Graffiti is a common urban phenomenon that destroys property values and haunts the owner and city management when public surfaces are attacked. Removal is the only option other than painting over the surfaces, and surfaces like brick make this decision even harder.
Remove Graffiti ASAP
First on the discovery of marked property it is imperative to start removal as soon as possible, within a few days at least. It should be removed with 48 hours as the longer it goes the more it sets and cures.
Remove Graffiti from Metal with a Pressure Washer
Painted wood surface can sometimes be restored by the application of a rag and mineral spirits or the fall back to the 3000 pounds per square inch pressure washer. Last ditch solution is to repaint the surface.
Power Washing to Remove Graffiti from Wood
Urban communities have a plethora of metal surfaces in the form of signs. Many of these are ‘tagged’ by graffiti painters. Sometimes mineral spirits or WD-40 can remove the paint. But there are products that are designed to assault graffiti via a pressure washer. Tagaway and Taginator are two such products.
How to Remove Graffiti from Stucco or Masonry
For masonry go directly to the pressure washer. As these surfaces are porous you need to reach into the material to lift out the paint. Another option is sandblasting. This method uses high pressure air to propel an abrasive that cuts out the material. Everything from baking soda to steel is used for the abrasive.
Painting Over Outdoor Graffiti
Graffiti has its origins in ancient Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire. Yes; it is that old. Spray paint and marker pens are the tools of choice of the modern ‘tagger’. Some are just individuals that use tagging to satisfy their inner muse. But most tagging is gang related and is used to mark the gang’s territory. The term tagging refers to a specific style and reflects the identity of the artist. Starting out in the 1960’s graffiti was a expression used to promote political activism. Gangs use graffiti to mark territory. Many police departments have specialized details that investigate tagger incidents. As these serve as gang related messages and as such they can provide hints into criminal activity. Most landowners in ‘tagger land’ have to deal with graffiti on a regular basis. Many have developed a relationship with these law enforcement specialists. Taking a picture with a smart phone and sending a SMS message keeps law enforcement informed. Our interest is removal and integrity of the defaced surface. Chicago Transit Authority loses about a million dollars a year to vandalism costs which includes graffiti. Nationally graffiti removal costs Americans $12 billion a year. The environment also takes a hit. Solvents and propellants used in aerosol sprays spray gases that contribute to pollution. They emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that contribute to ground-level ozone levels and contribute to asthma producing smog.
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So, the problem is not unique or even modern. Hopefully you are not in an area where gangs are common, and the graffiti is only occasional. Graffiti can range from pure vandalism, to artful expression and a form of gang related communications. The pros at Woodedge Powerwashing have both pressure washers and sandblasters to tailor our response to your needs.