from masonry, metal, and plastic surfaces without causing damage to your property.
Take Preventive Measures
Avoiding the sight of unwanted paint on your property’s walls is the best way to avoid the hassle of removing it. One way to prevent vandalism is to install security cameras. Unsolicited graffiti artists are less likely to target monitored areas. Another way to prevent graffiti is to plant thorny bushes or shrubs in front of the frequently targeted areas. Trespassers are less likely to risk injury to reach their target.
Graffiti is an unfortunate reality of living in a highly-populated area, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture on your property’s walls. Cleaning graffiti takes careful planning and the right tools for the job, but with a few simple steps, you can get it off quickly and keep your residence looking its best.
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