Graffiti is everywhere; it is unsightly, costly to business and ruins public spaces. These “taggers” consider themselves graffiti artists and not property defacers. The important thing is to remove any graffiti as soon as it appear, otherwise it becomes an open invitation for others to add to.
What steps you take to maximize protection on the business premises you maintain.
There are actually two issues, that being indoor and outdoor graffiti. For outdoors graffiti, you can use environmentally friendly graffiti removal solutions that are applied over the tag, let it sit and keep it from drying on by reapplying if required (application time is the most important step for good results). You then use high pressure hot water to wash it off. The hardest removals are porous surfaces which often leave “shadow” effects. The solution dissolves the graffiti and the hot powerful spray gets in at it.
Indoor (primarily bathroom stalls and walls), you’ll want to use less aggressive products trying not to cut into the existing surface paint on walls. Some FM’s report they have had success with surface sealers that repel graffiti, however this makes resurfacing of the area (repainting) difficult. There are other products which is applied on the existing surface that can be peeled off (like a skin) when covered with graffiti.
There are also some very good anti graffiti paints on the market which make it much more easier to remove graffiti.
Here are some product suggestions from FM’s:
Graffiti Armour is a product that provides a clear coat protection to any masonry surface and if anyone tries to graffiti a surface protected by Graffiti Armour it just wipes off with water.
Graffiti Stripper removes graffiti from any unprotected surfaces.
Dymon’s “Scrubs Graffiti Remover” towels
The best approach is probably a combined proactive and reactive approach. Use something like the Graffiti Armor for initial protection and then respond quickly with regards to removal.
Update – November 30, 2012
Mary Arabia-Galgon, Senior Property Manager at Century 21 Advantage-Gold in Philadelphia contributed the following information via the BOMA LinkedIn Discussion Group: “Try as well to contact local graffiti removal community groups. In Philadelphia, we call the Center City District, they come right out and remove graffiti at no charge.
Mary is indeed correct. I did a quick search here in NYC and they have a similar program via the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit called Graffiti Free NYC. It offers free graffiti removal to properties throughout the five boroughs. The program will only remove graffiti from private property below the second story. Barring special circumstances, this does not include lampposts, sidewalks or signage.