How to remove graffiti

Graffiti can cause headaches for all kinds of people, from business owners to council workers. Though some graffiti art can be impressive, the majority is an unwanted eyesore, and can also give potential customers a poor impression of a shop, restaurant, hotel or other kind of business.

It’s not only the building itself that suffers when graffiti appears; it can be unsightly for local residents, passersby and visitors too.

Removing graffiti

There are many different types of graffiti that you may find on your building. From tags, which are the most basic form of graffiti and can be completed very quickly, to complex multicoloured ‘pieces’ (short for ‘masterpieces’) that are often drawn by highly skilled graffiti artists, you never know what may appear on your walls.

Whichever type of graffiti has been added, it can be a headache to get rid of. Unless it’s done by Banksy and is therefore very valuable, it’s likely that you’ll want it to be removed as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, graffiti tends to be far trickier to clean than it is to create, which is why this is a task that is often best left to the professionals. Another reason to call in an expert graffiti cleaning company is that the removal of this paint often involves the use of harsh chemicals such as solvents, which have to be handled with care.

How to remove graffiti from plastic

You can try to clean plastic with hot, soapy water in the first instance. If this doesn’t work, a light, penetrating oil could do the trick – applied with ultra-fine steel wool. Don’t use paint thinners because they can soften the plastic, causing permanent damage. Also, bear in mind that if you scrub too hard when cleaning, you are likely to scratch the plastic.

How to remove graffiti from a wall

The most effective method of removing graffiti from a wall will depend on the type of wall surface. A smooth surface, such as a plastered and painted wall, will generally be easier to clean than bare brickwork.

If the surface is painted, then it may be simplest to paint over the graffiti rather than to remove it. This could take a number of coats, however – especially if the graffiti has been applied in a dark or bright colour.

It may be possible to remove the graffiti, either in part or entirely, rather than repainting. Hot soapy water and a soft scrubbing brush may be effective, but an abrasive brush such as wire is highly likely to damage the paint finish.

Professional exterior cleaning companies are experts in this type of graffiti removal, and will know which methods and products suit different kinds of wall surfaces.

How to remove graffiti from brickwork

Graffiti on a brick wall is probably the most problematic to deal with. This is because it is extremely difficult to effectively clean paint from these rough materials. Bricks and mortar can partially absorb the paint as it soaks into the tiny gaps in the surface. It can therefore be very time consuming and challenging to fully remove graffiti from a brick wall.

For cleaning brickwork, solvents and brushes aren’t usually up to the job. Even after spending a lot of time attempting to remove the paint in this way, evidence of it will probably still be visible. Instead, it’s recommended to use a biodegradable emulsifier. Professional cleaning services can use these to good effect, therefore avoiding the need to paint the brickwork or put up with a permanent reminder of the graffiti. In short, cleaning graffiti from brickwork is a job best left to those with knowledge and experience in this area.

How to remove graffiti from lamp posts and mailboxes

Surfaces like lamp posts and mailboxes can usually be cleaned with a liquid solvent and some light duty steel wool. It’s important to start the cleaning as soon as possible. If you do this, very little solvent is usually needed.

How much does graffiti removal cost

Clearly there are cost implications to having graffiti removed by professionals. The expense involved in tackling the problem will depend on a number of factors – including the type, size and location of the graffiti, as well as the type of paint or other material used in its application.

The cost of the job will also be affected by the price of any chemicals or equipment used to complete the task, along with the time involved in completing the work.

Your next step

Discovering graffiti on your premises can be an unwelcome surprise. Depending on where the paint is and what sort of surface it’s on, you might decide to have a go at this job yourself using some of the methods outlined above. However, if you don’t have the time to do this, or you lack the materials to do it effectively and safely, your best option is to call in cleaning specialists who have experience in this area.

However you decide to tackle the issue, it’s best to act quickly. The longer graffiti remains in place, the harder it can be to remove. And while it’s still visible, it could be putting off potential customers, harming the reputation of your business and causing an eyesore.

If you would like to discover more about professional graffiti cleaning services and how they work, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We can provide further information and answer any questions you may have about this type of cleaning.

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