While a piece of Banksy artwork on the side of your house could see resale value rocketing, generally speaking, graffiti is bad news.
Whether you’ve been the victim of a one-off act of vandalism, or your property is situated in a prime graffiti hotspot, knowing how to deal with rogue spray paint properly will prevent any permanent damage being done – and keep the property commercially appealing.
Off the shelf products
Whether you’re wandering around your local DIY superstore or shopping online, you’re likely to see a host of graffiti removal products that promise to work wonders against unwanted paint. You’ll find wipes, sprays, and brush-on solutions – but it’s very difficult to find any products that have more than a small handful of good reviews.
The reason is simple; there’s nothing that comes close to the effectiveness of calling in a graffiti removal specialist.
The kind of products that are readily available to the public might suffice for dealing with a bit of marker pen on the door of a toilet cubicle, but the people who are spraying or stencilling onto buildings are equipped with a variety of industrial-grade paints. The spray-paints that even the most casual graffiti artist uses are extremely weatherproof – and they’re designed to cling hard to all manner of surfaces, drying very quickly.
More harm than good
For the £15-£20 or so that you might spend on a pack of graffiti wipes, you might think they’re worth a try – but be warned, they may end up costing you more, further down the line.
The problem is, these products represent a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to removing paint – but the people spraying your building don’t stick to one kind of paint. Graffiti can be brushed on, sprayed, rollered – even thrown on – and the paint used can be anything from household gloss to specialist acrylics made and sold specifically for street art.
Poor attempts at removing graffiti are so common they even have a place in the lexicon of graffiti artists – a ‘ghost’ is the name given to a paint stain or shadow that remains after their handy-work has been badly removed.
Finding a good removal service
The kind of equipment you need to tackle graffiti effectively is likely to run into thousands of pound,; and that’s before you have the formal training required to learn how to use and handle it safely. As such, using the service of a well-equipped and reputable graffiti removal team makes solid financial sense.
As well as being able to handle the chemicals and tools needed to remove graffiti, a good service will also usually be able to safely work at height. This is especially useful since many graffiti artists appear to able to create their particular brand of art in all manner of precarious places – some well above ground level.
Although you’ll need to check your specific policy, you’ll find that many insurance companies cover against graffiti – so the cost of professional help is limited to a fairly modest excess most of the time too.
Prevention vs cure
If you own or manage a building that appears to be a constant target for vandals and their spray cans, then talking to a specialist cleaning service about sealing the surfaces in question might be a good long-term plan.
Wax-based semi-permeable coatings can be sourced for a huge range of surfaces, and while they prevent paint adhering, they don’t stop the surface ‘breathing’ so you don’t have to worry about issues with brickwork, concrete or stone moving forward.
Of course, a sealed surface won’t stop people trying to apply their art to your building – but it does mean that a bucket of soapy water and a sponge will remove it; making tackling on-going graffiti issues a lot less stressful!