Graffiti removers vary–some are environmentally safe and biodegradable, while others contain strong solvents. Be sure to do your homework and select a product that will remove the graffiti vandalism without damaging the surface material or polluting the environment. When using strong solvents, follow safety precautions and employ strict personal protection measures.
Porous surfaces such as concrete, stone and brick are the most difficult surfaces to remove graffiti from. Pressure washers that eject a high-pressure water blast may assist in removing graffiti from such surfaces, although care must be taken to avoid wearing down the surface being treated. Start with a low pressure and test on a small area of the graffiti to find out if the pressure washer can be used to remove the graffiti without damaging the surface. Be sure to prevent runoff from polluting our waterways.
Paint can be used to cover over graffiti vandalism on smooth, painted surfaces or surfaces from which graffiti can’t be removed. This graffiti removal method is fairly low cost, easy to apply, safer and more environmentally friendly than removing graffiti with chemicals.
When painting over graffiti vandalism, make sure you:
- First, try to remove as much graffiti as possible. If cleaning products are used, wash down the entire surface with water so there is no product residue on the surface that might affect the paint
- Match the new paint with the original paint or repaint the entire surface to avoid a patchwork effect. Contrasting paint overs may attract or challenge graffiti vandals to repaint their graffiti, with the painted over area providing a canvass to frame the new graffiti
- Ensure the graffiti is completely covered. Apply as many coats as necessary to completely cover the graffiti. If the graffiti bleeds through, it may encourage further graffiti vandalism
- Clean brushes and dispose of unused pain in an environmentally friendly manner.