Graffiti Removal 101 – Keep Your Retail Center, Residential Complex or Office Building Graffiti Free

Is graffiti on your property giving you a headache? 

Learn the pro tips and tricks to both remove unwanted graffiti and prevent tagging on your property.

Whether you manage a retail, residential, or business property, taggers may target it and leave unattractive graffiti that frustrates your tenants, deters potential business, and generally reduces the appeal of your property. Don’t worry though – TWS is here to guide you to get the best results for the least effort and most long-term, cost-effective methods.

Graffiti Removal 101:

  • Remove the graffiti as quickly as possible. The longer it lingers, the more tags it will attract. 
  • Start with the gentlest removal method possible to avoid damage. Only use a stronger chemical or method as needed.
  • Test the removal method on a small area to make sure it will work without causing damage.
  • Hire specialized professionals for valuable surfaces, historic buildings, or unpredictable materials.
  • Choose an integrated facility service company that acts as the “eyes and ears” for your property – they can report and handle the graffiti removal ASAP for you (yes, that’s us – TWS Facility Services!).

Graffiti Removal on Painted Surfaces

A quick paint job should cover it. Just remember to keep matching paint on-hand; mismatched paint will make it obvious there was tagging and may attract more vandalism.  Don’t have time to keep track of paint cans? Ask your facility service company to make sure the right paint is always on-hand.

Removing Graffiti from Unpainted Non-porous Surfaces

Good news: surfaces such as glass and metal aren’t absorbent nor typically painted, which greatly simplifies graffiti removal. Two options are available: 1) a quality graffiti remover available at most hardware or paint stores; 2) a razor blade to remove paint from glass surfaces, which is quick, effective, and more environmentally friendly.

Repairing Etched or Scratched Glass

Not all graffiti is paint. Some taggers deliberately scratch or acid-etch glass. This is possibly the most destructive form of graffiti because the marks are difficult and costly to remove, often requiring the glass or plastic to be entirely replaced. If your property has glass that frequently falls victim to this type of vandalism, then consider installing an invisible film over the glass. 

Making Graffiti Removal Easier on Masonry Surfaces

These unpainted, porous surfaces are the favorite targets for taggers. Removal by power washing or soda blasting may work, but not always. If you choose this method, then make sure your service provider uses the gentlest means possible, so as not to damage the surface (See: What’s the difference between power washing and steam cleaning?). 

Proactive solutions: 

  • Coat the surface with a clear anti-graffiti sealer. If you’re targeted again, removal is now easier.
  • Paint the surface. Now any future tagging can be covered with matching paint, just like any other painted surface.

What About Removing Graffiti from Sidewalks? 

Usually, graffiti removal for sidewalks requires a two-step process. First, a graffiti remover for concrete is applied. Then, the sidewalk can be power washed.

When Raw Canvas Awnings Get Tagged

Taggers also like to target raw canvas awnings, often used on storefronts, because they are difficult to clean up. Tips to protect awnings and reduce damage:

  • Install awnings so they aren’t easily accessed.
  • Repaint the awning with matching paint (if possible).
  • Treat the awning with a graffiti-resistant sealer.
  • Replace the current awning with a graffiti-resistant awning.

Graffiti prevention and removal can be simplified to reduce your time, energy, and cost when you choose a comprehensive facility service plan from a company that does it all. TWS Facility Services offers the full spectrum of maintenance and disinfecting services to keep any type of property looking and functioning at its best. Don’t cut corners – consolidate your services with one company so you get cost-effective but quality facility service.

Interested in what we can do specifically to meet the unique needs of your property? Contact our team for a no-obligation chat and find out! Call 888-883-1815 or send an email here.

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