Graffiti has long been a popular form of artistic expression, and many forms of street art add creative, cultural enhancements to a community. However, when vandals strike in the night and you find that your property has been tagged or targeted, graffiti can become a costly nuisance. The presence of unwelcome graffiti on businesses or facilities can have detrimental effects that extend far beyond mere aesthetics.
In this article we explore the impacts of graffiti, as well as removal options and preventative measures to reclaim your property’s image and reputation.

First & lasting impressions

Graffiti-covered walls can undermine a company’s professionalism and credibility. Customers, visitors, business partners and employees may associate the presence of graffiti or vandalism with neglect. This negative messaging about your organization can deter visitors, meaning that your sales and your reputation may suffer. By promptly addressing it with speedy removal, property managers can reclaim their professional, well-maintained environment.

Preserving property value

A one-time graffiti or similar incident is unlikely to impact your business, but ongoing graffiti issues can have a detrimental effect on property values. The presence of graffiti can signal a lack of security, making a facility more vulnerable to theft, property damage, and other acts of vandalism. Depending on the overall visibility, type or content of the graffiti, it could contribute to a sense of insecurity in the area. Potential clients, customers or investors may be discouraged from going to a property that appears neglected. A proactive approach not only safeguards your investment but also maintains the appeal of the surrounding neighborhood, benefiting the entire community.

A clean slate: effective methods for removing graffiti

Thankfully, there are several ways to remove unwanted graffiti from every type of surface. Some of these you can DIY, while others require the work of a professional maintenance or commercial janitorial service:

  1. Power washing. This is particularly effective for removing ink-based paint from concrete, brick and metal. However, on other surfaces, the high-pressure washing can strip off more than the graffiti.
  2. Solvent-based and chemical cleaners. Specialized graffiti removal cleaners or chemicals that are formulated to break down and dissolve different types of graffiti materials can be applied, then later washed away.
  3. Abrasive techniques. More stubborn cases may require the use of abrasive materials like sandblasting or soda blasting to physically remove the graffiti from the surface.
  4. Steam cleaning. For surfaces such as metal, glass, and smooth plastics, the high temperature and pressure of the steam can loosen the graffiti, making it easier to remove without the need for harsh chemicals.
  5. Paint over. In some cases, graffiti cannot be removed easily or without damaging certain surfaces. That’s when a careful paint matching and application can work wonders to hide graffiti effectively.

An ounce of prevention

If your property or facility has been struck by graffiti vandals, the best way to help ward off future disruption and expense is to consider preventative measures. Here are several options to help discourage future incidents, or at least make graffiti clean-up at your building a little easier next time:

Anti-graffiti coatings: As a preventive measure, an anti-graffiti coating creates a protective barrier that makes it easier to remove graffiti in the future. When graffiti appears on a surface with an anti-graffiti coating, the removal process becomes more efficient and less time-consuming.

Install surveillance systems: Implementing surveillance cameras in and around the business premises can act as a deterrent to potential vandals and provide evidence for possible legal action.

Adequate lighting: Proper lighting can make a significant difference in preventing vandalism. Well-lit areas make it more challenging for vandals to operate discreetly and reduces the appeal of targeting a property.

Planting vegetation: Strategically placing shrubs or climbing plants around the exterior of the business can act as a physical deterrent. Vandals may be less likely to target an area that is visually obstructed or difficult to access due to dense vegetation.

Prompt removal: Removing graffiti as soon as it appears sends a clear message that vandalism is not tolerated and that it’s a waste of time (and paint!) for anyone to bother with your property. The bottom line about most graffiti is that even one occurrence negatively impacts the perception, value, and safety of a property and it should not be ignored. At IONFS, our clients know that we are on site quickly to address vandalism issues promptly and professionally, helping to keep your operations running smoothly and your reputation intact. Our highly experienced, CIMS certified pros get the job done right – with added customer service care and attention. Connect with us today at 1-877-414-6637. We are your one-stop facility maintenance partners, coast to coast across Canada.