Graffiti is a common problem in most towns and cities, but it is something that does need to be dealt with quickly, pretty much as soon as it appears, otherwise more comes with it.
Studies have shown that Graffiti has 3 common forms, hate, gang and generic patterns, which also have sub sets including self expression, rebellion, power and racial motivated. Whilst the perpetrators use the disguise of art and self expression, they have little regards for the cost of removal, the cost to tax payers and land owners – so it is regarded as a criminal act in all it’s forms.
A few weeks ago we were called in to look at a problem at a Community Hall in Oxfordshire which has been targeted of many occasions. The main issue was to remove the graffiti already in place, then provide a graffiti protection surface so the problem can be easily dealt with in the future.
The first job is to remove all traces of the previous attacks, ensuring the surface is clean and clear of all contamination and residues of paint and solvents. This is done with specially designed graffiti removal products which do not damage the surface but remove all traces, returning the surface to its original state. Some treatments do stain and make spots of graffiti evidence, but it is down to skill and practice to ensure this does not happen.
Once that is done, the whole area is jet washed with a detergent to remove all grease, oils and solvents prior to the anti-graffiti surface is applied. In this case, we applied two types of anti-graffiti coatings, one designed specifically for the stone and brickwork, the other for the woodwork and window sills etc.
Both anti graffiti coatings leave a clear film over the surfaces treated, which is resistent to impregnation but paint, spirit based solvents and pretty much anything else which could be used on it. Ok so it does not prevent the perpetrators trying, but it makes the cleaning off any subsequent activity very simple – the media cannot penetrate the coating and will not etch into it.
The opportunity was taken to clean up the whole area including cleaning off the flag stones, paving and return the building to a “just like new” state, making this area look pretty good.
The Council who own this property are making lots of changes to the area and this is only one small part of the overall scheme. I do struggle with those who wish to deface an area in which they live – surly it is better to live in a good looking area and not a graffiti ridden area? Anyway, lets hope this building now stays looking great.
If you have a graffiti problem, or want to know more about graffiti prevention materials and coatings, call Rapid Environmental Services now for a free consultation.