Graffiti is an ongoing issue faced by many of our clients. Especially commercial properties which are located in high-traffic areas. It’s also unfortunate that a freshly painted wall seems to signal “graffiti me” to the population of offenders. The reality is that graffiti can affect your business’ image in the eyes of potential clients. Luckily, our North Shore painters have years of experience in removing graffiti from commercial buildings. And whilst we don’t want to see a fresh paint job ruined any more than the building owners, we can provide a quick and efficient service to get your premises looking great again. The following steps detail our tried and true method of removing graffiti from your commercial building.
Identify your surface and what type of material was used for the graffiti
Spray paint is an amazing material, it can be applied to almost anything and have a lasting finish. Unfortunately when this material is used for bad rather than good, it can cause a major annoyance for commercial building owners. First, you need to work out what’s underneath the spray paint; brick, concrete, weatherboards, timber, not to mention aluminium signs and glass. Each material will have a different method for removing graffiti. Our North Shore painting team can assist with this.
Choose your weapon
Now you’ve identified what you’re working with, it’s time to choose your method. There are many different strategies, however we have the best results with the following methods:
1. Paint Over
If you’re lucky enough that the graffiti has been applied to a previously painted wall, this is the easiest solution to removing it. It’s not as simple as just throwing a coat of paint over the wall as there is substantial preparation to ensure the surface is ready.
2. Chemical removers
The paint industry has spent considerable resources on finding the magic solution – unfortunately it’s still a work in progress. There are, however, a good number of chemical removers which can assist with the graffiti removal process. These solvents are usually very harsh and toxic, so always ensure you use a professional North Shore painter, who understands the risks of such products and can adequately protect themselves, those exposed to the area and the environment. These solvents are strong stuff and need proper ventilation. Moreover, with the range of solvents available, a poorly matched graffiti remover to surface type can make your graffiti problem worse, not better.
3. Pressure washing
Whilst effective, this is another method which requires discretion, based on surface type. Simply attacking a brick wall with a waterblaster could have disastrous effects, with loose particles having the potential to not only injure yourself and those around you, but could leave your wall worse for wear. A professional North Shore painter will ensure your surface is properly looked after.
Pressure washing alone is not a complete solution and should be used in combination with other methods.
Often our North Shore Painting Team use a combination of the above methods for the best results. For example, painted masonry walls are a common canvas for vandals. These walls include brick, concrete, stone etc. For these walls we recommend power washing with a low pressure washer. Then, we hit it with paint remover, or chemical graffiti remover. This won’t eliminate every trace of the graffiti, but it will provide an even surface to allow for some additional coats of paint to finish the job. Before you know it, your wall will be looking better than it did before.
Protect your commercial building with a North Shore painter
Now that the offending graffiti has been successfully removed and your premises are ready to get back to business it might be worth considering a protective coating. There are two types of protective coatings against graffiti; sacrificial and non-sacrificial (or permanent).
Sacrificial coatings are protective, however come off when the graffiti is removed and must be reapplied (imagine a layer of Clingwrap over your walls). Permanent solutions remain on the wall and allow easy removal of graffiti, however are more expensive to apply in the first place.
These protective coatings aren’t widely available in hardware or paint stores to the general public. Which is why it’s important that you use a professional North Shore painter to recommend the right coating for your building and to apply it properly.
Apart from painting there are other non-paint methods for graffiti prevention. For example, Summit recommends ensuring all areas of your building are well lit at night, to deter offenders. Often, the risk of being caught can be enough for them to leave your premises alone. If you have come to work to find your walls tarnished, or are looking in to protecting your building from potential offenders, be sure to contact Summit Coatings to discuss how we can manage graffiti for your commercial residence.