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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Not all graffiti is created equal..

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

A graffiti mural is very different than graffiti damage..

Victim of Graffiti or Vandalism?? Here is what you can do 

Has your home or business become the victim of a vandalism or graffiti? This is never a pleasant situation and can be difficult to remove. One very important part of the process is removing it as quickly as possible. The less time the graffiti is up the less likely it will continue to happen as it is meant to be seen and can also attract others to use your property, a battle ground of sorts. Also with the materials that are used the sooner they are removed the better as many can take time to set into the material they were sprayed on. Keep in mind graffiti is never easy to remove and will require some patience and elbow grease. 

Prevention is ideal. What you can do.

  • Motion sensor lights

  • Covering your property with a protective coating that will prevent sticking on some materials

  • Securing the property with fences or structures that will block access to the building

  • Use darker colors for painting outside this will deter due to visibility issues

  • Participate in Neighborhood watch groups.

  • Plant taller shrubs, climbing vines, or thorny plants on the edges of the property

  • Use graffiti art or murals to deter other unwanted artists.

Should you still become a victim of graffiti here are some tips for removing it. Depending on the scope of the damage, location, and material the damage is on you may need to hire a professional cleaning company. No matter if you hire someone or do the work yourself knowing the material it is on an the proper way to remove it will make things go more smoothly. Also we cannot stress enough that you have 24-72 hours to remove the damage or things get more complicated. There are environmentally safe products that you can use to remove the damage and it is always recommended to use those. There are options at times to paint over the damage but making sure you the right paint so that the graffiti will not seep through the paint and continue to show. Some communities even have volunteer programs to help with such problems as part of community beautification.  They may be able to help. Before you do any work lets talk about the best ways to clean off from some of the main materials. 

Removing Graffiti on Specific Surface Types

The first thing you need to do is figure out how porous the surface is. The more porous the surface the longer you will need to let the cleaner sit for it to soak into the area. While the cleaner is soaking into the materials it is advised that you scrub it to ensure a deep penetration. This can be done with a strong bristled brush or hand held scrub pad.

For some jobs you will need a power washer even to mix in the cleaner with the water to deeply penetrate the area. Always test a small spot for color fastness as well to ensure it is compatible with the surface and that you are using it for its intended purpose. If you are going to paint over the affected area make sure that the color will match the rest of the building once dry and that it is thick enough to not allow the graffiti to bleed through.  Making sure you are being safe and have the taken all precautionary steps prior to starting work is important. This will protect  you, the building and the environment.

Glass Surfaces:

  • Scrape it off. Use a razor blade in a holder and scrape at a 30 degree angle to the glass.

  • If the paint does not come off completely after using the razor blade, use ultra-fine bronze wool with water to gently rub the remaining paint off.

    Metal and masonry surfaces:

  • Power-wash with a pressure washer
  • Paint over the graffiti
  • Plastic Surfaces:

    • Try wiping it off with a light, penetrating oil. Do not use paint thinners as they can soften the plastic and can cause clouding (if clear plastic) or permanent tackiness of the surface.

    • If this does not work, you will have to paint over it.

      Wood Surfaces:

    • If the wood is not weathered and is sealed with paint, stain or sealer, remove it by wiping it with mineral spirits

    • Power wash it with a pressure washer

      We hope you never need to use these tips but in case you do we hope they were helpful. Remember help is only a phone call away.

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