Graffiti removal becomes a much easier task if you are aware of the effects it will have on the type of surface vandalized. Some solvents and the techniques that are used in the process of removal can harm the surface they are being applied on.
You need to make sure which tricks and chemicals are suitable for which surface so you can protect the affected areas from sustaining permanent damage.
Let’s have a look at different surfaces and how each of these should be treated while removing graffiti.
1. Brick Walls
Nearly everything that stands still is a target for graffiti. Residential and commercial buildings have to take the brunt of graffiti 90% of the time. Their brick surfaces and matte paint suffers maximum damage. Commonly used methods for removing graffiti from brick walls include sand blasting, soda blasting, pressure washing and chemical stripping.
These methods remove mortar from brick walls and damage the sub-surface of the bricks.
While cleaning brick walls, you have to select methods that do not damage the surface of the walls too much. For this purpose, you can use vapour blasting. It removes paint layer by layer, keeping the sub-surface well protected as the paint fades away.
2. Steel Surfaces
The positive point about steel surfaces and stainless steel is that they are very resistant and non-absorbent which basically means that they don’t absorb paint. You do not need any strong chemical graffiti removers for the purpose of cleaning these surfaces. Instead, the soft application of mineral spirits can suffice for removing graffiti from steel surfaces.
3. Wooden Surfaces
Wooden surfaces are very hard to tackle when it comes to graffiti removal because sometimes, when the wood is too weathered, it will absorb the paint. In such a case, if you work extensively to remove the graffiti, you will end up damaging the surface of the wood. The better option in these cases is to paint over the wood.
Repainting will be tad more work, however it will have zero damage on the wood. If you utilize chemicals like Acetone you will surely end up with discolouration and deterioration of the wood polish. You can try using mineral spirits but the most effective option is repainting.
4. Plastic Surfaces
Plastic chairs or tables which become victims of graffiti art always end up being one of the most difficult surfaces to remove graffiti from. A light solvent can damage it. Even if you apply mineral spirit on it, the plastic will get thick or cloudy. You can try using penetrating oil to remove graffiti but sometimes it works and sometimes it just does not. In this case, repainting the plastic surface is a better option.
Graffiti removal materials and techniques vary in view of the surface that needs to be treated. The primary objective of removing graffiti is to retain the original texture and beauty of your building. If this process comprises the surface being treated then it becomes completely redundant.
So, bear in mind the different surfaces while choosing suitable graffiti removing options before you begin working! Share your graffiti removal experiences with us and make a valuable addition in the fight against vandalism.