As we are called to graffiti removal jobs of all sizes and on a wide range of properties, we commonly hear the same questions from property owners and managers about how to deal with graffiti removal.
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions and mis-conceptions people have when it comes to cleaning graffiti.
Can I just use a pressure cleaner to remove graffiti?
While some amount of graffiti can be removed from surfaces using pressure cleaning alone, this method usually results in permanent scaring of the surface from the harsh nature of the high pressure water. This can end up looking almost as bad as the graffiti, and will require a great deal of expense to repair.
A common mis-conception is that graffiti paint only effects the tops layer of surfaces it is applied to. However, paint can easily soak deep in to porous substrates like cement, stone and brick, making pressure cleaning alone very in-effective.
Textured surfaces like rendered walls also provide infinite crevasses where paint can pool and become thick. Once these dry they are rock-hard and strongly adhere to the surface.
The best process to clean these surfaces is through the use of a cleaning solution suited to both the type of graffiti paint used, and the surface that requires cleaning. This then allows for a much softer rinse down of the surface, which is less likely to cause any permanent damage to the area being cleaned.
Can you just paint over the graffiti?
In some cases, it is possible to quickly paint over graffiti, however simply doing this is usually not recommended.
Like any painting project, when painting over existing paint-work it is only advisable to use the same type of paint on top of the old paint. The colour difference in layered paint coats also needs to be taken into consideration, as dark colours under light ones will usually show through.
In order to properly cover up graffiti and ensure the new paint will adhere to the surface, it is best to either remove the graffiti before re-painting, or use a block-out paint or surface primer to give the new paint a good base layer and provide the best coverage.
It is also best to not just paint a small patch of a wall, as this usually results in easily see mis-match in colour. So it is more advisable to paint a full section of the wall or to architectural lines.
Can I use paint stripper to remove graffiti?
We would definitely not recommend this approach!
Strong chemicals such as paint strippers or even bleach will most often cause damage to the surface being cleaned and usually result in shadow stains on the area that has been treated.
This is where paint still remains deeper within the substrate and a ghost or shadow of the original graffiti can still be seen.
We are often called in to rectify this situation after people have attempted to clean graffiti using an un-suitable chemical or treatment process.
What is the best process to properly remove graffiti?
In order to achieve the best result and permanent stain marks and or structural damage to the property, the best approach is to use a cleaning solution and treatment process that is suited to the paint used in the graffiti while also not harmful to the surface being cleaned.
Our Technicians perform graffiti removal jobs by first selecting the correct cleaning solution for the particular surface type that has been vandalised.
Then using this in a treatment process that will break down the molecular structure of the graffiti paint, drawing it out to the surface of the substrate where it can be rinsed from the area being cleaned.
To finish, the entire surface is then fully neutralised to ensure all traces of the treatment process have been left in-active.
My local council will remove graffiti for free, why should I pay to have it done?
While many councils have teams that deal with graffiti, you should take the time to consider what process they use.
As most councils have limited budget to stretch across a wide range of community projects, they often don’t have the resources to properly deal with graffiti and will simply paint over it with what ever paint they have onboard at the time they come to site.
It also commonly takes councils many months to come and take any action, which means the graffiti is left on property for a long time before being cleaned. This is exactly what graffiti vandals are wanting, and the longer their handy-work is left in place the better.
One of the most effective deterrents of graffiti is quick and proper removal. By cleaning graffiti within a few days of it being applied, it sends a message to graffiti vandals that people will take quick action. This usually results in the vandals no longer targeting the property as they know it will just be removed straight away. So they look elsewhere and leave the property alone.
So if you’re having issues with graffiti at your property, give our customer service team a call and find out more about how we can help.