Graffiti Removal Service
How to remove graffiti from your property
Although graffiti is considered an art form, in most cases it has just been left by people with an addiction to spraying their name or tag in as many places as possible. So assuming that Banksy hasn’t left a valuable offering on your brickwork – in which case you should certainly leave it and maybe get onto an art dealer – you will need to remove it.
Graffiti is unsightly. It makes the whole space look ugly and neglected and if you live or work in an area where so called graffiti artists or taggers operate, the chances are that once you have removed one lot of graffiti, more will appear in the future. According to London residents in areas where graffiti is endemic, it makes the whole neighbourhood look threatening and unsafe.
Removing graffiti is not straight forward. If you attack the offending area with a high pressure washer you risk damaging the surface. Graffiti can be left on a range of different surfaces including brickwork, wood, metal and plastic and considering this is important for the best removal method. In addition it is useful to know the type of paint used so that you know how best to remove it. Luckily there are a range of graffiti removal products out there to help.
Most graffiti is carried out using spray cans or marker pens. Spray paint can be solvent based or water based and if you are attempting to clean this yourself, it is important to know the paint medium in order to determine the best solution for removal
How to remove graffiti yourself
If the graffiti has been sprayed on metal, you can try wiping it off with paint thinner or even WD40. If this doesn’t work you can try rubbing it off with steel wool or light sandpaper.
If these methods do not work, you can try using a pressure washer on a low setting. There is a risk with doing this because a pressure washer can cause damage to surfaces but in some cases this is effective.
The same process may be effective on graffiti left on brickwork and masonry. However a pressure washer will likely cause damage and pitting to the brickwork so although you may remove the offending vandalism, you do run the risk of causing more permanent damage to your building.
To remove graffiti from wooden surfaces such as your fence, you can try using paint thinners but only if the fence is in new unweathered condition and has the added protection of a woodstain. However if the wood stain has worn off and the fence is weathered, thinners such as acetone will only cause the paint to absorb deep into the wood.
A pressure washer may help remove the stain but in most cases, your only option is to paint over the graffiti.
Removing solvent based graffiti from plastic surfaces is fairly easy and in most cases this will simply wipe off if you use the correct product. Strong paint thinners should be avoided. These may damage the colour of the plastic but if you only have a small area to deal with, you might find that nail varnish remover or light acetone is effective.
Baking Soda Products
Graffiti removal based on baking soda or sodium bicarbonate can be an effective option for graffiti removal. This should never be used on wood but can be effective on surfaces such as brickwork, masonry and metal.
You can buy hand held soda blast guns and soda crystals from DIY outlets including Amazon and if your graffiti problem is confined to a reasonably small area this can be a good way to remove it.
Preparation is key. Before you start, make sure that you protect any wooden fittings by masking them off. Then aim the nozzle at the graffiti and blast it, regularly wiping the area down with soapy water so that you can see exactly how you are progressing.
You can also use bicarbonate of soda with a compressor or sand blaster if you have a larger area to cover. This is a DIY solution but according to some people, it can be effective for the removal of graffiti.
Low Pressure Steam Cleaning
The easiest way to remove all types of graffiti from all types of surface without causing any damage is to use a low pressure steamer. This is the method used by most professional graffiti removal companies and it is the most effective.
Low pressure steaming works by heating the water to around 148 degrees Celsius which forms low moisture steam. When this is applied to an area it loosens the graffiti without the need of high pressure or suction.
Low pressure steaming is suitable for use on all types of surfaces. It is powerful yet gentle on masonry and brickwork and is also suitable for using on plastic, glass, wood, natural stone and metal.
Steam cleaning is extremely eco friendly. It does not use much water, especially when compared to the water consumption of high pressure washers and it does not require the use of chemicals.
Professional low pressure steam washers are expensive but for a professional cleaning graffiti company they are the only suitable option. Prices start at around £1350, rising to over £6000 for a more powerful model.
V Tuf is a British based company that is known for their range of superior professional cleaning units. The company provides a range of low pressure steam cleaning machines – often referred to as hot pressure washers – that will make cleaning graffiti away as easy as leaving the graffiti in the first place. All units are fully mobile so are suitable for using on site or in out of the way locations.
Calling a Professional Graffiti Removal Service
If you have a graffiti problem that is too big to handle yourself, calling in a professional cleaning company is the only realistic option. A professional company has professional equipment so can remove graffiti fast without it causing any further risk of damaging your property.